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What are the main features to be considered in a warehouse management system

What are the main features to be considered in a warehouse management system

January 27, 2023

Running a warehouse and distribution operation is undoubtedly becoming a minefield mired in complexity. 

Warehousing executives face challenges on many fronts: increasing labour costs, increasingly stringent safety regulations, the rapid growth in e-commerce and more discerning and demanding consumers. All this before facing the uncertainty of local and global political instability.

The pressure is mounting to optimise warehouse processes to meet these challenges and increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and grow profits. Automated warehouse management software is the ideal tool to assist the warehouse team in overcoming these challenges and positioning the business for growth in the future.

This article will touch on five crucial features to consider in warehouse software.

1. Inventory Management

2. Order Fulfilment

3. Labour Management

4. Performance Analytics and Reporting

5. Warehouse Automation Alignment

1. Inventory Management

Inventory management is the foundation of any warehouse management system software. To stay competitive and relevant in today’s ever-changing warehouse and distribution environment, warehouse operators need robust, accurate, flexible, and scalable inventory management.

An accurate global and discrete view of your inventory will ensure maximum ROI by improving stock holding, reducing cash tied up in inventory, and increasing efficiency within your warehouse operations.

Flexible inventory management architecture can adapt to your present and future inventory models and business processes. It allows real-time visibility and accuracy in the warehouse and across the entire supply chain, including complete automated traceability.

Apex’s WMS software partner, Made4Net, has implemented its WMS in more than 2,000 facilities around the globe. The results it has achieved because of superior inventory control are hugely encouraging:

  • At least a 20% increase in labour productivity
  • Over 99.8% inventory accuracy
  • A 30% increased throughput
  • A 35% reduction in storage, labour, and special handling costs

2. Order Fulfilment

A crucial aspect of any warehouse operation is ensuring that order processing runs as seamlessly and error-free as possible. Fulfilling orders quickly, accurately, and with minimum friction generates a higher likelihood of on-time delivery and satisfied consumers. 

Reducing the incorrect fulfillment of orders, and subsequent returns, delivering on your warehouse’s mandate of accurate and on-time delivery, and meeting (or exceeding) customer expectations is the hallmark of exceptional warehouse software. Accurate and timely order fulfillment increases productivity, reduces costs, and drives profits.

3. Labour Management

Warehouses must make the most of every employee that they have. Warehouse labour costs can account for up to 65% of spend. Thus, every employee must do their part if they’re going to fulfil the mandate of their warehouse; namely to deliver what the customer wants, where and when they want it while keeping overheads down and improving productivity. 

To do that, warehouses must first understand their current processes regarding labour performance and utilization to develop effective metrics and labour standards. 

Superior WMS software has a labour management module incorporated into the core product. 

Some of the advantages of a labour management module include the following:

  • Boosting labour performance and warehouse efficiency through real-time reporting and KPIs
  • A learning management system equipped to ensure consistent employee training
  • Simplify employee scheduling and time tracking 
  • Integration with payroll and other accounting systems to support the calculation of employee incentives 
  • Improve employee engagement 
  • Track indirect hours, missing hours, and overtime by employees
  • Save labour, time, and money (Rands)

4. Performance Analytics and Reporting

As the management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” 

The best warehouse management software solutions deliver on this by accumulating business intelligence from warehouse operations to support strategic decision-making.

Real-time tracking is vital, particularly when monitoring inventory levels, order lead times, picking efficiency, worker performance, fulfilment time, space utilisation, etc.

Quality data is imperative in helping decision-makers manage their business processes, course correct where necessary and prepare for the future.

Best-in-class WMS solutions are feature-rich when it comes to analytics and reporting. These include inventory analytics, consignment reports, performance metrics, total landed costs, procurement analytics, discrepancy reports, and replenishment planning analytics, amongst others. 

5. Warehouse Automation Alignment

Nowadays, if you don’t have a warehouse automation strategy linked to solid WMS software, your enterprise will struggle to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Additionally, warehouse technology, such as robotic and goods-to-person solutions, enhances productivity, minimises labour risks, reduces human error, and increases efficiency and accuracy, but only when combined with intelligent warehouse management software.


Let us help you take the complexity out of warehouse management. You should consider Apex Real Time Solutions if you need a WMS software integrator. We’ve been at the forefront of providing innovative and targeted warehouse solutions to our South African clients and beyond since 2006. 

Apex offers WMS support and warehouse management consulting services for seamless supply chain operations and efficient inventory management.

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