A warehouse management system (WMS) is a piece of software that controls, records and automates various warehouse operations. The goal is to increase the overall productivity and efficiency of a business’ warehousing operations. These solutions are commonly found as individual, standalone systems.


The concept of inventory, stock or work-in-process has been extended from manufacturing systems to service businesses and projects, by generalizing the definition to be “all work within the process of production- all work that is or has occurred prior to the completion of production.” In the context of a manufacturing production system, inventory refers to all work that has occurred – raw materials, partially finished products, finished products prior to sale and departure from the manufacturing system. In the context of services, inventory refers to all work done prior to sale, including partially process information.

Visible Inventory:

  • Time – The time lags present in the supply chain, from supplier to user at every stage, requires that you maintain certain amounts of inventory to use in this lead time. However, in practice, inventory is to be maintained for consumption during ‘variations in lead time’. Lead time itself can be addressed by ordering that many days in advance.
  • Seasonal Demand: demands varies periodically, but producers capacity is fixed. This can lead to stock accumulation, consider for example how goods consumed only in holidays can lead to accumulation of large stocks on the anticipation of future consumption.
  • Uncertainty – Inventories are maintained as buffers to meet uncertainties in demand, supply and movements of goods.
  • Economies of scale – Ideal condition of “one unit at a time at a place where a user needs it, when he needs it” principle tends to incur lots of costs in terms of logistics. So bulk buying, movement and storing brings in economies of scale, thus inventory.
  • Appreciation in Value – In some situations, some stock gains the required value when it is kept for some time to allow it reach the desired standard for consumption, or for production. For example; beer in the brewing industry


Barcode readers (barcode scanners) are electronic devices for reading printed barcodes. These are optical machine-readable representations of data relating to the object to which they are attached. They define these objects.
Barcode readers consist of a light source, a lens and a light sensor that translates optical impulses into electrical ones. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry. It analyzes the barcode’s image data provided by the sensor and sends the barcode’s content to the scanner’s output port.

Wireless Recieving:

  • This equipment is an important tool for warehouse management and operation. It provides a real-time overview of products (SKUs: stock keeping units) stored in the warehouse, plus additional information, if need be.
    While original barcodes showed data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, they would evolve into a number of geometric patterns in two dimensions


Pick and pack is a part of a complete supply chain management process that is commonly used in the retail distribution of goods. It entails processing small to large quantities of product, often truck or train loads and disassembling them, picking the relevant product for each destination and re-packaging with shipping label affixed and invoice included.


  • Hands on
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Warehouse management solutions are primarily tactical tools, purchased and used by businesses to satisfy the unique customer demand requirements of their supply chain(s) and distribution channel(s), when the inventory and workload is larger than what can be handled manually, with spreadsheets. Motivation to purchase generally comes from a need to support sales growth or improve performance, and occasionally both.


  • Warehouse management systems support warehouse staff in performing the processes required to handle all of the major and many minor warehouse tasks such as receiving, inspection and acceptance, put-away, internal replenishment to picking positions, picking, packing, value added services, order assembly on the shipping dock, documentation, and shipping (loading onto carrier vehicles). A warehouse management system also helps in directing and validating each step, capturing and recording all inventory movement, and status changes to the data file.

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