You probably know how difficult it can be to acquire and comprehend business lingo if you’re a brand of any scale in the ever-expanding world of e-commerce. While certain terminologies may appear to be radically diverse when they can really be used interchangeably, others may appear to be comfortable when they are not.
This is especially true when talking about inventory management vs warehouse management.
These words first appear to describe the same tasks. Inventory management systems and warehouse management systems, however, are 2 separate services that serve quite different purposes.
In order to better understand both system type and how it functions, this post will compare the concepts of warehouse management systems and inventory management systems.
- 1 What is inventory management vs warehouse management?
- 2 Difference between inventory management and warehouse management
- 3 Similar between inventory management and warehouse management
- 4 Summary
What is inventory management vs warehouse management?
IMS, standing for the inventory management system, keeps track of both the inventory that is available in all storage areas and warehouses as well as the information of everything in all warehouses.
In opposition to this, a warehouse management system, or WMS, keeps an eye on the inventory and where it is located in a storage area or warehouse.
Systems for controlling inventories and warehouses are typically used in tandem to enhance stock management.
|Inventory management||Warehouse management|
|Tracking the location and movement of merchandise across all channels.||Tracking the location and movement of merchandise inside a warehouse.|
|Offering a more comprehensive view of a company’s whole inventory.||Creating reports on inventory status.|
|Taking care of order fulfillment by keeping an eye on inventory levels.||Focusing on the stock acquisition, packaging, and delivery.|
What is inventory management?
The term “inventory management” describes the process of keeping track of the products that a business keeps on hand. It entails tasks including supply chain management, demand forecasting, ordering, refilling, storage, and inventory forecasting.
With an increase in the number of units sold, inventory management becomes more difficult. If new product categories are launched, inventory may increase.
A critical component of supply chain management, the correct inventory system may assist in managing any volume of units that must be processed in order to sell and deliver.
Many small businesses assume that outsourcing order fulfillment and product storage to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider entails totally handing over the inventory management process.
In fact, a 3PL can give a seller useful equipment and information that will enable them to properly manage their inventory in the most economical and efficient way possible. The inventory statistics are frequently still completely within the owner’s control.
Depending on your sector, several factors can influence how much inventory management is necessary, but the fundamental ideas are always the same. Inventory management is most efficient for small e-commerce businesses when you are aware of all the resources available to you.
Make sure you employ best practices so that you can save money on unsold inventory, facility leasing, reverse logistics, and shipping expenses.
What is warehouse management?
WMSs (warehouse management systems) aid in managing the movement of goods and personnel inside a warehouse or fulfillment facility.
Basic WMS may coordinate picking, packaging, and shipping activities, but it may also do a wide variety of other jobs.
Inventory receiving, inventory management, demand planning, supply chain management, labor management, and other warehouse activities might be handled by a more powerful system.
A WMS will increase order fulfillment turnaround time, decrease mistakes, decrease expenses associated with errors, and improve workflow efficiency.
Running a WMS for an online firm may be time-consuming and expensive; it involves significant upfront hardware expenses, intensive training, and further monthly fees for upkeep.
Difference between inventory management and warehouse management
It’s critical to explain how warehouse management systems and inventory management systems differ from one another since these concepts are commonly misinterpreted.
The following are the primary variations between WMS and IMS:
Brands and retailers vs warehouse operators
Warehouse operators can increase workforce productivity and streamline any warehouse operation by using warehouse management solutions. On the other side, inventory management systems are designed to help retailers and brands track and report on their inventories.
Inventory levels vs inventory movement
In order to increase organization and fulfillment efficiency, a WMS often focuses on the placement and movement of inventory across the warehouse.
An IMS, on the other hand, concentrates on monitoring inventory levels. An IMS gives you knowledge about the quantity of a certain product you have on hand, improving your ability to foresee trends, assess costs, fulfill orders, and handle replenishments.
Warehouse productivity vs report accuracy
An IMS aims to minimize mistakes in inventory reporting and accounting whereas a WMS aims to optimize warehouse operations through space management and organization.
Inventory management systems and warehouse management systems can work together, although having separate functions.
When utilized in tandem, you may get rid of mistakes at every stage of the order fulfillment process, boosting output, cutting down on resource waste, and guaranteeing client pleasure.
Similar between inventory management and warehouse management
- The flow of inventory from the supplier to the customer/buyer is aided by both inventory management and warehouse management.
- Stock ordering, storage, delivery, and restocking are all things they handle.
- Both increase accuracy and efficiency using barcoding and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
- Both offer information about goods in a warehouse or throughout the whole business ecosystem.
So, the above information includes everything about inventory management Vs warehouse management.
Automation of warehouse and inventory management through the integration of warehouse and inventory management systems is always advised for increased productivity and sales. Smooth operations, precise cycle counting, and automated inventory management are all benefits of integrating the software and systems.