Which WMS Is Perfect for You?
If an organization fails to accurately manage its warehouse, it runs the risk of selling stock it
doesn’t have or retaining stock it should have sold. Both of these situations result in lost rev-
enue and potentially unhappy customers.
—Erin Williams, analyst, and Marisa Brown, senior program manager, at APQC
PQC’s Open Standards Research defines a
warehouse management system (WMS) as a
transaction-based system that integrates
warehouse functions and provides inventory visibility. The
processes related to shipping and delivery. Organizations that
ship a greater percentage of their orders in full-loads are able
to reduce their costs by taking advantage of the full capacity of
the vessel (truck, train, plane, ship) and often negotiating bet-system utilizes total warehouse information and user-defined ter freight rates. In APQC’s database, organizations that have
business rules to direct productive warehouse movements. implemented WMS more frequently utilize full-load shipments
Some systems use sophisticated techniques such as cross- than their counterparts.
docking, flow-through distribution, and task linkages to fur-
Additionally, WMS can help reduce the percentage of expe-
ther increase productivity. Systems are often integrated into dited orders, especially when WMS is fully integrated with
ERP, production, transportation, order management, and other business systems, including ERP, TMS, automatic order
picking, and RFID issuance and tracking.
So what’s the impact of using WMS? Are there tangible benefits to implementing such a system at your organization?
Based on APQC’s data, we would argue that there are. Organi- As the world becomes increasingly global, mobile and high-tech,
zations reporting WMS implementation report higher perfect- organizations must continuously improve their internal
order performance—the ability to flawlessly take and fulfill a processes to satisfy their external customers. To achieve this goal,
customer order—than those who have not implemented it.
we expect to see an increasing number of organizations imple-WMS solutions enable organizations to manage inventory ment WMS and other electronic systems. As with any such under-in real time with visibility into current inventory locations and taking, organizations should carefully consider their business
levels. This visibility enables the organization to streamline the models and needs when selecting the appropriate system.