What is a warehouse management system?

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If you run a business dealing with a lot of products or materials, you need to have a handle on what’s going where.  

Years ago, people achieved this using pen and paper. Of course, this also meant stacks of records and tiresome admin. Things have moved on since then – and businesses across industries are all the better for it.  

In this post, we’ll define what a warehouse management system is, and discuss how they’re used. We’ll also provide some examples of software that can help you create a warehouse management system your business can rely on.  


What is a warehouse management system (WMS)?  

A warehouse management system – often abbreviated to WMS – is a software system that can perform key processes involved in running a warehouse. These can include receiving goods, picking and packing, and vehicle loading.  

What are the benefits of having a warehouse management system? 

Having a WMS does away with all the paperwork we mentioned earlier. However, there are also many other reasons why your business should look into getting one.  

1. Data-driven decisions  

Whereas the old paper-and-pen systems functioned as an inventory, modern WMS software connects to many other functions within your company. Being able to see all these insights in real-time means you can take the guesswork out of decision-making. It also means you’ll be able to identify and manage risks proactively. For example, if you can see from the integrated sales function that a certain item is popular with customers, you can order more units of the product to keep up with that demand. 

3. Improved inventory tracking 

A pen and paper might suffice when a company has less stock, but it can become redundant as the business grows. WMS solutions get rid of this problem with barcoding, serial numbers, and RFID tagging. This means you can track a product’s journey through the warehouse, reducing the chances that the item will get lost.  

What are some of the different types of warehouse management systems? 

When it comes to choosing a WMS for your business, you have some different options.  

1. Standalone System 

These are your most basic warehouse management systems. As such, they have limited features. But for smaller warehouses, warehouse operations and inventory management might be all you need.  

2. ERP Module 

An ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning Module, such as Sage 200, is the next step up. They’re a great option if you’re looking to expand your supply chain. They can also work across your business, helping to organise accounting, HR, and even customer relationship platforms. 

3. Supply Chain Module 

A Supply Chain module is similarly versatile. On top of basic warehouse operations found in a standalone system, a supply chain module handles customer relationship management, transportation management, and material handling, to name a few. Businesses often invest in this as an add-on to their current WMS – like Sicon’s Barcoding and Warehousing for Sage 200.  

4. Cloud-Based Platform 

A cloud-based WMS has a lot of specific benefits, from the lower cost to its easier accessibility. With all the features of the other options, cloud-based options are popular choices for convenience and fast integration with other important business software.  

Find out more about Sicon’s distribution modules by watching the videos below: 

You can find more demo videos like this on our YouTube Channel.

As you’ve seen in this article, warehouse management systems can take many forms – some basic, and others encompassing all manner of business activities.

Whatever solution you choose, a warehouse management system is a wise investment for companies of any size or in any industry. It will allow your business to make smarter decisions, utilise your space, and know where your products are – all while reducing costs.  


If your business is looking for a trustworthy warehouse management solution call 01332 959008, or contact us using the enquiry form. 

Interested to know more about our Sage solutions?

Call 01332 959008 or enquire online today

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