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Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

WMS: Selection and introduction

Modern warehouse management systems (WMS) are characterized by a multitude of functions that are tailored to the individual needs of companies. In addition to functionality, compatibility with other IT systems is also an important criterion when deciding on a WMS. The IT and logistics experts of agiplan help with the selection and implementation.

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Peter Röttchen

Peter Röttchen Senior Consultant

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agiplan services

  • Process analysis and structure optimization
  • Creation of a catalogue of criteria (specifications)
  • Tool-based provider research
  • Control of the tendering process & final selection
  • Implementation, incl. test runs & employee training

IT systems for modern warehouse logistics

Digital warehouse management systems (WMS) are an important tool in warehouse logistics. Its function is to control and optimize internal storage and transport systems. Digital warehouse management is not a self-contained system with a defined functional area; rather, it is integrated into an IT system landscape that efficiently designs the entire operational value creation through optimal control of processes. Depending on the prevailing IT structure, industry, company size and processes, the appropriate WMS should be selected.  

WMS: More than digital stock management

The requirements for warehouse management systems have changed significantly in recent years and with them the range of functions of the individual systems. Big data, real-time analyses or digital technologies such as drones, driverless transport systems and mobile devices offer new potential for modern warehouse logistics. At the same time, fluctuating call-off figures and shortened delivery times, caused among other things by e-commerce, place increased demands on flexible warehouse management. Accordingly, the software offered for warehouse management systems today has a multitude of functions to meet the individual needs of warehouse and production companies.  

In addition to functionality, compatibility with other systems is also a criterion when selecting a WMS. In most companies, an IT system landscape has already been established in which the WMS software is to be integrated taking into account all upstream and downstream process stages. Depending on which functions the existing system structure takes over, there are different variants for integrating warehouse management software. Here an exact definition of the warehouse management system‘s core functions is relevant. 

Many functions make it difficult to select the right WMS

More than 100 solutions for warehouse management systems are currently offered in Germany, about 20 of which are based on SAP, the others are stand-alone solutions with different functional ranges. 

In addition to the basic systems, there are a large number of modules and extensions for specific industries or storage types. In addition to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and WMS solutions, there is a trend towards modularly structured "App-based" systems that are offered as SaaS (Software as a Service). On the one hand, they can be a good alternative to larger systems for simple warehouses for raw materials and supplies, because only the modules or apps that are needed need to be purchased. On the other hand, the modular extension of a warehouse management system offers the possibility of taking future trends and developments in warehouse management processes into account.

The clearer your requirements, the better the selection

As is often the case in logistics, the better I know my own requirements and wishes (e.g. basic data, material flow, processes, IT system landscape), the better the selection will be. 

agiplan helps you to find the right solution for your company through a thorough analysis of your needs and a structured and step-by-step approach.

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Peter Röttchen

Peter Röttchen

Senior Consultant