ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Logistics and Supply Chain business is changing so rapidly as part of the Technological developments, hence the Logistics and Supply chain systems too. Warehouse Management Systems is one of the key Logistics and Supply Chain systems when it comes to Logistics and Supply Chain visibility. This article talks about the recent challenges and its corresponding solutions at Warehouse Management Systems implementation when the technology is evolving.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Implementing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) in Logistics: A Case Study
1Natesan Andiyappillai, 2 Dr.T.Prakash
1Senior Business Analyst, NFI Industries,1005 Laurel Oak Rd,Voorhees, NJ, 08043, USA.
2 Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, SNS College of Technology,
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
1Corresponding Author, Email: natesan.andiyappillai@gmail.com
Abstract
As we see the technological developments evolve in the recent arena, it is contributing to Warehouse
Management Systems (WMS) Implementations implementation as well in the Logistics industry. Though
there have been a number of researches done in the past decade or so on WMS implementations, it
appears that there is a huge gap between the number of recent researches against the number of recent
technological developments as the technological developments advances heavily. Hence, it is attempted
to understand the latest trends and developments in WMS implementations in this research based on a
case study conducted in a leading Logistics and Supply Chain enterprise. The benefits and challenges
that the businesses have at the recent times have been discussed. As the technological developments
are tremendously changing the business operating models, this study can be extended periodically to
understand the latest and greatest in WMS implementations at any given time.
Key Words
Logistics and Supply Chain, Warehouse Management Systems and WMS Implementations.
1. Introduction
Supply Chain Management is a process of managing the supplying partners of an enterprise or business
entity. This process ensures the seamless flow of materials from supplier to customer and provides the
visibility of material movement more closely on the entire supply channel. In order to manage the entire
supply chain, organizations have been using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications as part of
their IT strategy and model. A typical supply chain model is shown below to depict how the materials
flow from one end to another through different business partners involved with;
Fig 1. A Typical Supply Chain Model
And, Logistics is an important process of storing/warehousing and/or distributing the materials from one
business partner to another per business requirements. Managing the warehouse processes become
complex for businesses with no sophisticated IT systems, especially when the business requirements are
complex. The combination of low business complexity and low business volume may not require the
advanced Warehouse management systems but it is much needed to manage the business when it has
the complex requirements and the high volume profile. A sample logistics diagram is shown below to
depict how these inter-units are integrated into Logistics;
Fig 2. A Typical Logistics Model
Logistics businesses use the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) to facilitate the warehouse
operations through IT systems for better tracking and managing the inventory effectively. The
Warehouse Management Systems can be categorized into different groups based on a numerous factors
but in general they are categorized into Tiers such as Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3. This categorization is
based on the built-in functionality and flexibility of the WMS product. The WMS product vendors are
incorporating the technological developments and advancements into the core function of WMS
Implementations to support the Logistics and Supply chain businesses better. The below chart depicts
the relationship between the Logistics business complexity and the WMS product capability;
Fig 3. The Chart of Complexity Vs Capability
2. Literature Review
Managing the material movement from one entity to another in an enterprise business at right time,
right inventory and at the right place is critical for the success of Logistics and Supply Chain business.
And, there are many entities involved in a supply chain process such as; Marketing, Sales, Sourcing,
Manufacturing, Warehousing, Distribution and Transportation etc. The more channels that are on a
supply chain the more business parameters involved in the business. The more variables to the business
require the more sophisticated IT systems to manage and control the supply chain. Hence, the
businesses are implementing the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in providing the better and
clear supply chain visibility to their stakeholders.
Logistics is a key program in a supply chain when it comes to deliver the right product right time and to
the right place. And, some of the primary services include in the Logistics business are; Receiving,
Putaway, Picking, Packing, Shipping, Replenishment, Materials movement, Customer Compliance and
Value Added Services. It becomes impossible in managing all these processes without any IT systems
when the business model is complex and every changing due to the market behavior. And, one of the IT
systems which help facilitate these Logistics processes seamlessly is the Warehouse Management
Systems.
There are researches in the Warehouse Management Systems which reveals the benefits attained by
the businesses. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) helps the Logistics business in managing and
tracking the Inventory [5,8]. A warehouse management system or WMS primarily aims to control the
movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and process the associated transactions,
including shipping, receiving, put-away and picking. A warehouse management system (WMS) is a
database driven computer application, to improve the efficiency of the warehouse by directing cutaways
and to maintain accurate inventory by recording warehouse transactions. The systems also direct and
optimize stock based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization [1,9].
Warehouse Management Systems helps the businesses to maximize their operational efficiency in
different areas in the processes. To meet these high performance goals, a way needs to be found to
eliminate any waste from the warehouse, to streamline its operations, and improve efficiency in every
aspect of warehousing activities. One of the most proactive ways of doing so is the use of a warehouse
management system (WMS) that is designed to speed up order turnaround time, improve inventory
accuracy, provide instant order status information, manage warehouse space and enhance labor
productivity [2,10].
The WMS application is built based on different factors such as Industry specific requirements, General
Logistics Requirements etc. Any WMS application regardless of the business complexity should be able
to support some basic logistics functions. The WMS must have tools and functions to support the main
steps and logistic processes of inbound, production and outbound, such as: pre-receiving of materials,
concierge management, receiving, inbound quality control, storage, transfer, picking, cyclic counting and
shipping [3,6].
Businesses have been taking advantage of using WMS and are getting benefited in many different ways
and also to be able to meet the Metrics and SLAs. WMS provides optimization, monitoring and control
of complex warehouse and distribution activities such as yard management, dock scheduling, order
management, inventory management, and others in an efficient manner [4,7].
Based on the research works published in the journals, conferences and on the other modes, it is clearly
seen that only limited researches have been done in the past on WMS Implementations and those
researches have revealed both the benefits and constraints of using the system. And, there are very few
attempts in the recent times on researching and investigating the recent trends in WMS
implementations to understand the latest happenings or issues or challenges. Hence, it is attempted in
this research article by conducting a case study to analyze the issues/challenges on these WMS
implementations and finding the best possible solutions for those respective issues/challenges.
3. Warehouse Management Systems Implementations
The logistics businesses implement the Warehouse Management Systems for process efficiency,
improvement and transparency. And, a WMS implementation would normally require the four
important phases for a successful implementation per diagram below to be able to ensure the business
requirements are completely met by the IT solutions;
Fig 4. The phases of a WMS Implementation
A WMS implementation requires various business partners to be engaged and contributed at all times
for a successful project delivery. There are challenges and issues in every WMS implementation project
based on the resources and data available for the successful delivery of the project.
4. Research Methodology
The methodology that has been used in this research is shown in Figure 5 and a variety of data and a lot
of necessary data have been collected through different sources within the organization and analyzed
and the findings are published appropriately. In simple terms to say, this case is analyzed in a qualitative
approach.
Fig 5. The Research Methodology
5. A Case Study Analysis
Every business model is unique in the Logistics industry hence every WMS implementation too. In order
to understand and analyze the latest trends in WMS implementations, a case study has been conducted
in a leading Logistics and Supply Chain company. And, this case study is done based on the observations
in WMS implementations, discussions with the different resources and through project documentations.
This company implements a Tier-1 WMS application across their facilities in an effort to bring the unified
IT WMS solutions across the organization. This strategy also helps the organization to save the resources
by eliminating the other legacy WMS applications that have been used in the past decades.
This company has a well-structured IT organization which comprises of different internal entities per
below to get participated and contributed to a WMS implementation. And, the roles and responsibilities
of each team are well defined and managed appropriately. Every entity in the project is an important
stakeholder and committed to deliver the better possible WMS solutions.
Fig 6. The major entities in a WMS Implementation
The primary roles of each entity in a WMS implementation project are listed below;
Project Management - To manage the project from start to end and ensure the smooth and
successful WMS implementation.
IT Solutions - To understand the business requirements from customer, configuring the WMS
application per requirements, installing/managing the application and database.
EDI Integration To integrate the Customer systems and any other external systems with WMS
systems and develop the EDI interfaces as per requirements.
Development To develop any functionality that is needed for the business and provides the
respective solution through WMS platform.
Training To train the resources to be able to execute the WMS functions in the application.
Based on this research, the key factors that are influencing the WMS implementations are categorized
into four groups and each of them is detailed out below with the actions/pro-active measures that are
being taken to accomplish a very successful WMS implementation.
Fig 7. The Key Factors influencing the WMS Implementation
i) Systems Integration
Integrating the WMS to the external systems such as Host and other IT Logistics systems is always a
challenging and very important task in any WMS Implementation project as the data flow across all the
systems should be seamless and efficient with no interruption. And, the following processes help to
mitigate the challenges reside in the systems integration;
API Integration Application Programming Interface helps to automate the interactions
between the supply chain partners by creating a common or shared platform. This also changes
the traditional way of systems communication and expedite the process dramatically.
TMS Integration Transportation Management System is integrated with Warehouse
Management System and this helps to do the better rate shopping with different parcel carriers
and route the shipping accordingly based on the order data. This also helps to route the
Shipments in the best network possible through network optimization.
Automated EDI Alerts - the EDI failure or delay at any point in the entire communication
platform would be reported automatically to be able to resolve any such issue pro-actively and
quickly. This also would help alert the business or operations to prioritize a specific customer or
order.
Alignment It is very important that all the parties involved in the Integration are aligned on all
the factors such as Mode of communication, Systems security, EDI file formats, Mapping guides
(with each field attributes), Frequency and Volume.
ii) WMS Product Capacity and Capability
Determining the hardware / software capacity and capability at the early phases of the project is
another important challenge in the WMS implementation project as this plays a vital role in ensuring the
hardware and software compatibility for the business and the usage of those resources to its maximum
extent. The below decisions and determinations alleviate the challenges with respect to these factors;
Database architecture determine the capacity of the database and the number of virtual
machines based on the complexity and volume of the customer. And, also to look at the other
tools such as Data Analytics, Reporting and Dashboards etc.
Standardization Running the business with the standard IT system solutions is easy as it has
impact to the systems configuration, customer compliance, reporting etc. Hence, implementing
the standard IT solutions is always recommendable for better, faster and cheaper
implementations and also to manage the project with ease in the long run.
Network / Devices studying the site or facility thoroughly at the initial phase and also on
regular basis based on the business growth is important in providing the right network
connectivity and the necessary devices to perform the operational processes as expected. This
might include in increasing the network speed, providing new AP’s, adding new RF and other
devices to meet the customer expectations.
Automation there are two types of automations can be extensively looked into; i) setting up
the multiple virtual instances for the application install is a key for load balancing and running
the systems with little to no impact for the business. And, making the code deployments
automated to all these virtual instances would help to avoid any errors. ii) Automating the
warehouse processes through MHE setup and configuration would help increase the operational
efficiency.
iii) Business Partners / Stakeholders
Aligning all the business partners / stakeholders involved in the business is one of the biggest challenges
in any IT systems implementation and WMS is no exception to that. And, any misalignment (includes the
business requirements) with any of the stakeholders would derail the project if not fixed as soon as it
was identified. Below are the solutions to mitigate these risks;
Key Partners / Stakeholders Identifying and working closely with the key business partners /
stakeholders are inevitable for the success of the project. And, the key partners / stakeholders
include the representatives from the customer, operations and IT and making the collective
decisions would ensure the smooth and a very successful implementation in the entire project
life cycle. Some of other stakeholders involved in the project are; the product vendor, training &
support and any other external partners involved.
Requirements understanding the requirements from the customer / business in detail and
documenting those requirements into an acceptable WMS solution is mandatory for running the
project in Green. These could be done in having customer / operations provide the Business
Requirements Document / Operational Requirement Document and conducting the Design
sessions with stakeholders and then providing the Solution Design Document with the expected
IT solutions.
iv) Visibility
Providing the visibility on the project timeline and all the tasks involved in a project is crucial not just for
monitoring the progress of the project but also be prepared for the consecutive activities pro-actively.
The below tools help in providing the project visibility;
Project Timeline This details out the tasks involved in a WMS project and the corresponding
timeline on each activity. This should be approved by the customer and any change to this by
any partner would impact all the partners on the timeline of the deployment of the project or
deployment cost or both.
Network Diagram This helps to easily visualize the activities and tasks involved in a project. It
also displays the interdependent relationship between the activities and tasks. And, also to see
the predecessors in each activity to ensure an activity is complete before proceeding to the next
task.
6. Conclusion
It is so evident that Logistics and Supply Chain businesses want to implement the Warehouse
Management Systems (WMS) to maximize their business potential and gain competitive advantage by
providing the seamless Logistics services to their customers. At the same time, the implementation of
WMS should be aligned with the recent technological developments to be able support the latest
technologies.
Based on the case study conducted, the key factors that are influencing the WMS implementations are
discussed and also the actions/pro-active measures taken by the businesses to ensure a very successful
WMS implementation are detailed out. This research also reveals that the company is updating their
WMS implementation strategy based on the corresponding technological changes to be competitive in
the market.
It is clearly seen that the company is making use of the technological developments and getting
benefited from it and at the same time there are some challenges hindering the organization from
implementing them. Finally, as the technology evolves and impacts the current business behavior, the
similar research can be extended to understand the latest trends in WMS implementation projects at
any given time.
7. References
[1] Ramaa.A, K.N.Subramanya and T.N.Rangaswamy (2012), Impact of Warehouse Management System
in a Supply Chain, International Journal of Computer Applications, Vol. 54 (1), Pages: 14 20.
[2] H.Min (2006), The applications of warehouse management systems: an exploratory study,
International journal of Logistics Research and Applications, Vol. 6 (2), Pages: 111 126.
[3] Rafael de Assis, Juliana Keiko Sagawa (2018), Assessment of the implementation of a Warehouse
Management System in a multinational company of industrial gears and drives, Gestão & Produção,
ISSN 1806-9649, Vol 25 (2).
[4] Market Research Future (2017), Warehouse Management System Market: CAGR of 14% from 2017
to 2023 | Industry Trends, Business Revenue Forecast and Statistics, Growth Prospective.
[5] Smith, J. D. (1998). The warehouse management handbook. Tompkins press.
[6] Nemati, H. R., Steiger, D. M., Iyer, L. S., & Herschel, R. T. (2002). Knowledge warehouse: an
architectural integration of knowledge management, decision support, artificial intelligence and data
warehousing. Decision Support Systems, 33(2), 143-161.
[7] Quaddus, M., & Intrapairot, A. (2001). Management policies and the diffusion of data warehouse: a
case study using system dynamics-based decision support system. Decision Support Systems, 31(2), 223-
240.
[8] Faber, N., de Koster, R. M. B., & van de VELDE, S. L. (2002). Linking warehouse complexity to
warehouse planning and control structure: an exploratory study of the use of warehouse management
information systems. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 32(5), 381-
395.
[9] Helo, P., & Szekely, B. (2005). Logistics information systems: an analysis of software solutions for
supply chain co-ordination. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 105(1), 5-18.
[10] Helo, P., Xiao, Y., & Roger Jiao, J. (2006). A web-based logistics management system for agile supply
demand network design. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 17(8), 1058-1077.
... In accordance with the established timetable, products will be automatically selected, packed, loaded onto autonomous vehicles and delivered to production lines or, in the case of ready-made products, to customers. The following ground-breaking Industry 4.0 technologies will be used to achieve partial or full storage automation [21][22][23]81]: ...
... As a result of Industry 4.0, all of these processes will become digital and automated; which, to a degree, is already happening [21][22][23][24]26]. Big data, cloud computing, IoT and advanced methods of analysis will enable the continuous gathering and processing of large amounts of relevant information, which will serve as the basis for the decision-making processes of autonomous robots equipped with AI. ...
Article
Full-text available
The subject of research formulated in the title of the article was selected due to the fundamental importance of global supply chains (GSCs) of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the functioning of the world economy. They determine the size, structure and directions of international trade and foreign direct investment. Currently, they are influenced by the innovative inventions of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting experiences. This article is a review of the conceptual and futurological character and was based on the author’s literary studies and reflections resulting from his subject knowledge. Research techniques such as description, predictive analysis, synthesis and modeling have been used. The result of the research is the verification of the hypothesis regarding the uncertain potential impact of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the catalytic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains. This article should inspire more detailed, empirical research on these important issues.
... Power device testing, such as load flow tests, short-circuit analyses, and transient stability tests, has become more available with the advent of modern computers [21]. And more and more complex systems are now handling appropriate mathematical models that produce commands for the collection of machine parameters in the form of metrics [22]- [25]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Today, power systems are being operated under greatly stressed conditions due to rapidly growing demand for electrical energy, penetration of renewable energy sources, large seasonal load variations, and operation in competitive energy market conditions. The main part of this work involves achieving complete system observability and improving voltage stability level simultaneously by placing a minimal number of PMUs. Initially, weak buses (very sensitive to smaller reactive power variations) are identified by using Fast Voltage Stability Index (FVSI) calculation. In this work, the reliability of observing the weak buses is purposely maximized. Suppose any sudden voltage instability problem occurs on the weak bus. In that case, PMUs can immediately communicate to the operator and prevent the outage of the weak bus, even if one of the PMUs fails. PMUs can maintain the FVSI value of the critical lines, not exceeding their maximum limit, by initiating the remedial actions scheme, such as smart islanding, controlling the transformer tap settings, coordinating between automatic corrective devices, etc. In this system, the positioning of PMUs on poor buses should be favoured over other buses. Improved voltage reliability can be accomplished by effective and accurate control of critical lines and vulnerable buses. This is done by a small rise in the amount of PMUs relative to previous results.
... The key justification for the research is to analyze the workers' perspective inflexible contracts [30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37]. The researcher explores his ideas and the different working conditions in which he works easily and well and explores the impact on his results. ...
Article
Full-text available
Flexible work arrangements are now becoming truly normal, aiming to enhance workers' quality of life. Currently, various businesses and organizations are adopting this contracting model to accomplish multiple objectives; aiding workers in managing their jobs a balance of their lives, on the one side, and efficiently and effectively fulfilling their organizational needs and requirements. The biggest push for businesses may be to satisfy the satisfaction of their employees so that they can perform well for the good of all stakeholders. However, swift developments have played an essential role in creating and executing bendable work arrangements in the corporate world. For instance, service industries need funding for long-term educational, banking and telecommunication missions and for press and other sectors responsible for finding innovative job practices that concentrate on consumer loyalty with additional stretching working conditions. The researcher seeks to investigate the effects on employee achievement of flexible working arrangements. It is also evident that flexible working arrangements can be very helpful to enhance and maintain the efficiency of workers. Many flexible arrangement considerations, including job aptitude for versatility and dependability and the approach to flexible working time, have a significant effect on the accomplishment of workers.
... The second idea to improve this issue is setting up the Warehouse Management System. It is famous with helping to managing and tracking the inventory (Andiyappillai, 2019). Warehouse Management System has been an advance tracking technology recently. ...
Article
Full-text available
IKEA is an internationally well-known largest furniture retailer. The purpose of this study is to study key determinants of IKEA's success. To reach the purpose of this research, we focused on the international strategy IKEA used to approach their customers and IKEA's SWOT analysis. Besides, we also focus on how IKEA store layout influences consumer behavior. The primary data collection method was interviews conducted with IKEA customers by Google forms. This study found that IKEA's unique management planning and marketing strategy attract customers to revisit the retail store.
Article
Full-text available
Counterfeiting is a global international phenomenon that is steadily growing because of globalization. Furthermore, exchanges between various countries and cultures are promoted.In other words, the fact that products with lower quality or value are similar to genuine ones also entails brand piracy and imitation of the logos and even packages of brands. These goods are generally unlawfully placed on the market without charging government taxes. China and Turkey are accused of producing, distributing and hitting brand shares of these products to nations. In the business world, luxurious brands for their leading role in the consumer's life are thus the first objective of counterfeit products.Financial values-Prices play an indispensable role in driving consumers to counterfeit because luxury brands were only targeted at high classes. In contrast, a large mass of medium-sized classes could not buy them. The creation of an equivalent replica of the first version was also liable for the proliferation of such goods on the market. More customers are already able to purchase them as they imitate, since buyers demand a comparable commodity while asking for fewer a reasonable price.The research implemented quantitative methodology, and results found a direct relationship between branding, counterfeiting, and brand image.
Article
Full-text available
The company's credibility is one of the major factors in ensuring long-term success and enhancing financial results. The main topic in this analysis is whether reputations are pessimistic or positive and whether their effect on the financial performance of the banking sector. In the study, several factors can be considered when closely analyzing the business's financial reports. The image, culture and credibility of corporations are among these variables. The banking sector is being empirically studied, and data from 100 bank workers have been collected into a questionnaire. The questionnaire aims to assess the impact of the bank's image on creating and extending the business-consumer relationship. Action measures were carried out with SPSS hypothesis testing instruments. Analysis shows the close ties between the independent variables (credibility, picture, and culture) and the contingent variable (financial results), which suggests that the greater the company's credibility, the more its performance is improved.
Article
Full-text available
Counterfeiting is a global international phenomenon that is steadily growing because of globalization. Furthermore, exchanges between various countries and cultures are promoted.In other words, the fact that products with lower quality or value are similar to genuine ones also entails brand piracy and imitation of the logos and even packages of brands. These goods are generally unlawfully placed on the market without charging government taxes. China and Turkey are accused of producing, distributing and hitting brand shares of these products to nations. In the business world, luxurious brands for their leading role in the consumer's life are thus the first objective of counterfeit products.Financial values-Prices play an indispensable role in driving consumers to counterfeit because luxury brands were only targeted at high classes. In contrast, a large mass of medium-sized classes could not buy them. The creation of an equivalent replica of the first version was also liable for the proliferation of such goods on the market. More customers are already able to purchase them as they imitate, since buyers demand a comparable commodity while asking for fewer a reasonable price.The research implemented quantitative methodology, and results found a direct relationship between branding, counterfeiting, and brand image.
Article
Full-text available
Counterfeiting is a global international phenomenon that is steadily growing because of globalization. Furthermore, exchanges between various countries and cultures are promoted.In other words, the fact that products with lower quality or value are similar to genuine ones also entails brand piracy and imitation of the logos and even packages of brands. These goods are generally unlawfully placed on the market without charging government taxes. China and Turkey are accused of producing, distributing and hitting brand shares of these products to nations. In the business world, luxurious brands for their leading role in the consumer's life are thus the first objective of counterfeit products.Financial values-Prices play an indispensable role in driving consumers to counterfeit because luxury brands were only targeted at high classes. In contrast, a large mass of medium-sized classes could not buy them. The creation of an equivalent replica of the first version was also liable for the proliferation of such goods on the market. More customers are already able to purchase them as they imitate, since buyers demand a comparable commodity while asking for fewer a reasonable price.The research implemented quantitative methodology, and results found a direct relationship between branding, counterfeiting, and brand image.
Article
Full-text available
Scholars, professionals, and regulators regard efficient risk management as a pillar of bank management. The Basel Committee on Banks Regulation has introduced the Basel I Agreements, accompanied by the Basel II Agreements and recently the Basel III Agreement, to deal with this issue in the awareness of this circumstance and the need for the holistic approach to managing bank risk. Risk reduction is one of the determinants of banks' returns. Moreover, risk reduction, if practical, avoids or mitigates unnecessary threats and effectively controls the payouts. The latest global financial crisis taught us that risk reduction and implementation are necessary to achieve continued success objectives. The purpose of this study is to analyze Jordanian banks ' risk management policy and its effect on bank performance. This study investigates the impact of risk management practices on Jordanian banks' financial performance. Many banks had been facing risk management practices and default risks in loans because of the current financial and economic situations that Jordan is passing through. The research implemented the quantitative methodology by distributing the questionnaires to over 300 participants; however, only 123 respondents replied to them. The results were analyzed using regression analysis and proved a relationship between risk management and financial performance. The results showed a direct relationship between credit, liquidity, market risk, and financial performance. The findings showed that For every one unit increase in risk control, the risk financial performance is affected by 1%, while for every one unit increase in credit risk, the risk financial performance is affected by 1.6%, while for every one unit increase in market risk, the financial performance is affected by 1.5% and for every one-unit increase in liquidity risk the financial performance is affected by 4.7%.
Article
Full-text available
Warehousing is becoming more and more a critical activity in the supply chain to outperform competitors on customer service, lead times, and costs. However, if warehousing is to be a source of competitive advantage, then the implementation of a warehouse management information system (WMS) is a necessary condition to achieve efficiently the high performance of warehousing operations required in today’s marketplace. A major practical question is then whether a given warehouse should implement a standard or a tailor-made WMS. A standard WMS offers many advantages; it is a proven solution, it is less costly, the implementation lead time is shorter, and the after-sales service is better. On the other hand, a standard WMS remains largely making compromises between the way a warehouse wants to work and the way the system allows the warehouse to work. In certain environments, such compromises might seriously degrade warehouse performance, in which case it then seems better to implement a tailor-made WMS. To answer the above question, we conducted an exploratory field study of warehouses with recently implemented WMSs to first understand the empirical reality and then build up a theory linking the constructs warehouse complexity and warehouse planning and control structure. Warehouse complexity refers to the number and variety of items to be handled, the degree of their interaction, and the number, nature, i.e. technologies used, and variety of processes, determined among others by the warehouse’s position in the logistic chain and the nature of its market. Warehouse planning and control structure refers to the management functions that plan, direct, coordinate and control the flow of goods through the warehouse, from the time of receiving to the time of shipping. It is strongly related to the WMS in use. We found that the number of orderlines to be processed per day and the number of stock-keeping units are the two main observable aspects of warehouse complexity; that the more complex the warehouse is, the more tailor-made the planning and control structure should be; that for simple warehouses a standardized planning and control structure suffices; and that the design of a new-to-build warehouse should be carried out in close concert with the design of the warehouse planning and control structure.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – Online, on-demand and real-time availability of information to all members of a manufacturing system enables them to be agile and in the best position to react quickly, efficiently, synchronously, and collectively to the changing market. This paper proposes an integrated web-based logistics management system for agile supply demand network design (ASDN). Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a software system, which is distributed as open source. A case study of ABB Company in Finland has been undertaken and this demonstrates the validity of ASDN in designing and managing supply demand networks. Findings – Current software applications, such as ERP, WMS and EAI do not support a higher-level decision making. There are several performance measures, which are directly connected to structure of the network. Practical implications – The presented software supports modeling, analyzing and limited optimizing of supply demand networks. Also discussed is the network level logistics analysis that is behind the modeling tool. Originality/value – The paper introduces the ASDN software, which is freely available for research and commercial uses. The case example shows how this type of network architecture-related decisions can be analyzed.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – To review the development of software applications and their functionalities/benefits in relation to supply chain management and present scenarios on future development. Design/methodology/approach – A range of recently published academic and non-academic pieces of work that can be classified as pertinent to the area in question. These sources employ both theoretical and practical views on the topic of supply chain co-ordination software and related functionalities and resulted benefits. Findings – There is a significant overlap regarding the functionalities of software applications and the trend of convergence is about to intensify. At the same time the need for real time information will become crucial, putting emphasis on flexible IT-systems that can deal with large amounts of data and are easy to interconnect. In turn this will lead to the growing importance of system integration software and the process of creating standards. Research limitations/implications – As a result of continuous development and convergence of IT-solutions and turbulent business environment more applied research will be needed in the area of product configuration, RFID-technology, standards in relation to interoperability of software applications (EAI technologies). This scrutiny is based only on written resources and no consultants or manager interviews were employed. Therefore the views of companies are not presented on the issues covered. Practical implications – The selection of the appropriate software solutions for a company will need more time, expertise and money and the role of suppliers of software packages will become more significant. Originality/value – This scrutiny stipulates the way the functionalities of software applications evolve with overlap one another and thus helps both researchers and companies to gain a clearer view on the development of supply chain software applications.
Article
With the increasing demand for impeccable customer service, today's warehouses are pressured to raise their goals for inventory accuracy, timely delivery service, individualised order fulfilment, flexible value-added service and responsiveness to special customer requests. To meet these high performance goals, a way needs to be found to eliminate any waste from the warehouse, to streamline its operations, and improve efficiency in every aspect of warehousing activities. One of the most proactive ways of doing so is the use of a warehouse management system (WMS) that is designed to speed up order turnaround time, improve inventory accuracy, provide instant order status information, manage warehouse space and enhance labour productivity. This paper aims to help firms assess the extent of the WMS benefits for warehouse operations and their impact on competitiveness, while developing practical guidelines for successful WMS implementation based on the findings of our exploratory study of selected US firms. The findings suggest that WMS has become an integral part of warehouse operations and the subsequent supply chain processes.
Article
This paper studies the impact of management policies on the diffusion of data warehouse (DW) in a large commercial bank in Thailand. A system dynamics (SD)-based decision support system (DSS) is developed and analysed for this purpose. System dynamics was used as the modelling tool because of its rigorous approach in capturing interrelationships among variables and in handling dynamic aspects of the system behaviour. A qualitative model is first formulated to understand the present state of the DW diffusion. The quantitative model is then formulated to simulate seven management policies. Findings unearth two dominant policies of ‘increase level of training’ and ‘decrease training delay’ that will speed up the diffusion significantly. None of the policies, however, achieve the bank's target diffusion level within a specified time period. Sensitivity analyses reveal various combinations of the dominant policies that the management can adopt. The analyses act as an eye-opener for the bank executives as they understand what can be feasibly achieved given a number of constraints. With easy interfaces and supportive tools, bank executives can use the DSS to test various scenarios, which will enhance their learning process and improve their decision making.
Article
Decision support systems (DSS) are becoming increasingly more critical to the daily operation of organizations. Data warehousing, an integral part of this, provides an infrastructure that enables businesses to extract, cleanse, and store vast amounts of data. The basic purpose of a data warehouse is to empower the knowledge workers with information that allows them to make decisions based on a solid foundation of fact. However, only a fraction of the needed information exists on computers; the vast majority of a firm's intellectual assets exist as knowledge in the minds of its employees. What is needed is a new generation of knowledge-enabled systems that provides the infrastructure needed to capture, cleanse, store, organize, leverage, and disseminate not only data and information but also the knowledge of the firm. The purpose of this paper is to propose, as an extension to the data warehouse model, a knowledge warehouse (KW) architecture that will not only facilitate the capturing and coding of knowledge but also enhance the retrieval and sharing of knowledge across the organization. The knowledge warehouse proposed here suggests a different direction for DSS in the next decade. This new direction is based on an expanded purpose of DSS. That is, the purpose of DSS in knowledge improvement. This expanded purpose of DSS also suggests that the effectiveness of a DSS will, in the future, be measured based on how well it promotes and enhances knowledge, how well it improves the mental model(s) and understanding of the decision maker(s) and thereby how well it improves his/her decision making.
Warehouse Management System Market: CAGR of 14% from 2017 to 2023 | Industry Trends
Market Research Future (2017), Warehouse Management System Market: CAGR of 14% from 2017 to 2023 | Industry Trends, Business Revenue Forecast and Statistics, Growth Prospective.
The warehouse management handbook
  • J D Smith
Smith, J. D. (1998). The warehouse management handbook. Tompkins press.