How to implement a basic warehouse management system (WMS)

‘Basic’ means different things to different people depending on expectations and past experiences but not all businesses aspire to be Amazon.

Many warehouse management software suppliers posture themselves as everything to everyone. This usually leaves their users disappointed and out of pocket. A WMS implementation which can deliver core best practice basic warehouse management system functions with a low risk, low cost approach allows a business to increase complexity over time once the big wins have been realised… FAST.

Real, tangible bottom line savings should come quickly

If a basic warehouse management system is just the start of your road to warehouse excellence, make any potential partner aware of what you hope the future will hold. This way all parties can decide on the timescales and length of any contractual agreement e.g. look for short term commitments or carefully review the road map of your chosen partner. Tread carefully with any software partner who can’t share their future product development with you easily!


Key basic WMS functions


Many people don’t appreciate the background complexity of a basic warehouse management system but a good warehouse technology supplier won’t bore you with the detail! They’ll just deliver great WMS functions which help affordably support your warehouse operation whatever stage of growth your business is at.

Real, tangible bottom line savings should come quickly and the system should be self funding very early into the use of the application if adopted and used correctly.

A basic WMS should offer the following 10 features

  1. Ability to book stock in and quickly find an available storage location
  2. Reconcile received stock against a purchase order where applicable
  3. Report on any discrepancies between expected Vs actual stock and quantities
  4. Support stock taking processes
  5. Receive an order in from a 3rd party source e.g. website or 3rd party system
  6. Create picking instructions to drive pickers to correct warehouse storage locations
  7. Highlight when picking locations are low on stock for replenishment
  8. Rotate stock by FIFO (first in first out) or date rotation e.g. sell by date
  9. Create despatch paperwork and carrier labels where applicable
  10. Leave a full audit trail for reporting

These core 10 features of a basic warehouse management system should not be over complicated in the minds of business owners and Warehouse Managers.

modern technology platforms can stand behind their products

They can be delivered quickly and affordably by subscribing to a cloud WMS service. It is common that a cloud WMS service will have a low monthly cost and no minimum term as modern technology platforms can stand behind their products much more than version specific, legacy technology systems so have no need to request large upfront sums or demand long term commitments limiting a businesses options.

With a low cost, quick return on investment basic warehouse management system implementation, if you outgrow the functions and your provider isn’t able to ‘step up’ with more complex functions, you can simply part ways, usually with 30 days notice! 


What problems can a basic warehouse system solve?


Below are some example of warehouse challenges which should make you seriously consider a free trial or the implementation of basic warehouse management system functions.

  • Manually re-keying orders from one system to another causing errors
  • Issues with stock availability
  • Manual Excel controls which are unreliable
  • Wrong stock sent to customers
  • Time wasted looking for lost and missing stock
  • Stock write offs as items out of date stock due to poor rotation
  • Too much stock being ordered tying up cash


Basic warehouse management system from ClarusWMS

If you want to solve your warehouse challenges quickly and affordably, speak to one of our team to understand how ClarusWMS’ simple cloud subscription platform can support excellence by promoting better customer service, better results and faster growth.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of cloud warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution and manufacturing.