Warehouse Management System
Increase productivity of all warehouse activities
|Generix Supply Chain Hub :||Supply Chain Execution & Visibility|
|Retail Unified Commerce|
|Multienterprise Integration & Collaboration|
Are you an industrial company, an omni-channel retailer, a logistics service provider? Whatever the size of your company, lowering the cost of logistics operations is key to profitability
Benefit from over 150 proven standard business processes and enriched continuously in collaboration with our users.
Take advantage of our 25 years of experience supporting the most demanding customers in the industry and in distribution.
Adjust your costs to your business volume, connect applications and hardware solutions easily (thanks to the embedded integrated engine).
Boost your receipts and returns: manage, sort, qualify as efficient to ensure timely update of availability.
Use all the available space, organize your storage using slotting to secure and make your preparations more productive.
Order your pick slots on stock, into just-in-time flows and mixed flows, optimize your resources with triangulation, reduce errors, observe deadlines.
Offer packing and labeling services, which are quick and differentiated, trace, group and manage your shipments.
Synchronize scheduling and operational control of your WMS with your production tools: automations/AGV and mechanized chains.
Synchronize your warehouse operations with arrivals and departures of carriers. Measure their performance and reduce wait times.
Generix Group solutions fit all your needs in supply chain management, datas and omnichannel sales. Find out the additionnal solutions used by our clients.
SOLOCHAIN Warehouse Management System
Frequently asked questions
Having a better vision of the company's logistics activity, avoiding order preparation errors and optimizing the use of resources and surfaces are among the key objectives in the deployment and implementation of a WMS. To achieve this, you need to be able to rely on the key functionalities of a complete tool:
- Facilitate the management of locations and stocks: the WMS allows you to monitor and optimize the allocation of items in the locations for space saving and adaptation respecting the rotation rates of products to make the preparations more productive.
- Manage order preparation: an essential step to satisfy orders while minimizing the resources employed to achieve this. The key lies in reducing empty runs, optimizing trips and integrating a large number of picking modes (single-order picking, pick and vent, etc.).
- Optimize the management of receipts and shipments: the WMS must be able to handle all the information concerning goods receipts and shipments in order to make it possible to control all associated internal operations. This means recording and verifying the conformity of received items as well as their allocation (storage, preparation, shipping, etc.).
- Organize the monitoring of the warehouse activity: because it is the tool of the warehouse manager, the WMS defines and monitors indicators on its performance. It thus collects operating statistics and inventory levels to make the right decisions at the right time.
You don't change your WMS solution every year. The goal is to have a stable, solid and scalable platform, as business activities and warehouse roles have to face frequent changes. At Generix, we offer extremely flexible and highly configurable solutions that provide extensive possibilities for your business, as well as a renowned support service that facilitates implementation and collaboration. Choosing the right solution is therefore crucial and should be based on objective criteria
Reliability of the solution: it would be very damaging to the business if the warehouse were to experience a technical breakdown lasting several hours. It is essential to have a very reliable WMS with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) set up by the editor. In addition, it is important to check the resources put in place by the service provider in case of an operating incident.
Functional richness: a WMS can have many functionalities and it is important to choose a solution with a wide functional coverage in order to be able to face current and future problems without having to develop specific adaptations.
With the rise of e-commerce and omnichannel, the warehouse has changed a lot and it is important to validate that the WMS solution can meet these new challenges.
The modularity of the offer: the goal is to be able to use (and pay for) only what you need among all the options proposed. By focusing initially on the modules that will allow you to quickly reap the first benefits, the company will be able to accelerate deployments and the appropriation of the tool by users. Using a SaaS platform is a good solution.
Solution scalability: you probably don't want to change your WMS every time your offer or your activity evolves. The goal is to find a solution that can follow the evolution of your business without having to make future custom developments.
Ergonomics: the border between general public applications and business software is becoming increasingly narrow. While efforts are made on everyday applications in terms of experience, design and interface, companies now want ergonomic, easy-to-use and user-friendly applications. Good ergonomics accelerate the learning process and limit the risks of resistance to change.
The cost of using the solution: in addition to the software price, it is important to include all the costs that will have to be paid (infrastructure, maintenance, upgrades, etc.) in the comparisons. This is especially true when the solutions being compared have different marketing methods (license and SaaS). This is known as TCO (Total Cost Ownership).
The ability to integrate the warehouse into the existing IT ecosystem: the WMS must interact and retrieve data from existing systems. This is particularly easy with a SaaS solution.
In a context of types of logistic flows evolution to be processed and of the missions attributed to the warehouse, the definition of the scope of action of the future solution represents a significant challenge. It is important to list your medium and long-term needs and to check that the software editors selected will be able to meet them thanks to their functional richness.
The functional scope of a WMS covers the knowledge of stocks, their location, the execution of operations as well as the monitoring of the warehouse activity. However, other subjects can now benefit companies evolving in increasingly fluctuating and complex environments. Determining your functional perimeter allows you to structure your approach and the way in which your data, goods and product flows will be managed by your information system.
The right definition of your functional perimeter allows you to find the solution which fits your needs. If a WMS can manage many things, it cannot do everything. Therefore, it is important to align your projects with the core business of a WMS to find the right solution.
The question of budget is key in the implementation of a WMS. Indeed, the goal of a WMS is to save time, to optimize your processes and to work more efficiently. The acquisition costs depend on many factors:
The license fee of the solution: costs are usually based on the total number of users. Some WMS vendors use other data such as annual order volumes. Make sure you know the details of the WMS vendor's offering so you can plan for the future. Ask yourself, for example, what impact your growth will have on your licensing needs over the next two or three years?
Optional modules: At the beginning, it can be difficult to determine what features are available in the base system versus optional modules based on demos. Thus, it is always prudent to budget for some additional modules before evaluating their value for your use.
Maintenance and support: even if maintenance is reduced in the case of a SaaS solution, you should make sure you know what is included or not in the offer you have chosen for your WMS. Don't neglect the support aspect either. You need to know who to contact in case of questions or problems, how to manage the training and onboarding of new users and have a single contact person at the publisher for any need.
Modifications and customization: Every change can add cost, risk and time to a project. If you need to make changes, describe them in detail in your specifications, before your consultation, to get the most accurate quote possible, both in terms of cost and schedule. If you don't know at the time of budgeting whether they are necessary, include contingency funds.
Internal project management costs: don't just look at the WMS vendor's costs. You will also need to budget for internal costs accurately. Will you need to hire an internal project manager? A dedicated team? For how long? Who will manage the transition from one system to another? Since the selection and deployment of a WMS is a structuring project for your warehouse, it will probably be necessary to set up a cross-functional team dedicated to the project, which should be included in the costs.
While the on-premise solution has been the norm for a long time, SaaS has now become totally democratized. It must be said that it has serious advantages:
- Having a secure environment that is easily accessible via any Internet-connected device from virtually anywhere.
- Quick and easy implementation.
- Seamless integration with existing IT resources.
- Pay-per-use model, with the ability to access as many resources as needed and tailored to your needs...
- Ability to scale quickly, which promotes business flexibility.
- No initial investment in terms of license and hardware is required.
- No maintenance and upgrade costs.
- No IT operational burden on the user company, the service provider is responsible for installing and updating the application and managing the servers.
- Faster payback, as the inherent project costs are amortized in 2 to 3 months.
By switching to a SaaS WMS, the company ensures that it will evolve over time and according to the logistics needs identified by all of the editor's customers as they use it. As the solution is paid for on a per-use basis, all costs are generally included (use, hosting, maintenance, updates, etc.). It is an all-inclusive service that is rented, which allows the IT department to free itself from the problems of architecture, choice and management of hosting.
Of course, when discussing the benefits of adopting one delivery method over another (SaaS/on premise), one must carefully consider all the multiple elements that are specific to each individual organization and each warehouse management software implementation project in order to arrive at a comprehensive assessment and cost balance in both the short and medium term.
A WMS in SaaS mode greatly facilitates integration into the existing IT ecosystem. With the average lifecycle of a WMS software being in the order of 10 to 15 years, the ability of the warehouse management program to evolve within this timeframe is fundamental: it is the key factor that ensures the support of the medium-long term business strategy of the user company (new business sectors, management of e-commerce and omnichannel operations, implementations in international or multi-site contexts, adoption of emerging technologies).
Essentially, what needs to be evaluated is the scalability of the warehouse management software in terms of volumes managed, square footage available, concurrent users allowed, integration of new processes, partners and locations, and the extent of visibility provided.
The ability of warehouse management software to integrate seamlessly with the enterprise information system is critical to increased agility and competitiveness. The WMS interfaces with many different systems throughout the supply chain (ERP for purchasing and sales order entry, TMS for transportation management, WCS for automated material handling control, APS for raw material purchasing and production planning, and others). The high performance of such a powerful tool can only be delivered if it is fully integrated into the company's core technology and processes.
Thanks to the cloud, a SaaS solution does not require dealing with the issues of architecture, choice and hosting management. All you have to do is subscribe to a service and the editor will provide the promised level of performance, often framed by an SLA (Service Level Agreement). No installation is necessary: everything is done via a web access.
The management of the warehouse by a cloud solution is to be preferred so that the applications can communicate dynamically with each other using APIs and web services. SaaS is the way to switch to an end-to-end supply chain offering 360° visibility.
SaaS technology is gaining more and more ground in many new WMS projects, for several reasons:
- Easy and quick deployment.
- Pay-per-use model, allowing access to resources and tailored to your needs.
- High scalability meeting the needs of companies in terms of flexibility and agility.
- No upfront investment and no maintenance and upgrade expenses, which are supported by the provider.
- Shifting IT investments to operational expenses (from CAPEX to OPEX).
All of these factors contribute to reducing the total cost of ownership of a SaaS-based information management system and make it an attractive choice in terms of price.
The pricing issue is highly variable, however, as it is generally influenced by many factors that relate specifically to the reality in which the solution will be implemented, including, for example, the volumes to be processed, the size of the areas, and the type of processes to be managed.
The market has fully perceived the value that this type of solution can bring to the supply chain, both in terms of execution and optimization, and in the choice, companies tend to give higher priority to other factors, such as scope of functionality, flexibility, scalability.
The suitability of the warehouse management software from a functional and business point of view must be supported by the profile and skills of the vendor, which can influence the outcome of the project as much as the solution itself. While the functionality of the solution is important, you should also take a closer look at the vendor's features. To help you make the right decision, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is its history? How long has it been in this business? Does it have international projects?
- Is it specialized in warehouse management or does it have other activities? If so, what is the share of its turnover in the WMS activity?
- Who are its major customers? Are they satisfied? Have you been able to talk to them to find out more?
- Does the editor internalize the management, the development of its WMS or is it outsourced? What is its level of expertise?
Coaching and transition:
- Is there a turnkey support solution?
- What is the methodology to support the change internally?
- Who to contact in case of problems? Do you have a single contact for any questions?
- Is there a roadmap of new features to come? When they are implemented, how do you train users on the new features?
- What is included in the proposed offering? Are there any options or features that need to be paid for in addition?
- What is the publisher's business model? What are the hidden costs? Are updates, maintenance, and security included in the budget?
Preparation and ownership of the process: the success of the implementation depends on the selection of the solution. By integrating the future users of the WMS as early as possible, at the time of the expression of needs, we ensure their support. This point is particularly key when it comes to replacing a "customized" solution with more standardized WMS functionalities.
Writing the specifications: defining the needs and transcribing them into the specifications are key steps. It is a question of taking into account the real needs and in particular those not satisfied by the existing solution. The constraints, the target processes and the organization of the internal project must also be described. It is then up to the editors to use this expression of needs to suggest the modules that meet them.
Creation of the return on investment file: this will serve as an internal reference once the project is launched. In the turbulent times inherent in any project, it will be possible to refer to it to recall the objectives of the implementation of the solution. In particular, it will describe the benefits that the WMS should bring to the organization and how it will contribute to the proper implementation of its business strategy.
Selection of editors: this stage aims to retain only solutions able to address the needs expressed in the specifications.
Consultation of editors: this important time must include return visits, presentations, demonstrations, reference visits, presentations, etc. As the number of points to be validated is important, the quality of the selection stage takes on its full meaning. It should save a lot of time later on in the project. It is advisable to build a multi-criteria evaluation grid before the consultation in order to objectively compare the solutions and publishers.
Carrying out a POC (Proof Of Concept): its objective is to validate the relevance of the solution. From a set of data on a defined perimeter, it becomes possible to verify how the system meets the expressed needs. This is an opportunity for the teams to ensure that the solution provides the expected help, that it is easy to use and adapted to the context in which the company evolves.