Updated: Nov 14
Data-driven warehousing is here to stay. Offering a new level of efficiency, more informed decision-making, and greater opportunities to scale, high value data is paving the way for warehouses of the future. But what data does a Warehouse Management System (WMS) collect exactly, and how can it be used effectively? Here's what you need to know…
1. Inventory data
One of the primary functions of a Warehouse Management System is to manage you inventory efficiently. WMS software collects and maintains real-time data on all products across your warehouse.
This includes product descriptions, quantities on hand, stock levels, and information about variations or attributes that define each item. This data can be used for accurate stock management, preventing stockouts or overstock situations, and optimising your order fulfilment.
2. Location data
WMS software tracks the physical location of each product across your warehouse. This involves detailed information about your racking or shelving system, aisle numbers, and specific storage bin or pallet details.
Accurate location data is crucial for efficient picking, packing, and replenishment processes. It ensures that your warehouse team can quickly locate and retrieve items, reducing the time spent on these tasks.
3. Order data
A WMS solution collects comprehensive data related to customer orders. This includes order details, order status, and customer information. The system manages your entire order fulfilment process, from order creation to shipment. This data is useful for ensuring timely and accurate order processing, minimising errors, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
4. Transaction data
Every movement or change in status within your warehouse is recorded as a transaction by a WMS. This includes receiving new stock, transferring items between locations, picking products for orders, and shipping items.
Transaction data provides a detailed history of all your warehouse activities, serving as an audit trail. It allows your business to trace the movement of products, identify bottlenecks, and analyse historical trends.
5. Supplier and vendor data
WMS software gathers and stores information about your suppliers and vendors. This data includes contact details, lead times, order history, and performance metrics.
Having a centralised database of supplier information enables better communication, helps in managing your inbound logistics process, and facilitates strategic decision-making related to sourcing and procurement.
6. Employee data
Information about warehouse personnel, including roles, responsibilities, and performance metrics, is part of WMS data. This aids in task assignment, tracking productivity, and ensuring that the right personnel are engaged in specific warehouse activities. Employee data is crucial for workforce management, training, and performance evaluation.
7. Equipment data
WMS solutions collect information about your warehouse equipment used in various processes, such as forklifts, conveyor systems, and packaging machinery. This includes maintenance schedules, usage patterns, and equipment availability.
Effective equipment management enhances your overall warehouse efficiency, reduces downtime, and extends the lifespan of your machinery.
8. Quality control data
In industries where product quality is critical, WMS software collects data related to quality control processes. This may include inspection results, batch or lot numbers, and compliance with industry standards.
Quality control data ensures that only products meeting specified standards are shipped to customers, minimising the risk of recalls and enhancing brand reputation.
9. Performance metrics
Key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance metrics are continuously gathered by WMS software. These metrics could include order fulfilment rates, accuracy of shipments, inventory turnover, and labour productivity.
Analysing these metrics provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your warehouse operations. It helps in identifying areas for improvement, setting benchmarks, and making data-driven decisions.
10. Forecasting data
Some advanced WMS systems integrate with demand forecasting tools to gather data related to anticipated future demand. This information aids in proactive inventory management, allowing your warehouse to adapt to changing demand patterns.
Forecasting data helps your organisation to optimise stock levels, reduce carrying costs, and improve overall supply chain responsiveness.
11. Communication and collaboration data
WMS software facilitates communication and collaboration across your warehouse. This includes data on internal messages, task assignments, and any other collaborative efforts among your warehouse team.
Efficient communication is essential for coordinating activities, responding to dynamic operational needs, and ensuring that everyone is aligned with the overall objectives.
12. Compliance and regulatory data
In industries with specific regulations and compliance requirements, a WMS can gather data related to adherence to these standards. This includes information about product labelling, storage conditions, and documentation required for regulatory compliance.
Compliance data ensures that warehouse operations align with legal requirements, mitigating the risk of fines or legal issues.
13. Returns and reverse logistics data
For managing returns and reverse logistics, WMS software collects data on your returned items, reasons for returns, and the condition of returned products. This information is valuable for assessing the effectiveness of your returns process, identifying patterns of returns, and improving overall customer satisfaction.
Returns data also aids in managing inventory and minimising losses associated with returned items.
14. Security and access control data
To ensure the security of your warehouse, WMS technology gathers data related to access control and security measures. This includes information about personnel with access to different areas of your warehouse, entry and exit logs, and any security incidents or breaches.
Security data enhances overall warehouse safety and helps in investigating and addressing security concerns promptly.
Diverse data sets for enhanced warehouse efficiency
Ultimately, a Warehouse Management System plays a central role in collecting and managing a diverse set of data to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of your warehouse.
From inventory control to order fulfilment, and employee management to compliance, WMS software serves as a comprehensive information hub that enables you to make informed decisions, optimise processes, and adapt to the dynamic nature of modern supply chain management.
Partner with Prime Horizon Group for a data gathering WMS
Selecting, implementing, and maintaining a WMS can be daunting without support. Prime Horizon Group is an official Blue Yonder WMS implementation specialist. With consultants based in the UK, Europe and APAC, we can support you through the entire WMS implementation project cycle and beyond.
With 24-hour support, testing services, project management and WMS training, we provide everything you need to make your WMS implementation a success. To tap into the power of a Blue Yonder WMS by speaking to an expert today
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