Warehouse managers not only need to ensure that every aspect of their facility is effectively managed, tracked and controlled, but also that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Thankfully, there are many ways to do this with the aid of software and tools. The right software for your warehouse will be a platform that addresses areas of the most concern for you.
So when someone asks us a question like this we can’t answer it without knowing those areas, but we can help narrow the field. If you haven’t got a warehouse management software programme and you have a simple operation the answer is probably any of them, if your operation is a little bit more complex you should consider the focus of the companies supplying the software. Here are four “focus points” that will help you with identifying suitable potential systems.
Though many industries and business sectors and companies in them consider themselves special and different, some are and do have distinctive requirements rather than just different names for similar processes and requirements and some suppliers do have more functionality within their programmes attuned to particular industries than others. Some sectors with specialised requirements include pharmaceuticals, 3PLs, bond, fashion, manufacturing, etc.
Unit Loads, Cases & Individual Items
How complex are your picks? Picking and shipping pallets is a doddle compared to the mix of pallets, totes, cartons, etc. that many operations deal with. You would be looking at WMS suppliers that have experience with multiple handling and storage media and the resultant put away and replenishment capabilities required.
Warehouse Equipment & Automation
If your operations is an entirely pallet based operation with APR racking you may be an endangered species. The increasing choice and variety in storage equipment, mechanical handling options and automated equipment has led to a similar variability in the capability of warehouse management systems depending on where the supplier has focused their development.
Warehouse management systems have to communicate, certainly to the business systems (ERP) but perhaps to others, e.g. automation control systems (WCS), perhaps to parcel and carrier systems. All systems will “talk”, but some will be more capable than others.
The Warehouse Productivity Guide
Efficient warehouse management depends on a number of factors, of which effective software systems are just one. For a practical guide to improving warehouse productivity, please download our free ‘Warehouse Productivity Guide’ from our website today. This free eBook explains how your warehouse layout and management systems affect your profitability, and how you can make cost-effective changes.