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What is a warehouse management system?


A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application that allows businesses to control and manage their warehouse operations, optimise warehouse functionality, and enhance distribution centre management. 

A WMS differs from company to company, depending on requirements, but they all offer benefits such as reducing operating expenses, enhancing inventory visibility, providing real time data, supporting security and compliance, and improving both customer and supplier relations. Ultimately, they reduce costs and boost productivity.

What does a warehouse management system do?

Warehouses are at the heart of the manufacturing and supply chain. With this in mind, it is crucial that they run seamlessly, optimising productivity, efficiency, and accuracy.

The functions of a warehouse management system include:

  • Inventory management
  • Shipping and receiving
  • Picking and packing goods
  • Warehouse design
  • Work creation and execution
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Staff management
  • Task automation
  • 3PL integration

What are the different types of warehouse management systems?

Warehouse management systems are available to accommodate the needs of businesses of all sizes and complexities. Many warehouse management systems can also be designed specifically for the size of the organisation and can be configured for the company’s requirements.

The main types of WMS are:

Standalone systems

This type of WMS is deployed through the business’ native hardware and network. The majority are third-party, standalone packages that must be integrated with your business management software and ERP.

ERP modules

Some ERP vendors offer a warehouse management system built into their ERP solution. This provides features such as embedded accounting, sales orders, MRP, shipping management, and more.

Cloud-based systems

A cloud-based WMS is a web-based SaaS model that uses cloud technology to provide real-time updates and data. This type of system offers enhanced flexibility, scalability, and security.

What are the benefits of a WMS?

A WMS system can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Space optimisation
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Total inventory visibility
  • Optimised workforce
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Optimised supply chain
  • Process automation
  • More effective shipping management
  • Continuous improvement.

Optimiser WMS solutions

Here at Optima, we have over 15 years’ experience in designing, developing, and implementing effective WMS solutions. Over the years we’ve worked with a vast range of companies, across a wide range of industries and sectors, in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Whatever type of warehouse you run, many of the issues facing you will be the same.

You need to:

  • Increase efficiency
  • Drive down costs
  • Ensure goods are dispatched accurately and on time
  • For 3PLs there is the added responsibility of letting your customers have timely information and making sure that you don’t miss any billing information.

Optimiser WMS solutions provide an easy to use warehouse management system to help you to automate many processes, and integrate with the systems you use, from ecommerce platforms to couriers, making your warehouse run smoothly and improving your bottom line.

If you have any questions about our warehouse management systems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.