Why do you need a Warehouse Management System? And more specifically – why do you need a QWIX Solution?
When it comes to warehousing, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a programme (usually made up of software and related processes) that helps to monitor and handle day-to-day warehouse tasks.
It usually controls the entire warehouse process from the time goods enter to the time they leave the warehouse or several warehouses.
Traditionally warehouses were managed manually without electronic or digital systems and software. This process was far from perfect and filled with flaws and inefficiencies – mostly due to human error.
The development and implementation of automated Warehouse Management systems and software completely revolutionised warehousing – allowing for streamlined, efficient warehouse operations.
Why a Warehouse Management System?
The purpose of a WMS is to help ensure the goods or materials in the warehouse move through the warehouse process in the most efficient and cost-effective way. The WMS is efficiently manages a complex variety of functions within the warehouse process including:
- Receiving & tracking inventory
- Picking, packing, and dispatch/shipping
An added bonus is that an automated WMS system also allows for paper-less documentation, reports and analytics – so, no more chasing endless paper trails nor tons of filing for someone to manage and archive.
The WMS essentially also gives a clear, precise view of an organisation’s inventory at any given point in time and process – whether it be in the warehouse facility or in transit. This feature alone is invaluable from both a management and operations perspective.
WMS and the supply chain
The saying “a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link” has never been more apt than when it comes to a supply chain and it’s WMS.
A supply chain is only as strong/fast as its WMS…. in other words – a supply chain can only operate as quickly, accurately and efficiently as the warehouse processes allow.
Therefore, the WMS plays a very important role in Supply Chain Management through the management of processes such as order fulfillment, receiving raw materials and shipping of finished products.
For example, if raw materials are not received on time or in the right quantities or if parts are misplaced or not traceable in a warehouse, the entire supply chain may be slowed down or even worse totally disrupted.
Implementing a WMS is one way of strengthening the supply chain and ensuring these processes work smoothly – inventory can be tracked and goods can be stored and sorted properly while allowing for items in the distribution process to be tracked accurately.
The complex process managed by a Warehouse Management System
To understand how a WMS works you need to know its process. The process can be broken down into the following steps:
A. Managing Inventory and Receiving Goods
- Step 1. Receiving Goods: When you place an order, the WMS stores the details of all the vendors in one location. By simply checking the barcode, the item will be added to the order.
- Step 2. Inbound Receipts & Put Away: WMS-integrated scanning systems (barcode scanners) optimize receipt and direct workers to the right place to shelve the items. Depending on the type of product, the WMS can also recommend different techniques for slotting, put away, and the best use of the storage space.
- Step 3. Track & Allocate Stock: The WMS lets managers know the quantity of product available and when restocking is required. Along with the use of minimum and maximum levels, this allows the company to order more stock at the right time and in the right quantity to reduce shortages and thus, keep the inventory from being overstocked.
B. Managing Orders
- Step 4. Picking: Picking is the process of collecting items according to the customer’s order from the storage site. This can be difficult, however a well-designed WMS guarantees that the best product is chosen, using simple methods or company guidelines. Barcode scanners or RFID scanners help with the order accuracy of getting the right products.
- Step 5. Packing: The type and quantity of packaging are automatically determined by the WMS and an optimum packing process is proposed. Shipping labels (as well as price tags, logos, and other necessary documentation) may be printed straight from the machine, so there is no need to manually input addresses or re-type tracking numbers.
- Step 6. WIP (Work In Progress): Your WMS will track your product through every step of manufacturing or production – keeping you updated with a ‘birds-eye view’ of the entire process.
- Step 7. Shipping: Our EPOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery) system as part of your customized WMS will track whether the packed product is in transit. This can be helpful to keep updating your customers about their product. Also, in a situation where the packages are lost, broken, or stolen, managers can easily identify and solve the issue.A great WMS programme helps to make sure your orders are delivered on schedule to the right customers and notifies them – boosting great customer-relations.
- Step 8. Returns: By automating every step in the returns process including: making the return, documenting the purpose, upgrading the stock, granting complete or partial refunds and producing reports, the WMS will help streamline this often difficult process.
C. Reporting & Analytics
- Step 9. Safety Control: WMS will keep track of exact movements in the warehouse to ensure safety. This is done by monitoring the location of workers, marking incoming truck license plates, restricting access to certain locations, etc.
- Step 10. Reporting: The completely customisable analytics of the WMS provides a report on all the details of your operation. You will be able to recognize your most profitable client, top-selling commodity, best-performing sales channel, most productive worker, yard management details, and peak sales season – information that keeps your business moving forward in leaps and bounds.
Why a QWIX warehouse management system?
QWIX Solutions offer the best warehouse management system in the country – developed to international standards and designed specifically for the South African market. We pride ourselves on offering clients turnkey solutions with comprehensive inventory and asset tracking giving you seamless logistics and supply chain management as well as additional components for Work-in-Progress (WIP) Tracking and Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) through digital signatures.
Give us a try and experience the QWIX difference – total control from raw materials, through manufacturing to the shop floor with shop floor data collection. Our world-class Warehouse Management System (WMS) Software can handle all types of warehouse operations and is more than capable of handling major distribution centres.
We’re proud of what we’ve developed to help you keep things running ultra-smoothly:
- QWIX WAREHOUSE offers an all-encompassing, electronic Warehouse Management System (WMS) that equips you with real-time results to effectively manage your warehouse logistics.
- QWIX AGILE is a paperless stocktaking asset verification tool, which promotes accurate, quick and hassle-free stocktaking and asset management through barcode technology.
- QWIX EPOD gives you a cutting-edge electronic proof of delivery system in the palm of your hand.
- The QWIX AUTOMATION solution provides work in progress tracking to track raw materials into production, provide live visibility of materials on shop floor, track materials, lots and batches live through all processes
Experience the QWIX difference – contact us and we’ll help you to design the best WMS for your business.