Key Types of Warehouse Management Systems and Examples

Bhagyashri Kambale | February 10, 2022 | 981 views
KEY TYPES OF WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Employing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) is the most effective method of streamlining and simplifying warehouse operations. Expanding businesses with immeasurable stock require well-designed warehousing systems that automate and precisely track all warehouse operations.

“Trade isn’t about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them.”

- C. J. Cherryh

The system that enables you to track everything in your warehouse, from inventory to staff activities, is the ideal example of a warehouse management system. In this article, we'll look at three different types of WMS and the criteria to consider when selecting the best WMS for your warehouse. Additionally, we will examine some examples and a comparison to assist you in selecting the best WMS. 
 

Types of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)


Standalone

A standalone warehouse management system is the first of the list of WMS types. It provides features that make day-to-day warehouse operations more efficient. Companies may use these systems to track and regulate the flow of goods in and out of warehouses. This also simplifies complex warehouse operations such as receiving, put-away, replenishment, expiration date tracking, cycle counting, slotting, packing, auditing, and shipping. Standalone warehouse management systems may also include advanced features such as cross-docking and advanced analytics.

Supply Chain Execution Modules

WMS systems are a subset of supply chain management systems (SCM). Software for supply chain management may be used to handle everything from vendor relationships to corporate operations to risk assessment. Its primary objectives are to automate inventory management, material procurement, and product lifecycle management.

These warehouse management systems demand investment in supply chain planning tools with warehousing expertise. This is a popular option because it enables 3PL organizations to explore the substantial advantages of SCM. Combining WMS with other apps enables a high level of integration across various segments of the organization. It enables complete supply chain management, unlike standalone systems that focus exclusively on warehousing.

Integrated ERP

ERP is a complete software solution that integrates multiple systems' features. It includes applications for supply chain management, accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, and more. ERP is a solid choice for companies wishing to enhance their software systems. Businesses aspiring to stay ahead of competition and boost ROI should consider this powerful supply chain execution system with scalability.

Warehouse management is not just a key component of integrated ERP systems. This must be kept in mind while purchasing ERP software. Make sure the system you select has warehouse management features.

This form of warehouse management system is expensive. Due to its wide scope, ERP may replace many other software programs and consolidate activities. If you're unsatisfied with existing software solutions or wish to integrate them into one system, ERP may be the ideal alternative for you.

WMS supply chain modules and ERP integration allow warehouse management as part of a platform with greater capabilities. The first choice is whether to invest in a specialist WMS or a hybrid offering. The answer is based on your company's size and objectives.

Pointers to Consider While Selecting a WMS

Functions: Each WMS performs a distinct function. Certain WMS are tailored to particular types of businesses. Therefore, it is vital to know what you want and select accordingly.

Cost: It is the second critical factor to consider when selecting a WMS, keeping in mind the financial aspect. The cost of a WMS is determined by its complexity and the functions it provides.

Customer Needs: If you are using a WMS, it is important to be aware of its shortcomings. Based on that, you may determine customer needs and pick WMS functionalities to provide the best service. This point is about selecting and considering WMS functionalities from the perspective of the client.

Warehouse Size: WMS complexity grows with warehouse size since bigger warehouses require more features. So you must pick the functionalities based on the warehouse size.

Warehouse Management System Examples


NetSuite WMS

NetSuite is a cloud-based suite of enterprise resource planning and accounting modules that is available in a variety of versions geared towards various client sizes. The multi-country, multi-currency edition is available as a separate module named OneWorld. NetSuite is known for its easy end-to-end functionality, which spans sales estimations through customer collection, as well as its end-to-end workflow management capabilities. NetSuite connects with shipping providers to provide unified order processing and fulfillment tracking, as well as a comprehensive audit trail.

Additionally, inventory and payroll administration, human capital management, financial planning, and revenue management are some other functions available. Additionally, NetSuite may be integrated with CRM and e-commerce platforms.
While NetSuite's comprehensive suite of services is geared for medium-sized firms and enterprises, a system tailored to the needs of smaller businesses may be constructed. Because it is modular and highly adjustable, the cost of implementation varies significantly based on the buyer's requirements.

Features Pros Cons
Mobile RF barcode scanning  Easy to use  It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
 Mobile Cycle Counting Offers guarantee  Certain key business operations (e.g., sales tax/VAT) are absent
 Returns authorization receipt  Contact information is visible  
 Warehouse map  Has third party plugins  
 Order management  Wireless warehousing  
Barcode tracking  Thorough standard reports  
 Shipping management  Excellent at tracking financials and budgeting  
 Workforce and load management  Handle multiple business units  


Fishbowl Inventory

Fishbowl is inventory management software that is suited for small to medium-sized businesses, particularly those who use Quickbooks. It functions as a robust asset tracking tool that enables users to manage assets, goods, and stockpiles more conveniently and efficiently.

Because Fishbowl and Quickbooks are integrated seamlessly, they share the same information, which enables you to receive a more comprehensive and precise picture of your company's warehouse health. This also translates into thousands of dollars in savings because adopting Fishbowl ensures that your initial investment in Quickbooks is protected while gaining the benefits of integration.

Features Pros Cons
 Integration with QuickBooks Offers free trial It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
 Integration with QuickBooks Sales and buy orders can be generated in any currency It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
 Generate work orders Provides many plugin products Doesn’t support native shipping and e-commerce module
 Inventory and asset tracking across locations   On-premise installation is not available
Real-time inventory updates    
Pick, pack and ship items    
New barcode creation    
 Default and custom reports    

3PL Warehouse Manager

3PL Central is a cloud-based solution. It has a contemporary user interface and clever workflow functionality. John Watkins and Nancy Rohman launched 3PL Central in 2006. They were operating/having their own warehouse at the time. As a result, this system was developed by warehouse management professionals.

The 3PL warehouse manager comes with multiple features that are ideal for smooth businesses. 3PL warehouse manager is a software solution designed for small and medium-sized teams. It includes a variety of essential features such as real-time data, order management, product rotation/shelf life management, inventory management, and reporting and analytics.

Features Pros Cons
Barcoding/Serial Tracking Easy to expand the system This system needs training to operate
Product Rotation/Shelf Life Easy to expand the software  For small warehouses/organizations.
 Reporting & Analytics User-friendly Lack of support
Picking & Packing Value for money  
Third Party Plugins Effective and useful to scan barcodes  
 Wireless Warehouse    
Workforce/Load Management    
 Real-Time Data    
Order Management    


WMS Comparison Table

 
  NetSuit WMS Fishbowl Inventory 3PL Warehouse Manager
Overall User Ratings 4/5 4/5 4/5
Ease of Use 4/5 4/5 4/5
Value for Money 3.5/5 4/5 4/5
Ideal Customer Size Small, Medium, Large Small, Medium, Large Small, Medium, Large
Free Trial Not available. Free product demo is available 14 Days Not available. Free demo is available
Best Features Strategy definition for put away and picking up. Offers multiple plugins and multi-currency conversions. Centralized management for multiple warehouses and customer data.
Pricing Starting from: 499.00/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Starting from: $4395.00
Pricing model: One Time License
Not provided by vendor. Connect with the service provider for pricing


Final Words

The industry of warehouse management system software is brimming with alternatives. Buyers seeking the finest WMS must first analyze their business needs and then shortlist the WMS. You may use the points mentioned above to choose the best WMS for you. Of course, the examples provided in this article are not extensive, but they are the finest. However, examine your requirements carefully and select the appropriate WMS.

FAQ


What is a good WMS?

A good WMS must have these nine qualities: maximum functionality, ease of use, complete transaction management, flexibility, useful, easy-to-read metrics, seamless ERP integration, proven track record, and value for ROI.

What is the main goal of warehouse management?

The main goal of any WMS is to assist in ensuring that goods and commodities are moved through warehouses in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

What are the warehouse types?

There are different types of warehouses, such as distribution centers, public warehouses, private warehouses, bonded warehouses, climate-controlled warehouses, and smart warehouses.

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