Developments in Warehouse Management System
Rapid industrialization and expansion of businesses has increased the production capacity manifold and has led to the demand and supply cycle getting bulkier. The need for storage space and warehousing is surging with each passing day and has created requirement of an agile and robust system to be in place. The convergence of technology and operations management has led to the inception of a system capable of managing and maintaining coordination between every aspect of the supply chain – The Warehouse Management System (WMS).
WMS, is an application which assist in managing distribution centre or a warehouse and optimizes various activities like shipping, inventory management, picking, packing, cycle counting, and replenishment.
- The major assistance provided by a traditional WMS comprises of functions like Receiving, Put away, Picking and Shipping.
- Use of WMS facilitates a reduction in lag time, paperwork, and storage space optimization
- Further, it improves locating, pick or put away the stocks, labour productivity, and product tracking
- WMS also assists in better management and coordinating the Material-Handling Equipment.
However, traditionally the system took a hefty amount of time and resources to lay out. But with the installation, time drop to two quarters or even lesser, the market for WMS solutions is predicted to grow to $4.1 billion by 2024 according to reports.
Such rapid growing market reflects the advancements that it is being subjected to.
- Pick-to-Light Systems have emerged that use specific light displays that assist the warehouse operators to locate and pick the products according to the volume.
- Similarly, Put-to-Light System helps operators to allocate products and bulk stock at specific and designated location in a warehouse.
- Voice Picking Systems are developed that uses speech recognition and speech synthesis, which allows warehouse staff to communicate with the system without looking at paperwork, leaving their both hands free to perform the picking operation.
- A safe and automated interface, for accounting and documentation, is offered in the system. It eases out the transfer and verification of documents at various levels.
- Shelf Life Monitoring helps to monitor the ageing and quality of all the stock constantly.
- Order can be planned & scheduled in advance with forecasting and integration with ERP.
- As we speak, the software companies are working on adding universal updation and refreshes to the full WMS suite, as it is a mammoth task to update all the warehouses time to time with new WMS updates.
Adopting WMS implementation can be a little challenge initially for the company, but the benefits are magnanimous as the multiple and flexible WMS options can adapt to the company’s need easily with the end customers noticing no change except the improved service.
The nature and form of business are always going to change and evolve. Companies all over the world constantly try to upgrade their way of operation. And in this race towards smarter and more sustainable solutions, WMS can be a huge leap forward.