Warehouse Management Systems vs. Inventory Management Systems
In today’s competitive world, you’ve got to move fast. This is especially true for small-to-midsize ecommerce businesses. Keeping up with industry leaders is essential for survival in a space where new contenders crop up and fade away constantly.
Having a clear and consistent workflow that maximizes productivity and minimizes waste of time and resources is crucial to running and maintaining any warehouse successfully.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Inventory Management Systems (IMS) both play a pivotal role in:
- Maintaining an organized, efficient warehouse
- Optimizing the flow of warehouse operations
- Minimizing wasted time, resources, and space
- Maximizing productivity, output, and profits
While these systems might sound like they do the same job, each represents different aspects of the supply chain and warehouse processes.
Let’s explore the individual aspects of Warehouse Management Systems and Inventory Management Systems, as well as what both achieve, so you can get a clearer image of how they can contribute to the success of your business.
Understanding Warehouse Management
Warehouse Management refers to the processes, strategies, and systems used to efficiently manage and oversee the day-to-day operations, while ensuring functionality is optimized at all times.
An effective Warehouse Management System will streamline the physical aspects of storage, organization, and movement of stock, avoiding products getting mixed up or lost in the supply chain.
Everything from receiving, storing, picking, packing, and shipping items comes under the WMS umbrella to ensure a seamless and efficient operation across the board.
Key aspects of a Warehouse Management System
- Space utilization: Ensuring storage space is used as effectively as possible by arranging products to maximize available space and ensure easy accessibility.
- Order fulfillment: Streamlining the order fulfillment process by minimizing picking and packing times reducing overall lead times while creating more accuracy across the board.
- Inventory tracking: Tracking inventory movement, levels, and locations in real-time using barcode systems so you can know precisely what you’ve got in stock and can replenish stocks accordingly.
- Labor management: Reducing the amount of labor and heavy lifting required by creating a clear, efficient, and consistent warehouse flow, optimizing how staff’s time is used.
Understanding Inventory Management
Inventory Management, on the other hand, accounts for the planning, procurement, and control of a company's stock.
Inventory Management focuses on ensuring adequate stock availability to meet customer demand while minimizing excess stock by understanding and ordering stock based on customer buying habits and what products sell and during what times.
Tracking inventory levels helps businesses avoid wasting money by reducing over-purchasing products that don’t move quickly and take up warehouse space.
Key aspects of an Inventory Management System
- Demand forecasting: Analyzing sales data and market trends to accurately predict the demand for specific items to keep inventory at ideal levels throughout the year.
- Ordering and replenishment: Determining when to restock products to avoid running out of popular products while avoiding overstocking items that don’t sell and preventing overstocking.
- Item analysis: Categorizing items based on their importance and popularity, ensuring priority is placed on maintaining high-value products in stock.
- Lead time management: Managing the time it takes for an order to be placed and received, ensuring that inventory levels reflect the expected demand during the lead time.
Where Warehouse Management Systems and Inventory Management Systems Crossover
While inventory and warehouse management each take care of specific elements of managing a warehouse, both systems play an important part in ensuring supply chain efficiency.
Let’s look at how.
- Optimized workflow: Each system ensures products are taken care of in an efficient way and ensures accuracy in dealing with inventory.
- Cost reduction: Both minimize downtime and ensure stock levels, workforce, and storage are optimized to avoid wasted costs across the board.
- Accurate data sharing: Real-time inventory tracking allows warehouse managers to make better decisions surrounding the flow and ordering of inventory.
- Improved efficiency: With both systems operating effectively, the supply chain is seamlessly handled thanks to a high-functioning and efficient warehouse.
Both systems help your warehouse run as smoothly as possible so you can focus on growing your business through extremely efficient processes and delivering excellent customer service with every single order.
Revolutionize your Warehouse Management with Pio
At Pio, we go beyond the standard operations of Warehouse Management Systems, offering fully automated warehouse solutions for unmatched performance, precision, and productivity.
Incorporating an automated warehouse system into your business not only allows you to compete with some of your biggest competitors but sets you ahead of the rest by positioning your business as a forward-thinking pioneer who consistently delivers on its customer promises.
Our sophisticated software and cube-based design make it easy to access your products and see what you have in stock while saving time and space.
In fact, our solutions enable you to pick and pack around 130 order lines per hour with 99.9% accuracy, totally transforming the traditional warehouse model for the better so you can achieve the kind of success you’ve set your sights on.
If you’ve already got a standard Warehouse Management System but aren’t entirely satisfied with the amount of work it requires or its output level, then why not invest in an automated system?
When you partner with Pio, you can take your business to the next level with:
- 10x improved storage capacity
- Custom designs
- Scalable pricing options
- Quick and easy integration
Take control of your warehouse with an automated warehouse system. Our robotic systems allow you to do more with less labor on your part, so your team is free to put their energy where it really matters.
We’ve made it super easy to make positive changes to how your business operates so you can streamline your path to success.
To find out more about Pio works, schedule your free strategy call today to speak with one of our Warehouse Management experts.