Principle of Managed Warehouse
WMS is an abbreviation for Warehouse Management System. All such systems are based on the same fundamental principles and pillars:
Software system that represents fundamental logic and integrates the following functionality:
- Definitions and records of storage areas in the warehouse, called a 'warehouse map'
- Coverage of the majority of standard storage processes (intake, storage, picking, dispatch, inventory etc.)
- Online access to information about the whole warehouse – status of warehouse at individual storage locations, information about the status of discretionary goods etc.
Supporting hardware resources:
- Wireless network (usual WiFi at a bandwidth of 2.4GHz or 5GHz)
- Mobile (handheld) and vehicular terminals
- Terminals for voice picking
- Printers of labels and bar codes – mobile and/or stationary
These resources together comprise a comprehensive system of warehouse management.
Processes in the Warehouse Management System
A warehouse that is managed by the WMS copies the majority of traditional warehouse processes and adds an extra function. We can summarise the main storage processes with the support of the warehouse management system into the following points:
Ordering, intake and storage of goods
- The company's purchasing division orders goods and inputs them into the ERP system by purchase order
- WMS system reads this order via a data interface and prepares it for processing
- As soon as the ordered goods are physically delivered to the warehouse, the receiving stock clerk commences intake of goods by identification of the relevant order via a mobile terminal
- The receiving stock clerk asks for a printout of intake (storage) labels from the WMS system on a mobile or stationary printer if required
- He/she gradually unloads the goods, performs a check by scanning of bar codes and stacks them into storage places which are offered to him/her by the WMS system via the mobile terminal or which he/she determines himself/herself
- After completion of the process, the WMS system transfers information about processing of purchase order to the ERP system
Picking, packing and dispatch of goods
- The company's sales division implements the order and inputs a sales order in the ERP system
- The WMS system reads this order via a data interface and prepares it for processing
- The picking stock clerk identifies the sales order and commences picking
- The WMS system navigates it the optimal way through the warehouse via the mobile terminal and gradually picks the goods
- During picking or after it has been completed, packing into dispatch packages takes place – the WMS system automatically prints out address labels and packing sheets for individual dispatch packing
- The stock clerk dispatches prepared and marked dispatch packets via the mobile terminal
- The inventory process works usually in the same way as in a traditional warehouse without a WMS system, with the difference that statuses of warehouse at individual storage places (or statuses of warehouse for individual types of goods) are entered into the WMS system via mobile terminal
- The WMS system automatically ascertains differences in the status of the warehouse entered and forecast, commonly enables display and solution of these differences
- Kits – The WMS system usually manages to work with kits – during a requirement for picking e.g. "Dining systems" it generates a requirement for picking of table and four chairs
- Supplementation, re-stacking – The WMS system manages to monitor whether there is sufficient stock in the storage locations determined for usual picking of goods; if there is not then it manages to automatically generate a recommendation for supplementation of such storage locations
- EDI, ASN communication – The WMS system is usually open to electronic communication and therefore also EDI (Electronic Document Interchange – electronic exchange of documents), ASN (Advance Ship Notice – preliminary information about delivery) and others.
- Printing of tags and labels – Thanks to “understanding” of the warehouse and goods, the WMS system enables and simplifies printing of product and pallet labels, address tags, dispatch labels, labels for marking of storage places etc.
For detailed information about processes in warehouse managed K.Motion Warehouse Edge system, please visit Warehouse processes section.