4 Questions You Need to Ask Your Warehouse Management System

Jan 31, 2023

In terms of efficient supply chain management, the past year has made one thing clear: Digitization is here to stay. Several leading studies illustrated the effects of high customer demand and labor shortages on modern warehouses. Among the findings, the following results stand out:

  • Consumers spent 20% more money when shopping online
  • 421 million carts were purchased in the U.S. and Europe within the first quarter of 2022
  • RFID scanning was projected to help save upwards of $500 million from manual tasks
  • American parcel volume is expected to reach 25-40 billion by 2027


While manual data entry was once acceptable, today’s fast-paced environments require versatile technologies like voice picking, RFID locationing, and barcode scanning. Digitized systems like these seamlessly connect data onto a shared warehouse management system, maximizing inventory control to avoid stockouts and traceability errors.


As technology continues to mature and new challenges arise, warehouse management systems must be ready to accommodate new solutions while staying ahead of consumer demands. Moreover, while omnichannel fulfillment is taking center stage in modern warehousing, wholesale, cold chain, and micro-fulfillment warehousing workflows also place more pressure on your management system. Therefore, before implementing new technologies into your facility, experts recommend asking your WMS the following questions:


  1. Do employees have real-time access to inventory data?

Digitization via RFID or barcode scanning enables faster inventory updates, empowering teams with accurate visibility of in-stock products. This prevents missed sales, ultimately protecting the bottom line. To ensure real-time visibility, data must be updated automatically in your warehouse system. A tailored connectivity infrastructure can help eliminate dropped sessions and dead zones, connecting data within the four walls, and protecting real-time visibility. If teams still lack access to crucial data within certain parts of your facility, an upgraded connectivity system may be in order.


  1. Are new devices compatible with your WMS?

A complex implementation process may create more headaches and downtime in the future. To prevent complicated and/or missed updates, it is best to make sure your new devices are compatible with your WMS. Many businesses avoid rigid and outdated operating systems by migrating to Android for Enterprise since it provides them with an open app ecosystem and ongoing OS updates. Furthermore, most leading technology developers are also choosing Android as their preferred OS. Next-generation mobile computers and rugged tablets now leverage Android to facilitate transitioning TE apps to a touchscreen interface. Not only does this simplify data sharing via your WMS, but it also accelerates employee onboarding since workers tend to be more familiar with Android’s user-friendly platform.


  1. Is the data on your WMS secure?

It is estimated a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds across the country, costing businesses millions of dollars annually. As more devices connect to your WMS, the risk of cyberattacks increases. Therefore, a thorough cybersecurity plan is vital to ensure business continuity. While different companies may call for different strategies, experts generally recommend keeping all systems up to date to maintain safety protocols in place. As security patches and application updates become available, consider updating your WMS and any supporting systems and technologies. Download our data security solution brief for a comprehensive list of best practices to integrate into your workflows.


  1. Can your WMS handle future inventory growth?

Past supply chain trends point to continual growth in consumer demand and the high use of omnichannel shopping. Warehouses forecasting a yearly 10% growth should ensure the WMS can handle 70% more orders within seven years. This will prevent future bottlenecks while leaving room for sudden spikes in demand and resource shortages. As your IT team diligently enhances current operations, a dedicated support team can assist you in projecting change and tailoring solutions to accommodate possible growth. Once again, flexible operating systems and versatile hardware can help maximize your WMS. Your WMS is only part of an efficient digitization solution. Reach out to our warehouse modernization specialists to learn how to combine next-evolution technologies and intelligent software to streamline digitization. As businesses continue to embrace automation, we can expect higher productivity rates sure to redefine the meaning of warehouse efficiency.