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The WMS Room
Sixty-three percent of warehouses have a WMS but only half use it correctly.
A recent survey about software usage by Modern Materials Handling (MMH) found that 63% of warehouses use a WMS but only half of them use it for “real-time control”. This is problematic since warehouse operations happen in real-time, especially warehouses used for distribution.
Long-term storage warehouses may survive by using their WMS as a “system of record” where data is entered hours or days later. But fast-paced distribution warehouses must create “systems of engagement” around their WMS to uphold customer loyalty.
For example, assume a manufacturer has an immediate need for a part. The part supplier’s WMS reads out-of-stock but the supplier received a new shipment of parts earlier that day. Warehouse employees have yet to update the WMS so sales associates cannot fulfill the manufacturer’s desired order.
You can’t ship what you can’t see.
Comic of the week
Even if warehouses have a WMS, many enter information manually and retroactively. That day, that week, or never. It’s a redundant and inefficient process often tasked to a single person (maybe named Steve).
Chart of the week
According to the same MMH survey, the software used the most after WMS software is supply chain management and planning software (SCP) at 34%. Following SCP is transportation management systems (TMS) at 27%, labor management systems (LMS) at 25%, asset tracking software at 22%, and warehouse execution systems (WES) at 19%.
Lower adoption rates (not shown in the chart below) include slotting software at 12%, yard management systems (YMS) at 10%, distributed order management (DOM) at 9%, and robotic control systems at 9%.
Eight percent of warehouses and distribution centers use none of the software mentioned above.
Quote of the week
If sixty-three percent of warehouses are using a WMS and only half are using it efficiently, what is being used in its place? As we covered in a previous newsletter, over fifty percent of companies still use pen and paper to manage logistics. This was verified by a respondent to the MMH survey…
“We are an outdated traditional warehouse operation that relies on limited technology and lots of pen and paper to get work done each day. The fact that we have not already adopted any sort of support systems has greatly hampered our growth.”
So it seems there are three ways of managing warehouse operations:
WMS software used actively,
WMS software used passively,
or pen and paper.
Which way do you manage your warehouse operations?