It is a common practice that warehouses need a warehouse management system to run an efficient and effective process for inbound, storage and outbound.
Warehouse management system software has evolved over the last 25 years and many software solutions offer a wide variety of features to manage inbound (e.g. dynamic put-away), storage (e.g. replenishment), and outbound (e.g. batch picking). Many systems support RF scanning, material handling equipment and integration with transport management systems.
In recent years these systems had to further evolve in order to support a new trend: E-Commerce. Warehouse management systems are now called fulfilment systems and their functions have changed to deal with a big change in order patterns: a large volume of single-item orders instead of a small volume of full pallet orders.
As a result of big changes in supply chain management, warehouse management system software needs to evolve further to deal with another phenomenon: Returns.
In regards to returns, 2 questions are relevant:
Should a warehouse management system become a returns management system? or
Should a warehouse management system integrate with a returns management system?
We will further deep-dive in these questions in upcoming blogs.