Warehouse Management System provides efficient putaway and picking

May 29, 2024

The Warehouse Management System Advantage: Streamlining Putaway and Picking for Warehouse Efficiency

For businesses to succeed today, especially in the field of e-commerce, it is imperative that their warehouse operations are efficient. Every activity from the time the inventory is received at the dock to the time it is picked up for shipment must be well-coordinated to ensure both efficiency and rapidity. This is where a Warehouse Management System (WMS) comes in. A WMS is a software solution that acts as the central nervous system of your warehouse, overseeing, and optimising all aspects of inventory management, including two crucial processes: putaway and picking.

The Putaway Puzzle: From Receiving Dock to Optimal Storage

Putaway is the process whereby the incoming inventory is stored in the most suitable location in the warehouse. A well-designed putaway strategy affects overall warehouse efficiency. Here’s how a WMS enhances putaway:

  • Directed Putaway: Employees no longer need to find where to stow goods randomly in the warehouse. A WMS is designed to take into consideration parameters such as product dimensions, weight, usage rate and pick rate to determine where a particular stock-keeping unit is best stored. This saves time and reduces the overall distance travelled by the pickers.
  • Real-Time Inventory Visibility: A WMS also ensures real-time information on available storage space which help in deciding on where to store incoming stock.   This prevents over stocking in certain sections or occupying space with items that are not that important.
  • Integration with Receiving: The WMS can be designed to easily interface with other receiving procedures in order to capture data and verify received stock. This helps to avoid data entry mistakes and it means inventory records will be correct from the start.
  • Optimised Layout Strategies: A WMS can assist in the formulation and integration of various putaway strategies such as the ABC analysis (storing inventory according to value and frequency of use) or the zone pick approach (assigning certain zones to products with high turnover). These strategies help faster order picking and order fulfilment.

The Picking Powerhouse: Efficiency at Your Fingertips

Picking is the process of identifying and collecting the requested stored goods by following the order provided by the customer. Speed and accuracy are crucial in this process since any delay in the process leads to customer dissatisfaction, loss of potential earnings, and increased operating costs. A WMS empowers your picking team with the following advantages:

  1. Paperless Picking: No more paper pick lists or the possibility of having wrong items selected. An effective WMS can provide pickers with instructions on their handheld devices, indicating the items and their locations. This reduces picking time and improves accuracy.
  2. Pick Path Optimisation: The WMS can review the list of picks and determine how they should be picked, thereby avoiding backtracking within the warehouse. This reduces picker fatigue and increases the numbers of orders picked per hour.
  3. Multi-Order Picking Techniques: A WMS can assist processes such as batch picking (picking multiple orders at the same time) and zone picking. These techniques enable pickers to complete in a single trip, thus improving order picking efficiency.
  4. Inventory Management Integration: The WMS also provides real-time data on inventory, thus ensuring that there is no pick of the wrong or out of stock products.  This enhances order processing and reduces the number of backorders.

Beyond Putaway and Picking: The WMS Advantage

The advantages of a WMS are not confined to putaway and picking operations. Here are some additional advantages:

  • Improved Inventory Control: WMS offers integrated visibility of all inventory management, starting from the receiving stage to the shipping. This enables working on a forecasted supply ensuring it does not experience high stock out instances or occasions where there is too much stock as compared to demand.
  • Enhanced Labor Management: WMS provides the right data about picking time and travel distance to enable efficient deployment of manpower, resources and working schedules. This ensures that you have the right number of human resources at the right times.
  • Reduced Errors and Increased Visibility: Through the automation of many of these processes, a WMS greatly reduces the chances of human error as well as data entry errors. It offers integrated and detailed reporting, enabling warehouse managers to monitor their operations effectively.

Investing in Efficiency: Making the Move to a WMS

Y3 WMS is a system that can revolutionise businesses and organisation of all sizes. It is essential because optimised putaway, picking, and other warehouse functions mean quicker order delivery, lower staffing costs, and thus, satisfied customers. Despite the fact, that initial investments may seem rather high, the long-term benefits of Y3 WMS often outweigh the initial costs.


Effective management of warehouses has become vital for success in today’s competitive environment. The putaway and picking activities that are involved in a WMS can help businesses raise the level of efficiency in the warehouse and solve the problem of inventory management. WMS is a long-term investment that brings order to the warehouse and lays the foundation for faster order processing, lower costs, and competition.

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