Key features wholesalers should look for in a WMS

Wholesale distributors are facing a demand that only grows more complex each day as new B2B commerce paradigms emerge and e-commerce continues to take a greater share of the overall market. Keeping up with these changes necessitates a wholesale-focused warehouse management system. The problem is, how do you know what you need to get the right wholesale warehouse system?

We’ve put together five things to consider beyond a good foundation in receiving management. They’re the perfect boxes to check off to make sure your system does all you need.

Enhanced picking

The wholesale warehouse sees a significant diversity in items and orders each day, making a powerful picking module essential. Wholesalers will benefit most from a platform that is easily customized to their facility, operating with your current equipment as well as new technologies that automate common tasks like barcode scanning.

Wave planning is a critical component as is support for sequential zone picking, batch picking and more.

Multiple levels of number tracking

To make your fulfillment successful and optimize your inventory, you will want a wholesale WMS that can track inventory in its largest bulk shipment option down as small as you go. Lot and individual serial number tracking can help you know exactly when it’s time to reorder and better forecast your future demands.

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The more detailed data you can capture at receiving and automatically track as orders are fulfilled, the better you will be able to manage your revenue.

Order allocation

Order management now lives in the warehouse, so your wholesale WMS must be strong enough to address this dynamic process. Look for a platform that’s smart enough to handle all your different order channels, from phones to e-commerce and remote sales.

Get a WMS that can properly allocate and assign goods and staff so that your operations run smoothly and you have the right inventory controls to set determinations for prioritizing each order. The order channel shouldn’t matter.

Tracking of KPIs across your entire operation

Data comes back for another starring role in order management with the ability to track your operations against company KPIs. Every warehouse is trying to run leaner, but you can only do this successfully when you have robust, accurate data that covers every order you place and receive through each order you receive and place.

Wholesale warehouse platforms also need to be robust enough to handle exceptions and returns. It’s an added bonus if it easily integrates with other platforms so you can pull in all the other partner data you need to fully understand your business.

Exception management

Whether an order can’t be completed currently or if it requires a special touch due to weight, size, or processing requirements, your wholesale WMS should be smart enough to flag the order and route everything to your jackpot lane.

The more the system automates the process of identifying issues, moving them out of the way, and informing your fulfillment manager, the faster your team can resolve them. Not only should your wholesale warehouse system manage exceptions but it should record them in your incident tracking so your business can prepare for future issues.

There are just five of the top things that you should require when you consider a new wholesale WMS for your operations.

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Geoff Whiting

About the author…

Geoff is an experienced journalist, writer, and business development consultant with a focus on enterprise technology, e-commerce, and supply chain development. Outside of the office he can be found toying with the latest in IoT, searching for classic radio broadcast recordings, and playing the perpetual tourist in his home of Washington D.C.

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Geoff Whiting