Warehouse Management System
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a piece of software that controls, records and automates various warehouse operations The goal is to increase the overall productivity and efficiency of a business' warehousing operations These solutions are commonly found as individual, standalone systems
Warehouse storage locations, eg, individual location number, picking sequence, type of use (picking, reserve storage, etc), type of storage (each, case, pallet), location size or capacity, storage restriction (flammable, hazardous, high value materials, outdoor, etc), etc
Types of Warehouse Management Systems
There are several types of Warehouse Management Systems, each with it’s own pros and cons. Here are the most popular types:
- Standalone System
- ERP Modules
- Cloud Based
Standalone Warehouse Management System
A standalone warehouse management system is your typical on premises type system which is deployed on the native hardware and network of the business.
Most WMS systems are third-party, standalone packages that must be integrated with the rest of your business management software (such as ERP). While integration of external programs can work, the process is often fraught with challenges such as duplicate data entry, information delays and silos, interface issues and customization expenses.
Cloud Based Warehouse Management System
A cloud warehouse management system is a web-based software as a service (SaaS) model utilizing enterprise cloud technology.
The benefits of cloud based WMS software include better flexibility, disaster recovery, scalability, and security. Cloud computing also offers users the ability to receive automatic software updates without additional capital expenditures, providing better technology competitiveness.
Some ERP vendors, such as IQMS, offer a warehouse management system that is built into their ERP solution. This type of solution provides embedded EDI, accounting, sales orders, MRP and shipping management with no messy non-real-time interfaces.