Table of Contents
- What is a Warehouse Management System?
- What are the Key Features of a Warehouse Management System?
- Three Key Drivers of Warehouse Automation in 2022
- Why Adopt Custom Warehouse Management Software?
- Benefits of Custom Warehouse Management Software
- Custom Warehouse Management System: A Case Study
- Develop Your WMS with Fingent
A warehouse management system is a must-have for any business that wants to expand their e-commerce footprint and address their omni-channel fulfillment requisites. For several years, warehouse management systems have been in the spotlight, enjoying a higher adoption rate across multiple industries.
Allied Market Research estimates that by 2030, the market value of global warehouse management systems is estimated to reach $10.6 billion, with a CAGR of 16.3% during 2021-2030.
A custom warehouse management software reduces your delivery lead times, eliminates errors during order processing and strengthens the efficiency and productivity of suppliers, subsequently improving your customer relationships. Delivering orders precisely requires overcoming the complexities of multi-channel listing and courier management. Whether you’re a 3PL, an ecommerce retailer or a warehouse owner, you require an automated, custom warehouse management system to run the show without any interruption.
Let’s take a closer look at the features and benefits of custom warehouse management software in this blog.
What is a Warehouse Management System?
A warehouse management system is a software solution that allows organizations to manage the entire supply chain fulfillment operations of a warehouse, right from the time goods or materials enter a distribution or fulfillment center until they move out to the store shelf.
Warehouse management systems offer real-time visibility into your company’s entire inventory, both within warehouses or in transit. Besides monitoring the inventory flow, a warehouse management software offers solutions for picking, packing, processing orders and deliveries, utilizing resources, optimizing labor and storage layout, creating pick lists, analytics, and more. And it organizes all of these activities from a single interface.
A good WMS system enables e-commerce companies to manage rising order volumes and faster shipping expectations, despite the shrinking pool of warehouse labor. Modern warehouse management systems integrate with several mission-critical tools such as RFID labeling, barcode scanning, augmented reality (AR) wearables, advanced robotics, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, transportation management systems (TMS), logistics applications, and more.
What are the Key Features of a Warehouse Management System?
Modern, cloud-based warehouse management systems help you manage operations of any scale, from a single to multiple warehouses located anywhere in the world. Here are the core features of a WMS that will improve your warehouse operations.
A custom warehouse management software leverages automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology (eg: barcodes, RFID tags) to provide real-time visibility into your organization’s inventory, no matter where your warehouse is located. The WMS automates and streamlines your inventory management process, giving data-driven insights into what items should you order and when, reports on the performance of your vendors and products, the latest rates you have been charged, and more. These insights allow you to adjust the inventory levels, ensure you have the right volume of stock enough to satisfy your customers, and improve your order rates. You can also forecast the customer demand patterns using the advanced analytics provided by the WMS software. Simply put, a good WMS software helps you allocate inventory based on custom workflows and picking logic, so your inventory moves faster, both into and out of your warehouse.
A WMS software allows you to receive, process, and put away items efficiently according to the warehouse flow and business rules. Integration of the WMS system with RFID, billing and inventory software, and other tools allows it to automatically receive, validate, and reconcile items against online purchase orders. In addition, the warehouse management software helps in the following ways:
- Scans the barcode or RFID tags affixed to each item or material to enable easier storage and retrieval
- Flags items that require inspection by QA experts
- Automates the generation of identification labels for goods, pallets, etc.,
- Suggests storage recommendations based on the size, expiry date, demand forecasts, and fragility of each product
- Facilitates cross-docking by alerting warehouse workers when goods have to be transported from the receiving zone directly to a shipping zone
- Resolves issues through status reporting of incoming receipts to warehousing and merchandising staff
A report from the University of Chicago reveals that order picking accounts for 55% of the total warehousing cost. A smart WMS system helps you lower this cost by leveraging analytics to recommend the most efficient way to store, retrieve, and pack products. Today, competent warehouse management systems use technologies like pick-to-voice or light, warehouse robotics, machine learning algorithms, and radio frequency with or without barcode scanning to optimize the picking paths. Techniques such as single order picking, discrete picking, batch picking, zone picking, wave picking, and cross-docking help streamline order fulfillment.
Modern warehouse management systems are capable of automatically generating packing lists, shipment invoices, bills of lading, and other crucial notifications, which will give you real-time visibility into the status of every consignment. For instance, you can oversee if the packages arrive on time and are delivered to the right destination. Automatic shipment notifications expedite your order fulfillment process. The WMS software also helps you:
- Schedule the shipments judiciously by optimizing the delivery routes to reduce the travel time
- Calculate the shipping time and rates by integrating with the shipping carriers’ applications
- Merge multiple orders addressed to the same consignee into a single shipment
- Track the entire shipment history
- Ensure faster and timely delivery of shipments off the dock and in transit to the right destination
A custom warehouse management software featuring configurable dashboards that can be tailored to display important metrics adds value to your warehouse operations. Tailor the dashboard to view your inventory accuracy, on-time shipping data, order fill rate, cycle time to process orders, labor and storage utilization, inventory return reports, distribution costs, and more. Automated report generation eliminates the errors caused by manual data entry. Use data visualization techniques to share the warehouse operational reports and metrics with your key stakeholders. Viewing mission-critical, real-time insights on a single interface helps you make the necessary adjustments to optimize the warehouse operations in future.
An intelligent warehouse management system helps schedule your workforce based on the labor requirements for order fulfillment during a specific time. Based on a procurement and shipping schedule, the WMS software can dynamically assign tasks to your warehouse workers and support task interleaving depending on the priority and proximity, which will minimize your workforce’s idle time as well as travel time. The warehouse management software also helps monitor your labor performance against pre-defined KPIs and throws light into your labor costs, response times, productivity gaps, and trends that matter to you.
In warehousing, reverse logistics refers to the process of controlling the movement of in-process inventory or finished goods from the point of consumption to the point of origin for recovering value or ensuring proper disposal. A good WMS software automates the routing of returned inventory to a suitable warehouse by tracking the return order and flagging the returned inventory for further processing such as a quality assurance check.
Case Study: Optimizing last-mile delivery: Software suite development for an e-commerce locker company helps gain 50% reduction in internal workload.
Three Key Drivers of Warehouse Automation
1. E-commerce and Rapid Order Fulfillment
2. Cost of Operations
3. Growth of Technology
Why Adopt Custom Warehouse Management Software?
Like every other industry, there is no one size fits all solution in warehousing, as the requirements vary from business to business. Custom warehouse management systems improve the internal operations and services of your logistics, retail, or warehousing business by offering several features which aren’t provided by off-the-shelf software.
Develop The Ideal WMS
Get the ideal, customized solution for your warehouse management with the required software integrations, modules, and functions that will simplify business management and accelerate your growth. A custom software development partner understands your requirements precisely and focuses on developing the solution that best-fits your warehouse’s operational needs.
Control Your Software Spend
Secure Your WMS from Cyberattacks
Own a User-Friendly WMS
Off-the-Shelf vs. Custom Warehouse Management System
Off-the-Shelf Warehouse Systems
Custom Warehouse Management System
Benefits of Custom Warehouse Management Software
Here’s what makes custom warehouse management software the right choice for your business:
If you want to avoid scalability and integration issues and require a future-proof platform architecture, developing a custom warehouse software is the best choice.
Custom Warehouse Management System: A Case Study
We’ve simplified what was once considered complex order processing, with custom-built warehouse management and order processing software that lets customers place orders quickly and allows warehouses to track every order with improved efficiency and sophistication.
Texas-based Cheetah Transportation Systems leveraged Fingent’s custom software development services to implement a personalized transportation management system. The new system allows Cheetah’s customers to view their order status in real-time and access up-to-date shipping data. With a customized software solution, Cheetah re-imagined their logistics and supply chain operations:
Develop Your Warehouse Management System with Fingent
The primary goal of a warehouse management software is to ensure that the right product is delivered to the right person at the right time. When you’re in complete control of your warehouse operations, you will attain better visibility, productivity, and cost control.
Our core experience in developing B2B e-commerce applications, customized product ordering systems, tailored self-service payment portals, and an array of bespoke software solutions makes us a trusted software development partner to hundreds of organizations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies. We help you develop custom warehouse management software for businesses that deal in logistics, shipping, transportation, eCommerce, third-party logistics (3PL), and more. If you want to discover our services further, please chat with our consultant.