It is not so easy to manage warehouse operations. It includes efficient utilization of man-power, equipment & space and at the same time reduce the inventory carrying cost – all of which helps to run a profitable business in today’s competitive business environment. It looks simple in theory. But in reality, the warehouse operation is vast and requires the right mix of people, procedures, systems, and solutions to run uninterrupted operations. Many companies adopted WMS which helps them to manage their warehouse operations, they control inward, outward movements and storage of materials and then processing the related transactions.
Today WMS has evolved over the years, the number of functionalities that these systems can handle has increased exponentially. Functionalities like Location Management, Auto put-away, Wave and batch picking, Task Management, Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), Sales Order, Purchase Order, Advanced Shipment Notifications (ASN), Cross Docking, Kitting, Stock Transfer and Movements, Stock Taking / Cycle Count and slotting are just a few of the fundamental warehouse functions that today’s WMS can handle.
I have seen increased features and functionalities within the base of standard WMS solutions. There are so many features that come standard and many more that companies can pick and use as they need them.
The new generation WMS functionality like Business Analytic, KPI, Labor Management, eKanban, Jumbiki, Muda Reduction, Forecasting and inventory optimization, Inventory Visibility, SOBO (Sell One Buy One), JIT (Just In Time), RFID, Smart Phone Mobile Computing are in high demand as companies struggle to work smarter, better, and faster in today’s competitive business environment. Future ready systems like PALMS WMS is a good example of a solution that allows companies to buy licenses on “On Premises” or “On Cloud” basis and go live with a minimal amount of work & time. Few years ago that would not have been possible due to the need for changes and modifications required for different industries in one single system.
The fact that many companies don’t use their WMS to their fullest capacities contributes to the ROI challenge or the WMS does not have functionalities to support their requirements or they do not have adequate environment, facilities and staff to handle system and procedures. They get the systems implemented and say, ‘now what?’ Then, they feel like they didn’t get what they hoped to gain from their investments. Rarely vendors are visiting the companies and helping them use their WMS to their fullest potential. However over the last few years many industries adopted WMS and played important roles in WMS advancement. Industries like FMCG, automotive, apparels, electronics and online market place showed more interest in buying future ready or upgrading existing warehouse management systems.
As WMS vendors like Technoforte Software work to resolve these issues, and as industry increasingly turns to technology to create inefficiencies within their operations, the warehouse management market will hold its ground as one of the favorite of the supply chain software sector.