A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that helps manage the operations of a warehouse or distribution center. They ensure that goods and materials move through warehouses in the most efficient and cost-effective way. A warehouse management system handles many functions that enable these movements, including inventory management, order picking, replenishment, packing, put-away, shipping and wave planning.
A warehouse management system also provides visibility into an organization’s inventory at any time and location, whether in a facility or in transit.
The needs for a warehouse management system are not the same for all industries. For example, grocery warehouse management teams need a warehouse management system that can support multiple product streams, including produce, frozen goods, and high-value items, and one that can satisfy regulations. A grocery warehouse management system needs to support expiration date tracking, batch tracking, FIFO (first-in/first-out) and FEFO (first-expiration/first-out) allocation, and robust transportation routing and planning.
Related Terms: warehouse control system (WCS), distribution center