Systems to Manage Warehouses Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Warehousing Management Systems

When it comes to warehousing, times are definitely changing. The past meant a lot of paperwork for the warehouse, and it was still possible for things to get lost in the shuffle. That brought about the realization that state-of-the-art warehouse management systems are critical to the operate of a modern warehouse, for a number of reasons (Atkinson, 2002). Those reasons will be explored here, along with how warehouse management systems have changed the landscape and what they have provided to people in that industry. It is now much easier for items to travel to and from the warehouse on schedule, and more likely that items leaving the warehouse will arrive at the right destination (Atkinson, 2002). But warehouse management systems do much more than that. They also ensure that everything is handled correctly within the warehouse. They are vitally important in the modern warehouse because of the sheer volume of items that are being moved around all the time.

Without the proper way to handle and manage those items, the warehouse does not operate efficiently. That costs the company that owns the warehouse and the merchandise both time and money, neither of which is really affordable to most businesses. The distribution of parts throughout a warehouse is often significant, and being able to track those parts the right way can make all the difference (Anonymous, 2002). Such was the case with Toyota, as it set up UK operations and a facility where spare parts could be distributed (Anonymous, 2002). The warehouse management system it used allowed for those parts to move smoothly through the warehouse, and be sent out to the people and the companies that needed them, with minimal fuss and cost (Anonymous, 2002). The tag label produced and used by the system allowed for a number of details to travel with the part, so it could easily be located and sent wherever it needed to go (Anonymous, 2002).

There are many warehouses that continue to provide only standard services like picking and putting away, but that is not the case with every warehouse (Atkinson, 2002). A number of warehouses are starting to realize that they can and should do more for their customers, and that those customers are looking for value-added services. These services are not going to be available to customers if the warehouse does not have a management system. It is simply too difficult to add these other services and keep track of everything without a management system that can provide the customers with everything they need and want (Atkinson, 2002). That can lead these customers to go elsewhere, or to switch warehouses because they are not getting the extra services they are offered in other places. In turn, warehouses that remain behind the times in this regard will continue to lose revenue that they could have acquired with value-added services and options (Atkinson, 2002).

Warehouse management services offers a supply chain model that is extremely time-sensitive, and moves warehouses…

Sources Used in Document:


Anonymous. (2002). WMS drives efficient parts distribution. Modern Materials Handling, Boston, 57(12).

Atkinson, W. (2002). Value-added services from 3 PLs and public warehouses: What to look for. Logistics Management, 41(10): W8-11.

McKnight, D. (1999). A practical guide to evaluating the functional utility of warehouses. The Appraisal Journal, 67(1): 29-37.

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