Warehouses are the center of manufacturing organizations. To run a successful operation, managers need to ensure that materials, good and products flow effortlessly throughout the warehouse. Manufacturers can achieve this with the help of warehouse management systems (WMS) software. In this guide to warehouse management systems software, you'll discover the benefits of WMS for manufacturers, learn how to plan a WMS project, read tips for evaluating WMS vendors, find WMS implementation best practices and build WMS training strategies.
Browse all of the sections of this warehouse management systems software guide, or jump directly to the section that interests you most:
- Understanding warehouse management system benefits for manufacturers
- Planning for a warehouse management software (WMS) project
- Evaluating warehouse management system (WMS) vendors and software
- Top warehouse management system (WMS) implementation best practices
- Getting started with warehouse management system (WMS) training
WMS software can help you move and store inventory at maximum efficiency and minimum cost. Faster order cycles and cost savings are just some of the benefits of WMS for manufacturers. WMS software's greatest benefit comes from streamlining processes to move items faster and store them more efficiently, leading to reduced inventories and labor costs, increased accuracy and customer satisfaction.
Any WMS project brings big changes to your IT and business processes. Implementing WMS software not only changes your IT architecture, it can revolutionize your distribution system as well. Learning some best practices for avoiding pitfalls and creating a warehouse management software plan will help WMS projects succeed. Building a WMS business case is a good project starting place.
WMS software comes in many flavors. WMS software is a major cog in most supply chains, but it's just one part of a complex, interconnected system. Begin the WMS vendor selection process by learning the varieties of WMS software systems, how they differ from such related tools as inventory management software, and what features different vendors have to offer.
WMS software helps manufacturers run a productive warehouse. To optimize this technology, keep in mind that WMS is an IT system, albeit one designed to improve warehouse processing. Best practices for WMS implementation include selecting componentized software, assigning a project manager, interleaving tasks, integrating with mobile systems and using voice-recognition technology.
Effective WMS training must cover WMS users' interaction with mobile devices and software, as well as new ways of moving goods safely and efficiently through the warehouse. The time and effort needed for WMS user training increases as you move up the scale from bare-bones inventory management and WMS modules to dedicated, high-end WMS software. Training on WMS software is typically provided by the vendor or a third-party consultant.
This was first published in April 2010