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An Introduction to Warehouse Management Systems

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An Introduction to Warehouse Management Systems

A warehouse management system, also referred to as WMS is often used to track any type of inventory. Now some might assume that it is only used for those large warehouses that hold thousands of parts, pieces or other products, but that is not quite true. While it is used to manage inventory, these WMS have a number of other abilities. They streamline everything from ordering, maintaining, moving and interacting with suppliers, distributors and even customers. They provide an efficient system that can track the production of a product, no matter how large or small, from the time that the parts are ordered to the final delivery to a consumer. Taking the time to understand a little more about the capabilities of a warehouse management system will allow a company to see just how much they can do with them!

Tracking – Stock – Logistics

The warehouse management system brings computerized technology to track any action in or out of the warehouse. Whether it is the ordering of inventory, returns or even the movement of products from one area to another, the WMS does it all. This is often referred to as the logistics of the warehouse. An Auto ID Capture is typically used in a management system to help track or keep up with any product or part from the time it arrives in the warehouse, until the time that it leaves. This is commonly completed through the scanning of a barcode, which includes a unique number identifying that particular product. Once this information is captured it is then stored or sent to a central database, which can be accessed to identify the location or status of that item in real time. That means that the part can be tracked as to where it is located or its current status from a computer, without having someone physically check.

Streamlining & Efficiency

Part of understanding what a warehouse management system consists of, is also understanding, what it can do for a company. Along with creating a manner of tracking inventory comes the ability to give detailed reports, therefore streamlining the entire warehouse operation. The organization allows a quick glance to determine what is on hand, being delivered, ready for completion as well as the status of shipped products. As most companies understand, their warehouse is one of the most important aspects of their business. Without the ability to maintain an effective production, storage and delivery it is impossible to have a well run operation. These systems also reduce error rates, such as over ordering, lost inventory and inefficient management.

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