Warehouse Control Machine (WMS) and EDI
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a software application that supports the day-to-day operations in a warehouse and is a key part of the modern supply chain process. WMS programs enable centralized management of tasks such as tracking inventory levels, receiving, picking, put-away and identifying stock locations.
A WMS monitors the progress of products through the warehouse. It involves the physical warehouse infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations. More precisely, warehouse management involves the receipt, storage and movement of goods to distribution centers or to a final customer. In today’s modern world, organizations may use multiple levels of warehouses. These may include a central warehouse, regional warehouses (serviced by the central warehouse) and potentially retail warehouses (serviced by the regional warehouses).
Early warehouse management systems could only provide simple storage location functionality. Current WMS applications can be so complex and data intensive that they require a dedicated staff to run them. High-end systems may include tracking and routing technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and voice recognition.
No matter how simple or complex the application is, the goal of a warehouse management system remains the same — to provide management with the information it needs to efficiently control the movement of materials within a warehouse.