What is a warehouse management system (WMS)? Do the names HighJump Warehouse Edge and Körber sound familiar to you? If you manage a warehouse or distribution center, chances are you are already using a WMS. Well, at least you should be.
What Does a WMS Do?
WMS are mainly used to keep track of goods and components in your warehouse. They help you know how much of them you have on hand, and where they have been placed. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In this e-commerce age, all goods manufacturing or distribution companies, big or small, must process an increasingly high number of orders all while controlling their costs. That’s where the use of a WMS becomes crucial. Gone are the times when simply glancing at the warehouse would let you know where your inventory was, and if the quantity on hand would suffice to process the orders of the day or week.
Today, the response time must be immediate, and the whole company depends on the accuracy of your data. By automating specific tasks, you give your employees time to focus on what’s important. Help them receive, sort, control, organize, package and ship your products in a most efficient manner!
What Are the Features of a WMS?
From the outset, a WMS lets you know where every article you store is located in the warehouse. It displays the quantity of items per location.
It can be hosted on the company’s servers (on premise). Licenses are then sold to you, and annual maintenance is required to install the occasional patches from the software editor—by yourself or with outside assistance, depending on your IT know-how.
Alternatively, WMS are also available as cloud platforms. In that case, you “rent” the service and supporting infrastructure. This way you can avoid investing in hardware and staff to maintain it. Cloud versions also boast 24/7 monitoring, which is generally not possible on premise.
A WMS will help you optimize warehouse tasks by keeping a record of stock locations and pick paths you will have established. It should also help you identify the best product storage locations (slotting) by making use of calculation algorithms based on sales history and forecasts. So, the stronger the demand for a product, the more the system will encourage you to place it closer to the shipping area to decrease motion waste between pallet racks and packaging workstations.
The WMS can record all the features of your products: weight, dimensions, lot number, serial number, expiration date, and more. In many companies, the WMS communicates with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) softwareto synchronize the finance function with the flow of goods. Here’s an example. For every purchase order placed, the WMS sends a signal to the central system: the supplier’s invoice can be paid. It’s a rather simple case, but I think you get the gist of it.
The WMS receives orders sent by the management system, allocates the requested products, and triggers the replenishment of picking locations prior to the start of the order picking process.
The same goes for when a customer order is picked and shipped; the WMS notifies the ERP that the goods have been removed from the inventory (which decreases the value of inventory on hand), and that an invoice should be sent to the customer (or a payment confirmation should be requested, in e-commerce).
A WMS can also help you monitor workand task completion throughout the day. It allows you to identify inventory differencesand trigger cycle counts, and provides tools to conduct transaction searches if necessary.
A Renowned Expertise in WMS Implementation
Since 2004, Createch helped over 20 Canadian companies from different industries (retail, global distribution, agri-food, textiles, bottling, and more) with the implementation, optimization and support of the Warehouse Edge WMS.
Körber and HighJump
In August 2017, the Körber international technology group reinforced its Logistics Systems subsidiary by acquiring HighJump, an American software editor specializing in supply chains. Following the acquisition, HighJump Warehouse Edge was marketed as K.Motion Warehouse Edge, a Körber AG solution.
In a spirit of continuity, Createch renewed its partnership with the newly created Körber Supply Chain CA, Inc. At the same time, Createch added the cloud version of the Warehouse Edge WMS to its solutions portfolio.
K.Motion Warehouse Edge (cloud and on premise) integrates seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platforms. And so, you can rely on Createch, the leading integrator of this solution in Quebec, to guide you through the acquisition and operation of such systems.
CREATECH’s Performance Services
For over 25 years, Createch’s mission has been to improve its clients’ profitability in a significant manner. Leverage the experience of Createch advisors in supply chain management; they helped numerous Canadian companies in their process transformation endeavours, and implementation of cutting-edge technology solutions. Optimize your logistics and distribution operations by reviewing your processes.
Logistic Performance Services
Diagnostics to identify the needs in distribution centers
Optimization of logistic processes
Improvement of working methods
Assignment of item locations in the warehouse
Implementation of performance indicators and dashboards
If you are looking at making changes to your facilities, add or enlarge a warehouse, or modernize your equipment, and if you want to make sure you change for the better, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you analyze, plan and achieve your logistic projects.