Efficiency, customer focus and operational benefits are the key requirements identified by Rocket Consulting
Warehouse management systems (WMS) should enable efficiency, support customer-centric service and offer operational benefits.
These key requirements are identified by supply chain and mobility specialist Rocket Consulting in its online survey, ‘Which WMS’, offered to customers to enable them to select the WMS solution that best fits their individual needs. The specific functionalities are as follows:
Efficiency: labour and workflow management
Workload management: Labour management tools that enable operational data to be analysed so workloads can be managed and any exceptions investigated.
Mixed pallet splitting: The ability to split pallets with more than one type of stock that arrive at the warehouse so that all items can be correctly logged on the WMS without the need for time-consuming manual intervention in the system activities.
Safety controls: Safety controls that enforce labour and material handling rules during stock put-away and picking, so that items are handled correctly and stored in a location that is safe and meets regulatory requirements.
RFID support: Support for the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and RF-based processing to enable quick and accurate stock evaluation in real time.
Multiple pallet put-away: Capacity for ‘clustered put-away’, when forklift vehicles pick up more than one pallet at time and need to deliver these to one or more destinations in the warehouse.
Customised picking: The functionality for specific picking rules for individual customers to be set, such as not allowing mixed pallets or enforcing stock segregation.
Operational: system supported transactions
Exception management: Management of exceptions during the warehouse stock put-away process, such as automatic redirection of goods to an alternative location if the correct one if unusable because stock has been put in the wrong place.
Stock write-off: Support for the processes that scrap or write-off stock, for example when it is returned from the supplier, so that it is not registered on the WMS as available.
Expiry date controls: Automated control of stock with a specific shelf life and expiry date, without the need to hold and manage products in batches, to prevents expired items showing as available.
Multiple inventory counting methods: Ability to execute multiple inventory counting methods within one WMS, depending on whether stock needs counting regularly (Cycle count), because there is an issue (Ad Hoc count), or when items need to be categorised depending on how often they need counting (ABC count).
“What WMS is a useful tool in enabling customers to evaluate their warehouse management needs against available SAP platforms,” explains Lewis Marston, CEO of Rocket Consulting. “It also offers valuable insight into the supply chain landscape, such as the emphasis currently being placed on labour management tools and the need to understand workforce costs. Insight of this scale informs the WMS of the future.”