Warehouse Management System is geared towards the handling and control of material within the warehouse. Though confined to warehouse, WMS addresses certain critical and complex issues, lest the entire supply-chain is crippled. Warehouse management is concerned with the movement, picking, packing and storing of stock within the warehouse. A WMS provides for the handling of core functions of a warehouse like storage management, storage unit management, hazardous goods management, inbound and outbound materials management order processing and stock taking, tracking and replenishment.
Centralized warehouse is easy to manage but leads to delays, transport woes and the like. Therefore, multiple warehouses have become a necessity. Even organizations in small nations like Singapore or Malaysia can have multiple warehouses, based on factors such as material sourcing, delivery location and nature of goods (perishable, hazardous) etc.
Having multiple warehouses reduces the risk associated with storing entire inventory in one place. Strategic placement of warehouses reduces unnecessary labor and transportation costs, while improving the speed of delivery. Assured delivery and better than expected delivery times are some of the easier ways to ensure customer loyalty.
Warehouse management software ensures storage of adequate stocks at the nearest warehouse based on demand. Sudden and bulk orders can be fulfilled by picking up inventory from multiple warehouses. Stock consolidation can be done for purposes such as drop shipping and stock cross-docking.
Some of the issues concerning multiple warehouse management are; ensuring the availability of adequate stock(s), proper and timely shipment of the right goods and optimizing and balancing the inventory-warehouse quotient based on the logistics of demand. Warehouse layout determines as to how quickly and accurately the goods are selected and shipped. The WMS also ensures stocking of goods according to the dimension, shape and storage space to manage the storage better.
One of the difficulties in multiple warehouse management is the determination of re-order level. The stocks are scattered at multiple locations and adequate stock should be maintained in order to meet market demands, which may vary from time to time. Paradoxically, a fast moving item at one location may find no takers at another. In such situations, WMS ensures the movement of items lying idle at one location to another, based on criteria such as the date of manufacture, date of expiry etc.
The WMS solution at HashMicro has inherent support to multiple warehouse management. Shipping from multiple locations, the warehouses act as fulfillment centers, shipping the right products at the right time.