Warehouse Management: The Software That's Maximizing Productivity
It is no secret that in today’s age, a successful business is only as good as the technology it employs. This principle especially holds true in the retail sector of the market. This portion of the market is dominated by companies such as Wal-Mart for general retail, Best Buy for electronics, and Dick’s Sporting Goods for all types of sports gear; just to name a few. All these companies share a similar quality; they each have distribution centers that handle inventory for them. These distribution centers are in charge of making sure each store within the region is properly stocked with the correct inventory, based off of the consumer demand present in the market. Because of this, warehouse management software is becoming increasingly popular due to the importance of tracking shipments and inventory. Each of these companies must manage how much inventory they order from the supplier, how much they need to ship to the actual stores, how much stock the store has, and how much to ship when stock runs out. This is where automated Warehouse Management Systems, or WMS for short, comes into play.
WMS software streamlines the inventory, inbound order, outbound order, and picking functions into a single application. The purpose of this software is to create an application that handles the inner workings of each of these processes, all while providing a hands-on UI (user interface) that allows for the process to be completed efficiently. RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are placed on pallets or cases of inventory, which in turn emit signals to the warehouse software, which ultimately allows for precise inventory tracking and correct quantities. In the past, warehouse managers and store managers had to order inventory in large quantities because there was no precise way to measure current stock without going in and counting each individual product, and the alternative option of ordering less stock carried greater consequences than having surplus stock. This led to either shortages or surpluses of stock, and in turn, misuse of funds allocated for purchasing stock. When the RFID tags were introduced to the retail sector of the market, companies were given the ability to keep more accurate totals for inventory, which led to more efficient spending.
Today, most companies that rely on distribution of products use some form of warehouse management software paired with RFID tags. This process both saves money and optimizes the shipping, receiving, and storing processes by allowing for precise calculations of stock. As companies like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Dick’s Sporting Goods go about their day-to-day operations, beneath the advertising, press coverage, and retail centers, lies WMS software that acts as the glue to hold it all together.