A recent study shows that warehousing optimization can raise gains of logistic businesses by 20%. Digitization is one way to improve warehousing processes. More and more logistic businesses rely on warehouse management software (WMS), a subtype of supply management software. WMS solutions track, manage, and automate inventory-related processes.
What is the point of such apps? The numbers on WMS solutions implementation speak for themselves.
The WMS adoption rates are steadily growing. More businesses realize the financial and qualitative benefits of such software and become ready to invest in it.
Do you want to deliver a WMS solution that will conquer the market?? Read our new material to know more about types of warehouse management systems, WMS benefits and impact, and get some tips on how to build a warehouse management platform.
The Main Types of Warehouse Management Software
There are four basic types of warehouse management software. Such systems primarily differ in their functionality and purpose. Check the list of the most common variations of WMS system software below:
- Inventory management software. Such apps provide storehouse staff with information on stored assets on demand. Usually, these are complex databases that inform managers about remaining warehouse capacities and facilitate accounting.
- Warehouse transportation management systems. These supply chain solutions determine the location of all items stored in a warehouse. A firmly-established transportation management system can track the goods all across the supply chain.
- Enterprise resource planning software. Such systems are quite similar to inventory management software. The key difference is that enterprise resource planning software relies on analytical tools that investigate resource usage and forecast the enterprise’s supply demands.
- Staff management applications. Those are WMS platforms that assign tasks to warehouse workers. They also provide chat and analytical options that facilitate professional communication and performance reviews.
In many cases, several types of warehouse management system software are combined into a single platform. Modern solutions incorporate all of the aforementioned warehouse management system features, which ensures maximum workflow efficiency and supply chain process automation.
How Сan Software Solutions Change Warehouse Management?
Digital technologies can bring the management of storehouses to a new level. Here are the most valuable WMS benefits that make a difference in warehousing.
Improved Inventory Tracking
Keeping track of all items stored in multi-premise facilities is not easy. Warehouse inventory software makes this process more convenient for businesses. Such apps use automatic identification and data capture, radio frequency identification, and barcode scanners to precisely track specific objects. As a result, WMS implementation provides the staff with better control over the inventory and ensures a smooth flow of goods.
Enhanced Process Automation
Feature-packed WMS solutions help businesses save time by accelerating the warehouse management process. Storehouse workers tend to spend too much time manually inserting data, processing and organizing documentation, or managing the equipment. WMS system software automates such processes, which saves both time and effort.
Optimized Labor Coordination
Around 60% of warehouse management issues are associated with human errors. WMS solutions allow reducing such mistakes. They enable managers to track the performance of workers, assign tasks, and review their status. Such warehouse management system features ensure better labor collaboration and a more efficient flow of tasks within a facility.
Convenient Logistic System Integration
Warehousing is often detached from other inventory-related processes, which can lead to inconsistencies within a logistic network. Meanwhile, top-notch warehouse software can solve this problem since it can be easily integrated into a broad logistic system. Such interoperability enables workers to coordinate the storage, transportation, and usage of all goods within a supply chain.
Efficient Reporting and Analysis
Analysis and forecasting are essential for logistic process optimization. By implementing warehouse management systems, you provide storehouse managers with advanced data processing and forecasting opportunities. Such WMS solutions deliver huge amounts of important information, such as storage duration, supply frequency, and storage capacities. As a result, a business can prepare for any changes in the flow of goods and anticipate storehouse capacity issues.
How to Build a Warehouse Management System: 5 Must-Dos
Warehouse software solves many problems in logistics. Unfortunately, WMS implementation and development requires much preparation. You have to conduct a thorough requirements analysis to deliver an app that responds to the biggest pains of warehouse managers. You also need to consider a bunch of technical aspects from the offset.
Here are the five essential points you should be aware of while building warehouse management system software.
1. Focus on Scalability
The rapid growth of logistic networks can dramatically raise data loads processed by warehouse optimization software. Therefore, you should be ready to increase the platform's capacities once it is overloaded. It is essential to build highly scalable software architecture from the start. As a result, your product will be more adaptive to changes in data flows. A tried and trusted solution is to leverage the potential of cloud and serverless technologies , such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP, for your warehouse optimization software. Cloud tools and platforms ensure great scalability and allow saving money on idle capacities.
2. Decide on User Functionality
Warehouse management software providers make a common mistake. They often do not align functionalities with clients' business needs. Before launching warehouse software, make sure to decide who will use it and provide them with appropriate functionalities. For example, if you develop ERP software for storehouse managers and their subordinates, you need to build separate sets of functions for both. The best choice is to launch two or more versions of warehouse optimization software, each providing a distinctive interface and set of functionalities tailored to different user categories. Although you will de-facto have to develop several WMS system solutions instead of a single one, your platform will optimize workflows and, thus, attract more users.
3. Ensure top-notch security
When you launch warehouse management systems, security is a must. These platforms store loads of confidential data, such as information on business assets, suppliers, or even private employee data. If your software violates the provisions of the U.S. Privacy Act or GDPR, you may face severe penalties, including liability. It means that safety must come first when you develop ERP software or any other WMS platforms that work with sensitive data. To deliver a compliant product, you need to check the most relevant security regulations and build the necessary functionality. Here's the list of essential secure warehouse software features.
4. Build logistic interoperability
Warehouse management system software should be interoperable with other supply management software platforms. This allows developing digital logistic networks with a high level of automation. Interoperability also adds consistency to logistic processes, which implies better efficiency, improved time management, and reduced mistakes. In general, logistic interoperability works similarly to interoperability in healthcare . The key point is to use common data formats and establish secure information exchange with other widely applied supply chain solutions.
5. Go for customizability
There are many ready solutions allowing you to adopt warehouse management systems. Unfortunately, in most cases, they lack customizability. Such apps may be unprepared for dramatic shifts in data loads. You may also face issues with aligning their functionalities with client’s needs. A custom approach is essential if you want to deliver a WMS system that responds to the pains faced by your clients. You should thoroughly analyze the market and its main trends, research your client needs, and show much technical expertise while developing such an app. Yet the result is definitely worth all the effort. A custom app will bring real value to the client and help you take a fruitful niche in the market of supply chain management software.
Building an automated warehouse management system with custom features is a challenging task. Even if you clearly understand and mind all the essential points, the lack of experience can make even the most promising WMS system software fail. The best choice is to rely on a company with proven expertise in developing such apps.
Binariks is ready to facilitate your plans. We are a dependable technology partner with rich experience in logistics software solutions. Check our portfolio for more information on our expertise in delivering logistics ERP software, transportation management system software, warehouse inventory software, and other supply chain solutions. We focus on quality and clearly understand how to build a warehouse management technology that brings real value. Our dedicated specialists are ready to take ownership at all stages of the software development lifecycle to deliver a product that meets your business goals.
Sounds attractive? Contact us to discuss your needs and take full advantage of warehouse management technology.