Warehouse Management System (WMS)

















Check below website links for  good articles on WMS Vs ERP

WMS Functionality Vs ERP (www.idii.com)
The ERP Warehouse Module Vs Best-of-Breed WMS 

Inventory Management Software vs. Warehouse Management Software

The inventory management functions provides view of the stock from an accounting perspective. The total quantity of a stock item available to sell is maintained and various costing models are available.

The system tracks the total quantities into and out of the warehouse, to maintain the current stock levels of each product. Many systems allow a single pick location to be allocated to a product, that is used when storage and picking instructions are issued.

In contrast, a WMS views the stock from a physical perspective. The system deals with the physical goods and tracks the product and quantities down to bin or location level. Total stock quantities are available, but the system tracks the details of the product down to the location level, for full traceability in the physical warehouse.

Where applicable, the WMS would keep track of product batch and expiry information down to the location level as well. The WMS will also track the product within the warehouse. For example, the WMS would track whether the product was in the receiving area, had been placed into the correct storage location, had been picked or dispatched. The full physical movement history of a product would be available on the WMS system, along with the person responsible for that movement. By keeping track of the physical aspect of the warehouse, a WMS is able to use this information to optimize the resources used in the warehouse. These resources are the space available, the material handling equipment and the staff.

By using storage rules, taking the product class, category and dimension information into account, an optimum pick and bulk storage location can be allocated to received products. Since the system tracks the product location quantities, in both bin and bulk, pick face replenishment instructions can be generated on the WMS. These can be issued to the warehouse workers in real time, if radio frequency equipment is used or will be printed out in a batch environment. A pick sequence can be defined in the warehouse, to optimize the pickerís movements through the warehouse, ensuring that the picker walks the smallest distance possible to pick the products required for an order or a pick group.

The WMS is also able to group the items on dispatch orders into groups, allowing a picker to visit a location once per group of orders, rather than many times for the same group of orders. Using the date of entry or the date of expiry, the WMS is able to ensure that the oldest product is picked first, thus eliminating wastage due to product expiry or write-offs due to products damaged or dirtied over time in the racking.

The WMS should interface to the host system, to allow passing of data between the systems, so that the inventory (accounting) system and the physical (warehouse) system appear seamless to the user. Warehouse management and inventory management complement each other, both providing a different, yet useful view of the same data. By using warehouse management functionality, a business can optimize many of the aspects of stock control, ultimately providing better client service though better delivery mechanisms.


A WMS offers greater functionality for inventory, warehousing, logistics, and transportation than what an ERP solution does. The WMS is expected to be up 24x7 as many warehouses run 3 shifts 7 days a week. This translates into little or no down time on the computer equipment. The WMS must be up & ready to work for a heavy operations & work force that has high expectations of readiness (up-time) for both the software and hardware involved.

It's important to 'know" what the "expected average " differences are between a WMS and an ERP! We realize that some ERP solutions are stronger than the average ERP solution in warehouse operations.








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