If you have an online store, you may already know how hard it can be to keep track of all the logistics. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) can make it easier for you to keep an eye on all of these processes.
In this guide, I’ll explain how important a WMS is and why you should set one up. I will also learn about what to think about when getting a WMS and other important information. Let’s begin!
What Is a Warehouse Management System?
In simple terms, warehouse management is the process of keeping an eye on how everything works in a warehouse. This is done through a number of steps. For example, this will include keeping track of orders, storing inventory, managing shipping, taking care of work, and so on.
So, a warehouse management system is any software or tool that helps you automate and keep track of these tasks. A good WMS will help you keep track of all of these processes in one place and improve the overall performance of your operations.
The type of WMS you use might change based on the type of store and how it works. Most of them, though, will help you do better in the following ways:
With a high-tech system, you can see your warehouse as a whole. This will help you make the most of the resources you have and improve the performance of your system by getting products to customers faster.
Since most of the operational tasks are automated, it goes without saying that it will save you time and money. Not only can you avoid mistakes, but you can also use your time better.
Your things can take up a lot of space if you don’t have an automatic system. A dedicated system will let you store all SKUs better and give you access to all of them.
Different kinds of warehouse management systems
As I’ve already said, the type of WMS you want to add will depend a lot on your needs. So, you need to know what the different types of warehouse management systems are so you can choose the best one.
This is the most basic type of warehouse system. It is usually set up on-site and connected to the company’s network. If you use a tool from a third party, it must be linked to your ERP system. A standalone system is best for small and medium-sized businesses because it doesn’t connect to too many other systems.
System for Supply Chain
This kind of WMS can improve how well an entire supply chain system works. The system should help you automate the parts of a supply chain cycle that have to do with getting materials or keeping track of stock. It works well for medium-sized businesses with multiple supply chains.
Read more about why there is a problem with the supply chain and how dropshippers can avoid supply chain shortages.
System in the cloud
This is a web-based WMS that is centralized and makes things easier to get to. Most of the time, it won’t need to be in sync with the network, so you can take a more flexible approach. Modern businesses often use it because it is cheaper and faster than other methods.
You can keep track of all of your company’s resources in one place with an Enterprise Resource Planning system. You can manage not only human resources, but also sales, marketing, finance, and so on. Businesses are most likely to use this type of WMS.
Important steps in managing a warehouse
A good warehouse management system can help you manage and automate a number of tasks related to your online store. But these are some of the most important things and steps that a WMS can help you with.
Keeping track of stock
This is the most important job of a WMS because it lets us see at a glance how our store’s inventory is doing as a whole. You can just type in any SKU to find out where it is and even track it from afar.
It will also help you keep track of how many products are available on your website. So, your customers would know ahead of time when a product will run out of stock and how many are left. As your business grows and you add more warehouses, you need to make sure that inventory management is the strongest part of your system.
Packaging & Dispatching
Once a customer has placed an order, the next steps are to package and ship the product. First, the WMS should automatically make a packing slip with all the important information, like location and contact information. You can track your package by putting the slip right on top of it.
After that, the product is sent out, which can be done using a native solution or a third-party solution. The system can keep track of pickup orders so that batch picking, which can be less expensive, can begin.
Storage and Placement Management
Even though stowing is often overlooked in a WMS, it should be one of the most important things you think about when choosing one. The system should help you keep track of all the stock that comes in from your suppliers. There should be an easy way to scan products, check their quality, and put them where they belong.
Using your WMS, you can come up with many different plans for short-term and long-term storage. There should also be clear instructions on how to store packages, pick them up, and get them back.
Shipping & Tracking
Your WMS should, of course, also help you with the whole shipping process. Most of the time, this can be done by integrating closely with APIs that your shipping partner, like FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc., gives you.
After the order leaves the warehouse, you can track it with an API. You can just use it to tell your customers where their order is right now. There can be a lot of exceptions in the WMS to deal with shipping delays that aren’t planned for.
Insights on Reporting and Logistics
Lastly, you need valuable insights to help you make decisions that are based on facts. For this, the WMS needs to give detailed inventory reports about how orders are filled, how long it takes to ship, etc., so that the overall efficiency of the process can be calculated.
If you think that something isn’t going well, you can just look at it through detailed reports. In this way, you can improve the way your store’s backend works and make changes to different processes.
How to Choose a Warehouse Management System: Things to Think About
A warehouse management system can do many different things and can be set up in different ways. But before you choose a WMS for your business, you should think about the following:
This is probably the most important thing a WMS should have. A good WMS should help you improve the efficiency of your team as a whole. It should help you get better results from all your important tasks and processes by making them easier to do.
If it’s hard to set up a WMS, it can take a lot of time and work. So, it should be easier for you to work the warehouse management system into the technologies you already have. At the same time, it should be easy to use so that your workflows are easy to manage.
Aside from being compatible with the technologies you already have, the WMS should also be flexible. You should be able to add to it as needed and connect it to a wide range of other technologies as you go.
To get better results, you need to check all kinds of data that were gathered in different ways. For example, you can easily check your data if you keep track of your orders and other deliveries. This will help you run your store better by letting you make smarter decisions based on facts.
The most important thing is that your WMS should be able to handle all kinds of business transactions. From taking care of its logistics to shipping it, the WMS should help you keep track of many different transactions by giving you a complete picture of the system.
Explore dropshipping with dropship-empire and say goodbye to logistics you don’t want.
As you can see, it can be a lot of work to run a warehouse. To get around this, you can just use dropship-empire, which is the official dropshipping tool for AliExpress.
- On dropship-empire, you can look at a huge number of products from thousands of different sellers and choose any one of them.
- With its unique supplier finder, you can choose the best-rated supplier for any product right away.
- dropship-empire will save you time by giving you options like automatically syncing tracking numbers or tracking the status of orders.
- You can connect dropship-empire right away to popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix.
- On dropship-empire, you can also bundle products, buy in bulk, map variants, manage your stock, and do other things.
As you can see, it can be hard to run the warehouse for your store. Experts suggest that you use a warehouse management system that can make your job a lot easier.
I’ve also put in a list of things you can look for when buying a WMS to make things easier for you. Aside from that, you can also use dropship-empire to make an online dropshipping store. It is the official dropshipping solution from AliExpress. It has a lot of features and is very easy to use.