Out now: 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Warehouse Management Systems.
A warehouse is a space for the storage of goods that are registered in terms of quantity or value. The term ‘warehouse’ is the short form of the term 'goods warehouse'. A warehouse serves as a storage location for materials and goods that are only needed later.
For example, goods that must be kept available for sale. Apart from service companies, it is the central contact point for every company. A distinction is made between warehouses for raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products, etc. There are many types of warehouses and each of them has specific requirements, functions, limitations, and possibilities.
Warehouses can be categorized according to the following points:
- Type of stored product: many warehouses focus on individual product types such as flammable products, small materials, spare parts, perishable goods, etc. However, there are also warehouses that are designed for general use.
- Type of building: the type of building can also serve as a classification criterion. These are open-air warehouses, halls, cellars, silos or depots, cold stores, self-supporting warehouses (the shelves form the structure of the building), etc.
- Material flow: depending on the material flows, the installations in the warehouse for raw materials, components, or semi-finished products, finished products, intermediate storage, depot storage, distribution storage, etc. can be grouped.
- Location: depending on their location, warehouses can be designed as central, regional or transit warehouses.
- Level of automation: warehouses can be operated manually, semi-automated or fully automated.
Employees in warehouses take care of various tasks:
- receipt of goods
- checking the goods
- internal transport (between different storage areas)
- storage and custody
- picking or order preparation and consolidation
- dispatch of goods
- management and provision of information on stocks, movements, demand, etc.
In order to ensure that these processes run smoothly, companies of all sizes, from medium-sized to large corporations, rely on warehouse management software. This allows all processes in the warehouse to be coordinated and controlled. Above a certain size, it is no longer possible from a logistics point of view to keep track of all material flows and work steps. Therefore, the use of such software is of great advantage.
Anyone who wants to focus on clean process flows from the very beginning should consider professional logistics consulting. Together with experienced experts, an individual concept will be developed, which exactly meets the requirements of the respective customer. In this way, errors can be avoided right at the start and time can be saved.
Warehouses are the foundation of any successful logistics. This is where goods are managed and processed from receipt to exit. If you save in the wrong places, you run the risk of being quickly overtaken by the competition. On the other hand, those who strengthen themselves in terms of software and warehouse structure are following the impetus of Logistics 4.0.