Skip to Content

Understanding Warehouse Management Systems

Understanding Warehouse Management Systems

Discover various warehouse management solutions & how they give real-time visibility to improve efficiency, customer experience, & revenue.

A warehouse management system (WMS) provides real-time visibility on a business’ inventory and operations. It helps companies improve efficiencies and fulfil customer orders accurately — and fast.

Customers today want to buy at any time, anywhere. They expect to receive their orders quickly and make returns easily — wherever they are. That’s where a WMS comes into play.

Warehouse management software helps to simplify your operations, track inventory, and optimise your fulfilment processes. Implementing a WMS will allow you to react faster to market changes and scale your operations.

Let’s take a look at the different types of warehouse management solutions and how a WMS can provide your business with real-time visibility to create efficiencies, improve customer experiences, and grow revenue.

Types of warehouse management systems

There are two types of warehouse management systems:

Standalone WMS

You can combine a standalone warehouse management system with your existing solutions. Typically, a standalone WMS has the primary function of warehouse management, but fewer features when compared to an integrated solution. It’s an ideal option for companies with smaller software budgets, but there may be challenges when integrating the WMS with other business systems.

Integrated WMS

If you choose an integrated solution, your WMS shares the same database as your inventory and accounting systems.

As your systems are integrated, this type of warehouse management can help your business track orders and inventory easily. If your company is considering upgrading its software on a large scale, this type of WMS may prove beneficial since it helps to connect your operations.

On-premises vs cloud-based WMS

With an on-premises WMS, you are in charge of hosting and maintaining the system. This can give you more control over security. However, an on-premises WMS may have higher upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and upgrade fees.

In comparison, a cloud-based WMS sees your systems and data hosted on a private server, offering added protection. A cloud-based WMS can also give you greater flexibility to grow your solution. Plus, the service provider will handle any software updates. The upfront cost of cloud-based warehouse management will be lower as you usually pay for it on a subscription basis.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based technology that offers an app for warehouse management. This solution helps businesses in any industry adapt quickly, automate processes for accurate delivery, and track inventory to drive successful fulfilment processes and connected customer journeys. (More on this later.)

Benefits of using a warehouse management system

Warehouse management software offers many benefits, including:

Connected logistics lead to lower costs

An integrated warehouse management solution connects to your logistics processes. This leads to a lower cost of ownership by eliminating the need for additional hardware, software, licensing, and IT specialists. As a result, your business controls costs by reducing maintenance and upgrade expenses thanks to more efficient, connected processes.

Ability to make real-time data-driven decisions

With a WMS and real-time updates, you can make informed, data-driven decisions. Your business can use its data to identify high-risk issues or high-value goods to focus on revenue growth. You can report on your warehouse team’s productivity to identify areas to improve. And with real-time visibility into your inventory and operations, you can even understand how customers engage with your business and use this to make better decisions.

Scalability of supply chain operations

Digital warehouse management helps you scale your supply chain and react quickly to market changes.

Your business needs streamlined workflows and automated processes as your supply chain operations expand. With the right software, you can track and optimise your warehouse in real-time, so your business can scale operations to deal with peak seasons. You can also fulfil orders faster to provide better customer experiences and maintain high-quality customer service even when demand increases.

Salesforce for warehouse management

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based software that can integrate all parts of your business, such as your accounts and inventory.

Warehouse management software like Commerce Cloud gives you access to your data anywhere. You can manage cross-channel inventory and order data from a single dashboard with a fully integrated system. You can also provide your customers with the option of receiving or returning orders whenever, wherever, and however they want. Your business can eliminate errors and improve how it tracks inventory so that you can serve customers better.

Investing in an effective warehouse management system helps your business automate fulfilment processes. You can manage your warehouse, inventory, and customer orders. And once you can do this, your business can adapt to changing market demands — and outperform competitors.

Get our bi-weekly newsletter for the latest business insights.