WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (WMS)


The Warehouse Management System Benefits Information Technology Essay
Warehouse management system is a pivotal part of the supply chain which mainly controls the storage and movement of materials within a warehouse and processes the transactions, including receiving, shipping, picking and put away. WMS also enables in directing and optimizing stock put away according to the real-time information of bin utilization status.
Warehouse management system works on Auto ID Data Capture technology, such as mobile computers, barcode scanners, wireless.. In this process, data is collected and there is either batch synchronization, or wireless transmission to a central database in real time basis. Then the database provides the status of goods in the warehouse accurately. The main objective of WMS is to provide an automated (computerized) procedure to handle the records of incoming and outgoing goods. WMS provides a helpful link to logistics management and also for order processing in order to pick-up, packing and shipping the product out of the facility.
WMS benefits:
Faster payback and Inventory returns: WMS reduces the lead time by confining the movement of inventory and improve the inventory records accuracy, this leads to a system which supports the JIT environment.
Efficient-Warehouse floor space utilization: Warehouse management system can efficiently locate the items in relation to receiving, assembling, packing, and shipping point thus contributing to efficient use of warehouse space.
Reduction in paperwork for inventory transactions: WMS minimize the paper work which is associated with warehouse operations such as receiving, picking and packing by maintaining the data electronically, and also ensures the timely and accurate flow of information.
Improvement in Cycle Counting: WMS captures relevant data in order to schedule the personnel for cycle counts. These cycle counts can enhance the accuracy of inventory records for planning purposes, and also minimizes the need costly physical inventories.
Reduced Dependency on Warehouse Personnel: The operations such as picking methods, inventory movements and inventory locations can be standardized by implementing WMS. The above standardization results in lower training costs, lower error rate and minimizes reliance on informal practices.
Enhanced customer service: The process can be streamlined from order to delivery with the WMS implementation, and thus companies can accurately find product availability and the realistic dates for delivery. WMS identifies and releases back-order inventory and thus minimizes returns due to the fact that shipment accuracy is improved.
Improved labor Productivity: Cross docking is another important aspect of warehouse management system where incoming shipments are routed to the location near to the outbound shipping dock, thereby reducing the warehouse handling. Thus material flow is optimized by WMS using cross docking function.
The above mentioned benefits which are achieved by WMS involve high cost for the organization to spend. WMS takes into account or uses all the advanced techniques in order to improve the warehousing activities and also contributes to the efficiency of the supply chain management against a very high cost. So it is very important to follow few steps while implementing WMS by the companies in order to control the cost involved in implementing it.
JUST-IN-TIME (JIT) WAREHOUSING
JIT can be best described as an inventory strategy to enhance the return on investment by decreasing in-process inventory and its related carrying cost .JIT concept is based on delivering the product directly from the supplier to the retail outlet and shelf the products in the retail store eliminating the concept of warehousing which is now becoming more prominent in the businesses because there is a drastic reduction in the costs of the businesses by eliminating the warehouse thus eliminating the inventory holding costs. As the distance between the supplier and the retailer increases, it builds up the need for a warehouse in between the geographical regions to reduce the transportation costs and to add some value adding activities to the products. There are also some other advantages such as consolidation and pooling if a warehouse is located between the supplier and the manufacturer.
RETAIL WAREHOUSING
Retail warehouse is the concept of selling the goods in the warehouse itself. In this kind of warehousing the goods are on display in the warehouse for the immediate purchase by the consumer. It is a dynamic industry and the amount of floor space, type and location occupied by retailing is determined by the number of influences forced by the consumer, the developer, land use planner and the retainer. In the last 10-15 years there is a drastic change in the market needs, the dramatic decrease in the rate of growth of the population has given pace to population decentralization. The growth of new companies and with the corporate rationalization after post war period retail warehousing has become more common business concept. (Wikipedia)
CONCEPT OF PAPERLESS WAREHOUSE SYSTEM
The computer has eliminated tremendous amount of paper work transactions which take place on a daily basis in a warehouse. In between receiving and shipping there are many operations which require lot of paper work. As the material is picked for an order, the operators must write down the quantity which is picked and all the other parameters which are necessary for giving the right information. The employee schedules and working hours also require lot of paper work which make it very hard to control and maintain all these records on mere paper sheets. This can be eliminated by integrating mechanical and electronic equipment by data scanning equipment which communicate directly with the computer, which in turn reduce the burden of paper work in the warehouse.
Control of computer in warehouse
The mechanical and electrical equipment must be integrated in order to use them efficiently and effectively and this can be done perfectly by computer. This will in turn reduce the burden on the personnel and this can help in reduction of labor in warehouses.
The computer can be used for maintaining the identification and location of the goods in the warehouse. The computers can also be used to attain an optimized solution for using the floor space of the warehouse efficiently using some software which is installed in the computer.
The major advantages of computerization of the warehouses are:

Improve productivity
Control of physical operations
Optimize the space utilization
Maximize the flow of goods and increase the fill rate
Minimize the costs
Motivate the employees
The main fields in which computer are extensively used in a warehouse:
Order entry
Inventory management and control
Receipts and inbound quality control
Stock location and space utilization
Work scheduling
Quality control and assurance
Integrating the computer with warehouse equipment
Shipping schedules and transportation
Employee satisfaction and motivation

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