Adopt a WMS software to manage your warehouses

Warehouse aerial view of WMS software for warehouse management
Sup­ply chains nev­er stop.

When new chal­lenges arise, access to exper­tise and expe­ri­ence is cru­cial to mak­ing the right deci­sions and chan­nel­ing invest­ments into areas that will bring val­ue.”

What­ev­er your busi­ness chal­lenges or dri­vers for change, ALOER can help you opti­mize your oper­a­tions and ware­hous­ing space.

WMS (Ware­house Man­age­ment Sys­tem) soft­ware has rapid­ly won over the retail and e‑commerce sec­tors. More and more com­pa­nies, includ­ing SMEs, are adopt­ing them to effec­tive­ly man­age their sup­ply chain and dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ware­house man­age­ment sys­tems are designed :

  • to guar­an­tee bet­ter vis­i­bil­i­ty of inven­to­ry,
  • to opti­mize order man­age­ment and labor,
  • and guar­an­tee opti­mal order execution. 

Would you like to improve your logis­tics orga­ni­za­tion and enhance ser­vice qual­i­ty? ALOER sup­ports you from the design of your ware­house to the imple­men­ta­tion of your WMS solution. 

WMS software, a powerful logistics tool

Logis­ti­cians are wont to say that“the WMS is the ERP (Enter­prise Resource Plan­ning) of the ware­house”.

Well-opti­mized logis­tics is a seri­ous com­pet­i­tive advan­tage for a com­pa­ny: the WMS reduces direct oper­at­ing costs andincreas­es over­all rev­enue.

WMS soft­ware is a pow­er­ful tool for improv­ing indus­tri­al per­for­mance by opti­miz­ing ware­house management: 

  • cost reduc­tion,
  • process ratio­nal­iza­tion,
  • improv­ing ser­vice quality…

Warehouse Management System software: definition 

Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment (SCM) con­sists of 2 parts:

  • Sup­ply Chain Plan­ning (SCP)
  • Sup­ply ChainExe­cu­tion (SCE)

The WMS - Ware­house Man­age­ment Sys­tem - is part of the exe­cu­tion strate­gies (SCE) in the Sup­ply Chain.

The WMS man­ages ware­house oper­a­tions. In oth­er words, this type of soft­ware man­ages resources and stock with­in the 4 walls of a ware­house, and some­times even off-site inventory. 

WMS solu­tions are avail­able as Soft­ware as a Ser­vice (Saas) or on-premise, depend­ing on the vendor.

In short, the WMS is a busi­ness soft­ware that ensures opti­mal man­age­ment of a logis­tics ware­house by facil­i­tat­ing the coor­di­na­tion, con­trol and opti­miza­tion of flows and floor space.

How does WMS software work to manage your warehouses?

Stock accu­ra­cy can be improved to over 99%, while reduc­ing inven­to­ry by up to 20%.”

WMS soft­ware gives you an overview of your inven­to­ry and relat­ed activ­i­ties. It works by con­trol­ling all inven­to­ry move­ments and automat­ing all redun­dant tasks in the goods-in and goods-out processes. 

And in par­tic­u­lar, inorder of flow:

the 6 major activities of a warehouse flow
Address­ing, or how to place prod­ucts in the right place so that they can be col­lect­ed effi­cient­ly and at the right time by your oper­a­tors?

WMS soft­ware con­tains a num­ber of basic func­tions:

  • item, batch and pack­ag­ing management
  • man­age­ment of zones, aisles, racks or locations
  • trace­abil­i­ty
  • alerts
  • report­ing and overview of operations

Cer­tain add-on mod­ules can also be added. For example: 

  • for the stor­age of haz­ardous materials, 
  • or to enable the man­age­ment of mech­a­nized or auto­mat­ed stock man­age­ment tools. 

What are the advantages of a WMS?

Imple­ment­ing ware­house man­age­ment soft­ware offers advan­tages and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty gains such as :

  • time sav­ings thanks to task automation
  • faster order pro­cess­ing for improved cus­tomer service
  • opti­mized use of ware­house space, thanks to simulations
  • improved work and oper­a­tor productivity
  • real-time stock control, 
  • few­er errors and less fraud
  • over­all ware­house pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and reduced cycle times
  • greater vis­i­bil­i­ty and traceability
  • scrap reduc­tion
  • data cen­tral­iza­tion

With the WMS, boost per­fect order rates, increase labor pro­duc­tiv­i­ty by up to 40% and refine ship­ment accu­ra­cy by up to 5%.”

A WMS sup­ports logis­tics activ­i­ties in the fol­low­ing context:

  • Large num­ber of stor­age locations
  • Receive and process more lines but few­er items per order
  • Large num­ber of orders
  • Sin­gle-item orders
  • Large num­ber of items available
  • Large num­ber of deliv­ery points
  • Large num­ber of returns
  • Vol­ume fluctuations
  • Short lead times
  • Mul­ti­ple sales channels
  • Local and inter­na­tion­al orders
  • High num­ber of dai­ly samples
  • Short­er order cycle times
  • Sys­tem­at­ic unit packaging
  • Dif­fer­ent pack­ing instructions
  • High val­ue-added services
  • Doc­u­men­ta­tion in dif­fer­ent languages
  • Load­ing parcels

How do you set up a WMS for your company’s logistics?

While stream­lin­ing your ware­house oper­a­tions can increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, the poten­tial teething prob­lems with a new WMS sys­tem can be con­sid­er­able, as with any new man­age­ment soft­ware pack­age. All the more so when it’s strate­gic to retain own­er­ship of your logistics.

Before imple­ment­ing a WMS, there are sev­er­al steps to be taken:

As with any con­sid­er­a­tion of a new addi­tion to your infor­ma­tion sys­tem, you’ll need to draw up a set of spec­i­fi­ca­tions to enable you to study the solu­tions avail­able on the market. 

It’s real­ly inter­est­ing tostudy the areas for improve­ment in the ware­house via a design review. All the more so if you plan toadd mechan­i­cal or auto­mat­ic means to sup­port your logis­tics activ­i­ties (Kardex, OHRA, RACK Con­cept, HUNI …). 

Adapt­ing your ware­hous­ing strat­e­gy at the same time as installing a WMS can be a good way of over­haul­ing your exist­ing flows and process­es. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to max­i­mize the ben­e­fits of WMS instal­la­tion. It also means you can adapt to the stan­dard WMS frame­work, rather than hav­ing to engage in spe­cif­ic devel­op­ments and labo­ri­ous workarounds. 

ALOER sup­ports your orga­ni­za­tion from start to fin­ish in over­com­ing these obsta­cles, thanks to its exper­tise in ware­hous­ing and its advanced ware­house man­age­ment soft­ware, Infor Cloud­Suite WMS.

Can WMS software and ERP be synchronized?

First of all, some ERPs offer a ware­house man­age­ment mod­ule. The same applies to e‑commerce soft­ware such as Magen­to or Prestashop. 

The use of ware­house man­age­ment soft­ware is essen­tial when logis­tics exe­cu­tion func­tions are either absent or too basic and there­fore limited. 

WMS sys­tems do not oper­ate in iso­la­tion from oth­er sys­tems. A con­nec­tion must be estab­lished between the ERP and the WMS, as well as with oth­er IT tools and solutions/applications:

  • bar­code scanning, 
  • aug­ment­ed reality, 
  • trans­port man­age­ment sys­tems — TMS 
  • enter­prise resource plan­ning sys­tems… etc

Some WMS soft­ware on the mar­ket syn­chro­nizes with these same solu­tions via EDI (Elec­tron­ic Data Inter­change) or, more wide­ly, API (Appli­ca­tion Pro­gram­ming Interface).

Before select­ing your WMS ware­house man­age­ment soft­ware, we strong­ly advise you to check that inter­face sys­tems exist with your tools.

Every orga­ni­za­tion and its ware­house strives for per­fect order ful­fill­ment, i.e. the deliv­ery of a cus­tomer order in the quan­ti­ties request­ed, on time and with opti­mum effi­cien­cy. The addi­tion of a WMS to your IT ecosys­tem enables you to be more effi­cient, with increased vis­i­bil­i­ty, flex­i­bil­i­ty and scal­a­bil­i­ty for greater order accu­ra­cy, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and ROI..”

The com­bi­na­tion of WMS + ERP ensures high lev­els of per­for­mance if the soft­ware is cor­rect­ly para­me­ter­ized and matched to the needs of your busi­ness.

Any doubts? We can help.

What are the differences between WMS and TMS software? 

Unlike the WMS, the TMS or Trans­port Man­age­ment Sys­tem soft­ware is a tool ded­i­cat­ed to trans­port man­age­ment. The TMS man­ages deliv­ery trace­abil­i­ty and trans­port opti­miza­tion in real time.

The soft­ware TMS soft­ware is often con­nect­ed to the WMS soft­ware. In fact, its func­tion­al­i­ties com­ple­ment those of ware­house man­age­ment. It also enables :

  • orga­niz­ing load­ing and deliv­ery schedules,
  • opti­mized man­age­ment of trans­port vehicles,
  • track­ing goods as they leave the warehouse,
  • all trans­port billing processes,
  • deci­sion support.

In this way, the TMS extends the trace­abil­i­ty and orga­ni­za­tion of deliv­ery flows beyond the ware­house, the trace­abil­i­ty and orga­ni­za­tion of deliv­ery flows .

How to choose the right WMS software to manage your warehouses? 

The WMS mar­ket is quite dynam­ic, with a host of inno­va­tions.

There’s no point going fish­ing (for WMS) with­out a min­i­mum of upstream prepa­ra­tion: we sug­gest a few ideas and 16 ques­tions to ask your­self before start­ing your search for solu­tions.

inuit character ice-fishing-lego

A num­ber of cri­te­ria will be used to com­pare and choose from the mar­ket’s offer­ings, and then deter­mine which WMS is best suit­ed to your busi­ness con­straints.

In addi­tion to draw­ing up your spec­i­fi­ca­tions, here are a few points to check:

  • Where are the short­list­ed WMS for your sector?
  • Size of ware­house to be equipped?
  • How do you inter­face with your ERP?
  • How do you main­tain and upgrade your solution?
  • The cost of the solution?

It’s also a good idea to ask your­self the fol­low­ing ques­tions ahead of time: 

  • Have you drawn up a process design for your warehouse?
  • Do you have a clear strat­e­gy for your sup­ply chain and your tech­no­log­i­cal needs (infor­ma­tion sys­tems com­mu­ni­cat­ing in real time, PLCs, con­nect­ed objects, RFID, etc.)?
  • Have you car­ried out a gap analy­sis (cur­rent busi­ness per­for­mance vs. desired performance)?
  • Have you car­ried out a return on invest­ment ( ROI ) analy­sis with the sup­port of spe­cial­ists or an expert WMS consultant?
  • Have you trained the project team? Does it include ware­house man­agers, oper­a­tional team resources, IT, finance, sales…?
  • Have you cho­sen a com­mit­ted, metic­u­lous project man­ag­er?
  • Is your project spon­sor a DG-lev­el manager?
  • Is your team trained in WMS? Does it know how to eval­u­ate the avail­able func­tion­al­i­ties of these solutions?
  • Have you stud­ied how the imple­men­ta­tion will be car­ried out?
  • Have you secured thecom­mit­ment of shareholders/CEOs?
  • Do you plan to sup­port your oper­a­tors through support?

If you can’t answer all these ques­tions, it will cer­tain­ly be in your inter­est to con­sult a WMS expert to ensure the future via­bil­i­ty and per­for­mance of your warehouse.

Reasons for WMS project failures

The choice of soft­ware is a strate­gic one for any organization. 

To avoid mak­ing the wrong invest­ment or invest­ing too much, it’s impor­tant to pay atten­tion to cer­tain details.

Above all , it’sbest to “stick to the soft­ware stan­dard” to avoid the extra cost of spe­cif­ic (some­times unnec­es­sary) devel­op­ments.

The most com­mon pit­falls include :

  • A project team lack­ing expe­ri­ence in project management
  • Lack of author­i­ty of project man­agers respon­si­ble for dates and budget
  • Insuf­fi­cient resources with the required skills 
  • The absence of a struc­tured method­ol­o­gy for rec­on­cil­ing resource com­mit­ments to dif­fer­ent projects
  • The dik­tat of inter­nal poli­cies and short-term requirements

What are the most popular WMSs? 

There are almosta hun­dred WMS solu­tions on the mar­ket.

The choice will take into account the size of the com­pa­ny, its activ­i­ty, the desired func­tion­al­i­ties and its own growth prospects. 

Solu­tions can be divid­ed into 3 cat­e­gories:

  • All-in-one” ven­dors: these are actu­al­ly ERP ven­dors. The lat­ter have expand­ed their range of mod­ules over the years to include WMS mod­ules: this is the case for SAP, Cegid, Gener­ix Infolog, …
  • Sup­ply Chain Exe­cu­tion spe­cial­ists: sup­ply chain and logis­tics spe­cial­ists, these pub­lish­ers offer com­pre­hen­sive, rich and spe­cial­ized solu­tions: Acteos, Hardis, Infor Cloud­suite WMS, WMSRe­flex, Man­hat­tan, KLS Logis­tic, Inf­flux, stock-IT, etc.
  • Ware­house equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers : sup­pli­ers of mech­a­niza­tion and automa­tion solu­tions. The lat­ter have devel­oped WMS solu­tions after their core busi­ness. These solu­tions inte­grate eas­i­ly with their tools: Savoye, Mecalux, BK System…

Infor Cloud Suite WMS

Infor Cloud­Suite™ WMS (for­mer­ly Infor SCE) is a Gart­ner* Mag­ic Quad­rant 2022 Leader in Ware­house Man­age­ment Systems. 

Deployed in near­ly 60 coun­tries, it com­bines basic and advanced WMS func­tion­al­i­ty with workforce/HR man­age­ment, and sup­ports B2B and B2C order ful­fill­ment. This means greater pre­ci­sion, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty for your orders. Our pres­ence in numer­ous ware­hous­es around the world means that we can con­tin­ue to devel­op this spe­cial­ized soft­ware in line with best practice.

Infor Cloud­Suite WMS enables com­pa­nies to man­age the activ­i­ties of their dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­ters on a glob­al scale. This solu­tion com­bines ware­house order ful­fill­ment, work­force man­age­ment and 3D visualization.

As a result, it reduces process com­plex­i­ty and improves oper­a­tional exe­cu­tion. Con­fig­urable and intu­itive, the Cloud­Suite WMS solu­tion is ready to sup­port all new-gen­er­a­tion ware­house oper­a­tions on an inter­na­tion­al scale, boost­ed by cut­ting-edge technology.

*Gart­ner is a con­sult­ing and research firm in the field of advanced tech­nol­o­gy, which pub­lish­es the results of its research every year in the form of com­pa­ny, solu­tion or prod­uct comparisons.

The benefits of Infor Cloud Suite WMS

Infor Cloud­Suite™ WMS is one of the inter­na­tion­al leaders. 

The solu­tion pro­vides a range of func­tions to improveware­house effi­cien­cy and ROI for its customers: 

  • reduced per­son­nel and trans­port costs, as well as CO2 emissions
  • the breed­ing ground for expand­ing your com­pa­ny’s ser­vice offer­ing and grow­ing your cus­tomer base
  • increase the per­for­mance of your logis­tics operations
  • increase your margins