What are the inventory management functions

Warehouse management: application, advantages, software

The Warehouse management is a partial aspect of warehousing. It encompasses all storage processes for stored items from incoming goods to dispatch. The warehouse management records, controls and supervised all storage and retrieval processes and enables complete tracing of the articles within the warehouse. This includes the registration of changes in inventory, the management of warehouse statistics or the management of packaging such as pallets or containers as well as transport aids. The warehouse management can be done both manually and automatically by software, a so-called warehouse management system. These more complex systems can even take over the automated control and optimization of the processes.

Synonym (s): warehouse management system, warehouse management software, warehouse management

Warehouse management system definition

Example of a warehouse management system

A warehouse management system (WMS) or warehouse management system (WMS) describes the software used to manage, monitor and control a warehouse. The warehouse management software independently coordinates and controls every storage and retrieval process, manages the item and order data, assigns storage locations, controls the transport and storage systems and finally extends to the operational level, where it manages the individual devices and drives. In summary, this means that the warehouse management software has all Stock movements registered. Both warehouse receipts and goods issues and stock transfers are referred to as warehouse movements and are included in the Stock movement balance summarized. Depending on the size of the warehouse, different types of software can be used. Thus, the complete warehouse logistics can be managed with one software warehouse management, too Location management programWarehouse management system, Taxes. She is part of the Merchandise management-System that maps all flows of goods in a company's business process. With the help of Control station, also known as the control panel, all information is brought together, processed and evaluated. The graphic preparation of the logistical processes means that internal faults and sources of error can be responded to more quickly. Furthermore take over Information systems the recording, storage and delivery of information for the control of the warehouse processes. They give execution instructions for employees as well as the Inventory accounting at. By a Filter function the scope of the list and the information required can be reduced.

Example of an automatic warehouse management

Warehouse management system in use

One of the better known enterprise resource planning systems is this Openz. This completely web-based software offers a dynamically adaptable, scalable and easy-to-use range of functions. With Openz, business processes such as preparation of offers, controlling, financial accounting, Project management and warehouse management can be controlled and coordinated.

Warehouse management functions

A WMS takes over the administration and control of the entire intralogistics.

A WMS is responsible for the administration of the incoming goods, the internal warehouse processes as well as the outgoing goods. The core functions include, for example, inventory management, the organization of the warehouse structure, management of master data and transports. In addition, many software providers offer additional functions such as series and Batch numbers-Administration or energy management. The Storage bins can be entered manually. The expansion modules of a warehouse management system include software packages that, among other things, support different picking principles such as pick-by-voice or pick-by-light.

An overview of the core functions of a WMS

Goods Receipt

  • Notification
  • Capture
  • Deconsolidation
  • Quality inspection
  • Storage
  • Stock confirmation
  • Returns management

Internal warehouse processes

  • Rearrangement
  • Replenishment
  • Rebooking
  • Inventory
  • Control room

Outgoing goods

  • Order management
  • Picking
  • Consolidation
  • packaging
  • shipping
  • Delivery confirmation

Warehouse management application areas

A warehouse management system can be used for all warehouse management applications. A distinction is made between incoming goods processing, order processing and picking, administration, shipping and inventory. With manual warehouse management, these steps are carried out by employees of a company.

Incoming goods processing

The task of a warehouse management system for incoming goods is to record and compare the order. In addition, it assigns the goods to free storage locations and labels the articles if necessary. Additional requirements are an invoice control and the quality check of the delivered goods.

Order processing

During order processing, the warehouse management system arranges the order data according to the type of order such as normal or rush order, determines the shortest picking route or arranges the necessary replenishment in advance.


The order picking with a warehouse management system is usually paperless based on the "goods-to-man" principle. The demands on the WMS are particularly high in this work step: the data, such as the display of storage area or compartment numbers as well as the removal quantity, must be processed in real time without causing waiting times.

Picking system based on the pick-by-voice principle

Warehouse management systems can support the following manual picking principles:

  • Picking with picking slip
  • Picking with mobile data acquisition (MDE)
  • Picking with the help of a barcode, pick-by-scan
  • Picking with pick-by-vision
  • Picking with Pick-by-Voice
  • Picking with Pick-by-Light
  • Picking with pick-by-RFID


The actual administration is primarily understood to mean the organization and control of the reserves and picking areas of a warehouse. This includes inventory management and updating of the individual storage compartments. Installed sensors such as light barriers, contact loops, position switches and actuators recognize the movements of storage and retrieval machines, automatic carousels or driverless transport systems, evaluate the information and update the databases.


The task of the warehouse management system during shipping is to record the goods issue and update the inventory data. It can also provide suggestions regarding the packaging, packing sequence or box size. Another requirement is the creation of loading lists. These are either sent electronically directly to the recipient or printed out.


Another area of ​​responsibility of a warehouse management system is the evaluation of the stock quantity. The great benefit: The inventory can be carried out permanently and in real time by the LVS. This means that shortages can be detected automatically and replenished particularly quickly. A warehouse management system also supports manual inventory through static analyzes.

Warehouse management system advantages

The advantages of a warehouse management system lie in the fast processing of warehouse inquiries and in the recording of warehouse stocks in real time. Errors within the Material flow control can be significantly reduced compared to manual warehouse management, thereby improving warehouse logistics and the entire supply chain management. Although the purchase costs are higher than with manual systems, a WMS is in many cases more cost-effective than them in the long term, as it controls all processes automatically and takes on a lot of the work. A WMS also increases process reliability and enables optimal use of all storage resources. The permanent process and inventory monitoring ensures continuous traceability. The software also supports decision-making in the warehouse. These are advantages for the user that not only increase productivity in the warehouse, production and distribution, but can also become decisive competitive factors.

Warehouse management system disadvantages

Nevertheless, warehouse management systems also have their clear disadvantages. The more comprehensive a storage system that has just been introduced, the more expensive and complex the implementation and maintenance of the system will be. Sources of error can quickly arise, especially with too many features and functions. Correcting errors is very complex in such systems. In addition, the staff has to be prepared for a complex change, in which the operation of the warehouse management software can be complicated. In addition, more data maintenance has to be carried out for such software to make sense.

Difference between inventory management and warehouse management

The warehouse management deals with the organization of the physical warehouse and thus with the question: What is where? The Inventory management revolves around the number of goods owned by a company. Sometimes it shows the availability and the status in addition to the number. However, the shelf number of the corresponding pallet is not of interest for inventory management. In general, warehouse management software is intended for warehouse staff, whereas inventory management software is intended for purchasing or the finance department of a company.

useful information

What's this Averaging procedure '? The same products are often bought for different prices in one financial year. At the end of the year it must then be decided at which price the remaining stock should be valued. In this case there is the average procedure. The average is taken from all of the same products that were purchased.

What does C-parts management mean? We have created an extra page on this topic.

Warehouse management software provider

Deltra offers ERP Software solutions for modern companies. One of them is the warehouse management software orgaMAX. In addition to the total inventory, it also lists the number, location, purchase price and the number of reserved and reordered items. If the articles with Batch numbers orgaMAX can keep an eye on particularly valuable items or entire production units.
IFE GmbH is the best Odoo partner in Europe and sells, among other things, the ERP Office software Odoo 11 for medium-sized businesses for 18 euros per month. In addition, the innovations of version 8.0 are explained and listed in detail on the website using screenshots. IFE's software can be used in all company processes.
The company proLogistik offers warehouse management software based on the modular principle for intralogistics. Your software optimizes workflows and stocks. proLogistik attaches great importance to Retrofitting in intralogistics. Retrofitting is a possibility to adapt to changed conditions in terms of cost and benefit.
The Austrian company develops software for small and medium-sized companies. The software SMEs can create invoices, calculate offers, organize delivery notes, manage addresses and articles and keep an overview of all stocks and movements.

Warehouse management software

Warehouse management software can be downloaded online from many supplier websites. Two of them are hot and VARIO. The download size is happy to be half a million Kbyte.

  • viadat
  • sevDesk
  • BayOrganizer
  • WaWi
  • SuPCIS
  • JTL
  • addison

Jobs in warehouse management

The manual as well as automatic warehouse management is very versatile and offers numerous job offers and training opportunities in the following areas, among others:

  • Warehouse management clerk
  • ladder Warehouse management
  • Warehouse management / merchandise management specialist
  • Specialist for warehouse logistics
  • Technical business economist
  • Specialist for warehouse and logistics
  • Industrial specialist
  • Logistics technician
  • Logistician
  • Order picker / warehouse clerk