How to Create a Custom Warehouse Management System for your Logistic Business
The globalization of business that has intensified in recent years makes logistics an essential, indispensable sector that is growing. Companies expanding into new markets are looking for innovative digital tools and ways to optimize their logistics, decrease costs, and satisfy customers. Facing multiple challenges, businesses also face multifaceted opportunities. To seize all these opportunities, they need their supply chains well-oiled.
The development of a custom warehouse management system solution may be the answer to challenges that come across the way. It can also be the key to success through timely seizing the opportunities. More and more businesses realize it. The statistic shows that the Global Market of warehouse systems is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 15% till 2028.
It's going to reach a revenue of $7Bn by that time. The software segment must be showing significant growth during the forecast period, not the service one. So, it’s high time to consider developing the WMS solution. It will enable your businesses to efficiently manage and control the storage and distribution of goods or raw materials.
In our previous article, we uncovered the benefits of a custom warehouse management system development. Let’s now delve into more details as to the specifics of a successful logistics management system development. We’ll unveil the must-have features of a solution, the challenges, and important aspects to pay attention to.
WMS Functioning Mechanism and Key Functionality
A swift reminder - a warehouse management system is a software solution that helps you automate multiple operations. They are stock reception and storage, order packing and completion, warehouse navigation, shipments and tracking, workforce demand planning, etc.
Below, we’ll describe the business processes that can be automated with a custom WMS and the corresponding features to implement.
When an order is placed, the system automatically checks the inventory. It allocates items necessary and makes the due updates in real time. The inventory management system for a warehouse can generate tasks for order pickers, prioritize them, and optimize routes for efficiency.
The order fulfillment and management module is the cornerstone of warehouse operations. It should be built to enhance speed, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.
Thus, the order management feature is a critical feature for a WMS that should be implemented. It should comprise the following functions: order entry, validation, real-time visibility, history tracking, and order status updates. It’s reasonable to make the module classify and prioritize orders from the point of view of their importance.
Inventory movement can be tracked automatically through RFID and barcode scanning. So, these technologies should be implemented. An inventory management module can help maintain accurate stock levels and the most efficient space usage.
This module will facilitate the real-time tracking of the inventory levels by providing up-to-the-minute visibility into it, as well as into locations, and movements. It will allow the system to make actual updates to the inventory and reduce manual work in your business cycle.
Moreover, a WMS can forecast demand and ease optimizing stock levels and automated replenishment.
A WMS can help you verify the condition of the products in stock and their compliance with quality standards. Thus, you can enhance quality control checks through automated alerts and notifications about items that fail to meet quality criteria.
Shipping and Labeling
One of the features of a WMS is to automatically generate shipping labels, packing slips, and other necessary documents. Having predefined rules, it can select the best shipping carrier.
Visibility is vital. The feature of real-time tracking should be implemented into the warehouse inventory tracking system. It will provide businesses with insights into their supply chain. It will also allow you to make well-weighted decisions, properly distribute resources, and ensure customer satisfaction.
With real-time tracking, shipments, and inventory can be monitored to ensure that orders are processed on time and stocks are managed efficiently. It can give you an edge if you are resolute to obtain maximum benefits from a successful custom-developed platform.
Managing returns requires automated procedures to issue return authorizations and routing, track and inspect items and goods returned, update the levels of inventory, and initiate refund or replacement as defined in the return policies.
All these can save time and decrease errors. You can introduce resource planning and real-time task assignment analytics and reporting tools. It'll help optimize the performance of your workforce. Automated reporting and customizable dashboards can help you make well-versed decisions as to stock demand, optimization, and forecasting.
So, demand forecasting becomes possible through historical data utilization and predictive algorithms' implementation. Top WMS systems generate replenishment orders created after the anticipated demand analysis to reduce excess inventory and stockouts.
Warehouse inventory management systems can count a cycle for a subset of inventory items automatically through regularly scheduled and generated counts. Inconsistencies can then be identified and addressed automatically.
If your warehouse receives multiple orders shipped to the same destination, the warehouse management system can consolidate them automatically. By identifying orders with a common endpoint, the system can combine them into a single shipment. What is more, a WMS can optimize packing for such orders.
With the best WMS, you can automate the integration with your suppliers and improve order accuracy. Purchase orders, order confirmations, and shipment notifications can be communicated automatically.
Billing and Invoicing
Billing and invoicing are based on predefined billing rules integrated with accounting systems.
The work of warehouse employees can be scheduled, tracked, and monitored through a WMS. Performance metrics and hours worked can be used as the basis for payment calculations by the system.
The warehouse management system can optimize routes for outbound shipments. By the analysis of distance, traffic, delivery windows, and other factors the system can create the most efficient routes.
So, to enhance supply chain efficiency, implement transportation and route planning and optimization into your WMS.
Errors occur, they are inevitable. But if a WMS spots a picking mistake or inventory discrepancy, it can trigger an auto alert. It can also initiate corrective actions to reduce the impact of the trouble.
To gain timely insights into warehouse productivity, inventory accuracy, and order fulfillment rates, the warehouse management system solution should be adjusted to collect and generate performance data. Based on it, it should generate a spectrum of reports. Such reports can help you address challenges and proactively capitalize on opportunities.
All these features and automated processes result in the enhanced management of the entire supply chain. The best WMS systems become effective tools for overall optimization based on informed decisions.
Effective integration capabilities are the keys to successful management systems nowadays. On the one hand, you can streamline your operations and unite multifaceted systems like CRM, ERP, or accounting software into a single platform. On the other hand, you need to effectively integrate all the channels of your warehouse business. At the same time, your day-to-day activities need to be effectively managed to reach your specific business goals.
Scalability and Customization
That’s why scalability and customization are essential features of a WMS. Every business is meant to grow, but drops may also occur. Your system should allow operations at all levels and volumes, providing flexibility to adjust to changes.
User Roles Within WMS Development
After you have decided to develop a custom WMS for your business, you should define the user roles to include in it. Each user role presupposes certain functionality adjusted to the responsibilities of the user.
The typical warehouse roles to consider during the WMS development are
- a warehouse manager,
- a supervisor,
- an order picker,
- an order packer,
- a receiver,
- a client.
It’s vital to remember that a warehouse is a fast-paced environment for the team to cooperate and complete tasks quickly and efficiently. At the same time, managers should coordinate and control these activities. The owners in their turn should put their effort into keeping processes moving along smoothly.
The role of a client is primarily in viewing inventory reports and entering purchase orders and sales. This feature is more characteristic of a 3rd party warehouse management system. However, you can also implement this feature for your client's convenience.
Comprehension of the diverse user roles within a WMS development is principal for seamless warehouse operations.
How to Create a Custom WMS and Why Choose Stfalcon as Your Vendor
In our development processes, we follow the same scenario that has proven to be effective. So, your only task as a client is to choose the right vendor for your product development.
For this purpose, you may research several potential partners. Check their portfolios and ratings on professional platforms, like Clutch. Then make sure the development company has the necessary expertise and case studies in your industry, logistics in our case. Check the feedback and reviews from their clients. Make sure they provide support and updates to their products if it’s necessary.
At Stfalcon we always start product development from a discovery phase. That’s the stage when we carefully study all our client’s business requirements, specifics, and features needed for the new solution. It's also important to study the software represented in the market already.
When taking up a WMS development, it’s vital to study the existing day-to-day operations, and business processes, and identify the pain points of the stakeholders, company staff, and their customers. As a result, we get a comprehensive feature list to implement, services to integrate, and the overall vision of the new software system to develop. The team also picks up the necessary tools and tech stack for the new product development.
When all the details are agreed with our customer, we proceed to the next stage, the development stage. Our professional team develops the platform and implements the predetermined features and the best UI/UX design.
QA and testing then follow to make sure the system operates smoothly, without errors, and as it’s intended. If bugs are found they are handled in a due way and when the software runs smoothly and error-free, it’s released. The client can then ensure the product meets all the requirements and standards.
Support and maintenance is the stage we offer to our clients, but they can also decide to do it themselves. In most cases, Stfalcon continues to maintain the product’s infrastructure. We also troubleshoot the bugs reported by the client if the contract is signed.
Some more evidence for you to choose Stfalcon as your vendor. Our company has been regularly acknowledged by Clutch as one of the best service providers. We've been certified recently per ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. It means the Company operates a management system compliant with ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
So, we know firsthand how to build an effective management system and can do it for our clients as well.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Custom Warehouse Management Software
That’s a tricky question loved by our clients, but having no direct answer. The budget of a development project is determined by multifaceted factors. You should take into consideration the complexity of the software solution, its functionality, tech stack, and integrations necessary. But that’s not all. Software design and development rates also differ in different companies and by different specialists, depending on their expertise, level, and often project deadline.
We’d advise our clients to expect the cost of development somewhere between $100 000 and $250 000 on average. However, the sky's the limit for custom solutions and their cutting-edge functionality.
The final price is calculated by your vendor when all the project details are clarified. Most of the world knows that Ukraine is the best direction to outsource software development projects. Our specialists are recognized by their level of proficiency and at the same time fair development rates.
Though warehouse management software development is a complex process, the result is well worth it. The benefits of a WMS comprise a wide range of aspects, from routine operations to business process automation. However, to get a leading-edge product, you should be careful in choosing the right vendor. Choose the one who has enough expertise and experience in the logistics industry. Contact us, discuss your project, and get the support of a competent logistics software development team. Make the first step towards your robust WMS right now.