In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is critical to success. For many companies, this means leveraging the latest technology to optimize their operations and improve efficiency. Digital warehouse management systems are an excellent example of this trend.
According to a recent industry report, the global AWMS market is projected to account for around $10.5 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 16% during the forecast period.
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, a well-built management system can help you stay ahead of the competition and achieve your goals. And it’s absolutely possible to reach maximum operational efficiency with the help of automated warehouses.
So, let’s find out how to build a warehouse management system that simplifies and optimizes processes instead of causing additional troubles. Read on.
Briefly: What is a Warehouse Management System?
Warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application used by businesses to manage and control operations, including inventory and order management, shipping and receiving, and other related processes. A WMS provides real-time visibility and control over all warehouse operations, allowing businesses to optimize their supply chain and improve efficiency.
In a typical warehouse operation, a WMS integrates with other software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and transportation management systems (TMS) to ensure seamless integration and data accuracy. The main function of a warehouse management system is to capture data related to inventory levels, product locations, and order fulfillment. Then, it uses this information to provide insights and reports that help businesses make informed decisions.
Warehouse management system benefits:
- The WMS provides real-time visibility into inventory levels, reducing the likelihood of stockouts, overstocking, and incorrect shipments. This improves customer satisfaction and reduces inventory carrying costs.
- The system optimizes warehouse operations by automating tasks such as order picking, replenishment, and putaway. By reducing the time and effort required to perform these tasks, businesses can process more orders in less time.
- Even simple warehouse inventory management software helps businesses manage and prioritize orders, ensuring that customers receive goods on time and in the correct quantities. This way, your company can reduce the likelihood of returns and cancellations.
- The system provides insights into warehouse operations, allowing businesses to identify areas where they can optimize resource utilization. This leads to cutting labor costs, improved space utilization, and reduced equipment downtime.
Warehouse Management System Types to Consider
With the rapid expansion of e-commerce and the rise of the “Amazon effect,” today’s customers expect faster and more accurate delivery than ever before. To meet these demands, businesses are turning to automated warehouse management systems (AWMS) to optimize their workflow.
Nevertheless, there are several types of a digital warehouse management system available, each with its own set of features and functionality. The option a business chooses depends on its specific needs, size, and industry. Companies should carefully evaluate their capabilities before choosing a WMS that meets all the requirements. So, let’s find out more about each type in particular.
This type represents a dedicated software application that is installed on a local server or cloud-based platform. It is a complete solution that tracks and controls all warehouse operations, including inventory management, order processing, shipping and receiving.
Such a warehouse management system is integrated with other software like ERP or TMS. It provides a comprehensive solution for managing most common operations and integrates with other business processes such as finance and accounting.
This type of WMS is hosted in the cloud, and users can access it through a web browser or mobile device. A cloud-based solution eliminates the need for on-premise hardware and software, and provides real-time visibility into warehouse operations from any location.
A free and open-source software that can be customized and modified by developers to meet specific business needs. Open-source warehouse management system capabilities include flexibility and scalability, making it ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that want to customize their warehouse management software.
This is a pay-as-you-go solution that enables businesses to pay for the features and services they use. On-demand systems are the most cost-effective option for businesses that do not want to invest in expensive software and hardware. A smart and capable warehouse management system application benefits small companies that are limited in financial resources.
Such a WMS is designed for specific industries like food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and automotive. An industry-specific warehouse management software provides features and functionality tailored to the unique needs of each business field.
Core Warehouse Management System Requirements
For those who wonder how to improve warehouse management, it’s time to think over building a custom system tailored to your business needs. As only 5% of existing warehouses are automated, and the industry seeks for upgrade and innovation, this is a perfect way to stay ahead of the tough competition.
Anyway, developing an effective WMS requires a combination of a responsible approach to the development process, a set of helpful tools and capable implementation. Here is the list of key technical requirements to develop the warehouse management system that benefits the company.
Software architecture. The WMS should be designed with a scalable and flexible software architecture that can handle increasing volumes of inventory and orders, as well as be able to accommodate new features and functionality.
Database management. The workable software should have a robust database management system that can handle large amounts of data, support real-time data processing and reporting, and have data backup and recovery capabilities.
User interface design. The WMS should have a user-friendly interface design that is easy to navigate and understand. It should also provide intuitive reporting and analytics capabilities.
Mobile compatibility. The digital warehouse management system should be designed to be compatible with mobile devices, allowing workers to access and update inventory and order information on the go.
Security. The WMS should have robust security features such as user authentication, access controls, and data encryption to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.
Integration capabilities. The WMS should be easily integrated with any other software systems the company already uses or just plans to, e.g. ERP, TMS, and e-commerce platforms. The effective warehouse management system should also be compatible with hardware devices such as barcode scanners, smartphones, and automation equipment.
Cloud-based infrastructure. The software should be designed to smoothly run on a cloud-based infrastructure, which allows for easy scalability, cost-effectiveness, and remote accessibility.
Tips to Develop the Best Warehouse Management System for Small Business
Developing the WMS that streamlines warehouse operations and improves supply chain management requires careful planning and implementation. We gathered the list of useful tips to help you develop the most suitable WMS for small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Start by defining your business needs. Identify the key areas where a WMS can improve your company’s operations, such as inventory management, order processing, and shipping.
- Choose the right type of warehouse management system from the variety of options we mentioned above. Consider nuances like affordability, scalability, user-friendliness, and integration with other software.
- Your warehouse layout should be optimized for efficient inventory management and order fulfillment. Pay attention to factors such as product demand, storage capacity, and pick-and-pack processes.
- Use barcode scanning and mobile devices to improve inventory accuracy and order fulfillment times. Invest in inexpensive equipment that can be easily integrated into your warehouse management software.
- Integrate the automated warehouse management system with other programs such as accounting, e-commerce platforms, and shipping software. This will streamline your business processes and reduce manual data entry errors.
- Proper staff training is essential for successful WMS implementation and adoption. Ensure that your employees are fully aware of the peculiarities of your current management software and its capabilities.
- Regularly monitor and analyze your WMS performance to identify areas for improvement. Track and document key indicators (KPIs) such as inventory and order accuracy, as well as fulfillment times.
Key Takeaways about Warehouse Management System for Small Business
To sum up, the development of an effective warehouse management system is a critical aspect of modern supply chain management. By implementing a well-designed WMS, businesses can improve their inventory accuracy, order fulfillment times, and overall warehouse efficiency.
In this article, we provided you with insights on the main requirements to build a workable software, as well as outlined some useful tips on how to do this smoothly. Apply them to develop a WMS that is tailored to your specific needs and goals, and start benefiting from automated warehouses before your competitors do.
With the right digital warehouse management system in place, businesses can better meet the demands of their customers and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Ultimately, investing in the development of an effective WMS leads to improved business outcomes and increased profitability. Contact LITSLINK to opt for automation and smart management by building a software solution that addresses your needs.