Three Types of Warehouse Management Systems

Three Types of Warehouse Management Systems

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Many businesses deal with third-party logistics (3PL), and they have to rely on warehouse management software to get the job done.  Moving stock, of course, is the core of the industry so automated warehouse management can truly help improve efficiency in so many ways. Of course, you have to choose which Meade Willis warehouse software type will work best for you; there are three.

STANDALONE WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Basically, this is a bare bones model. A company chooses standalone warehouse management because they know which features they want and only want to pay for those services.  You could say that this is an a la carte model, too, as you can combine it with features you already use or with other features you might need down the road.  Essentially, though, this type of WMS is sold without supply chain functions (so you may have to opt for that later, if you are not considering it now).  You will also find tools available to address various aspects of your business, including optimization of receiving, stocking, slotting, picking, packaging, and shipping.

SUPPLY CHAIN MODULES

Now, if you have reached the point where you plan for your warehouse management system to be part of a supply chain (as many do), this would involve more than standalone WMS.  Instead, you will want to invest a little bit more in investing in supply chain planning and execution applications which also happen to have warehousing features. When you combine other applications with WMS you will also find overlap among cohesion between the many departments of your company.  Standalone WMS only covers warehousing.  Essentially, if this is the route you choose, make sure there is a lot of cohesion and very little overlap (as this can result in redundancy and increased errors).

ERP Integration

Some companies—typically very large ones—also opt to integrate something called Enterprise Resource Planning with their warehouse management system. This is pretty much the end-all of WMS options as it covers just about all of the core applications you could possibly need for 3PL processes. This could include everything from supply chain planning to managing customer relationships to human resources to accounting (and more, of course).  It is important to remember, though, that while ERP systems can (and do) include warehouse management tools, ERP is not a standard and is not typical for all businesses.

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