Why your refrigerated warehouse needs a warehouse management system (WMS) developed specifically for cold storage

Why your refrigerated warehouse needs a warehouse management system (WMS) developed specifically for cold storage

There are many choices for warehouse management systems (WMS) in the world of industrial software today, yet most were not developed specifically to meet the needs of cold storage providers. Working in harsh environments, public refrigerated warehouses must have special functionality to deal with the range of inventory housed, often in multi-locations with differing temperatures.
Warehouse management systems developed for dry storage often cannot meet these needs. Cold storage warehouse operators should consider not only the type of inventory handled but also future potential client needs, regulatory requirements and other factors when evaluating warehouse management systems. For example, when handling meat, fish or produce, it is often necessary that a WMS has the ability to handle variable or “catch” weight effectively. This is not always common to warehouse management systems developed for dry storage.
Top end warehouse management systems developed for cold storage warehouses typically have specific features designed to deal with temperature capture and locations in order to minimize costly damage to inventory that must be stored in specific temperature zones. This can be a business essential and help the cold storage provider attract new clients to their business.
To aid in the search for and evaluation of WMS software, here is a list of features that can be highly desirable in warehouse management systems (WMS) for cold storage warehouse operators:

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Critical WMS Features for Third Party Logistics (3PL) Providers

Critical WMS Features for Third Party Logistics (3PL) Providers

Ability to deal with the complexities of “many to many”

Because third party logistics providers (3PLs) manage inventories for multiple customers at multiple warehouse facilities often at multiple locations with multiple users, the warehouse management system must be able to handle this level of complexity. Each 3PL client is unique, with specific billing criteria, contracts, business processes and requirements making operations extremely complicated. It is critical to select a flexible software that can adapt to the needs of your business and customers, not require conformity to the software.

Multiple ownership of the same item type occurs frequently and must be supported by the WMS software. Billing for each 3PL customer, based upon their own contracts and specifications adds an extra layer of complexity. In addition, each customer handles the payment of 3PL services in their own way and on a different schedule.

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How does a warehouse management system (WMS) operate?

How does a warehouse management system (WMS) operate?

Warehouse management systems are linked or interfaced to other systems such as material handling equipment,  Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) systems, Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and accounting systems to interchange data that each system needs to complete operational processes.

The warehouse management system is also linked to a server, host computer and access points within the warehouse to allow the flow of real time information.  Information is conveyed from mobile devices such as handheld computers, voice, wearable and vehicle mounted mobile computers or tablets from the device to the warehouse management system via the radio frequency (RF) access points.

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