Order management is used for the IT fulfillment of customer orders or for production supply by the warehouse. For this purpose, the WMS accepts delivery orders from a higher-level system (e.g. ERP system) via an interface or enables orders to be entered directly into the WMS. In special cases, the WMS allows for combining several delivery orders into one collective delivery order. Delivery orders consist of one or more delivery order items that are processed by means of warehouse tasks. A warehouse task in turn is processed based on a specific workflow. By processing all warehouse tasks for a delivery order item, packages are created. These packages form consignments. A consignment can comprise one or several packages (plus any load carriers) that are addressed to one goods recipient. Usually, a 1:1 relation between delivery order and consignment exists; some WMS also offer the possibility to split delivery orders into several consignments or to combine several delivery order items into a single consignment. Grouping together several consignments for transport, e.g. to one or more recipients, is referred to as creating a tour. As part of the interface communication between ERP and WMS, the transmitted delivery orders are checked for completeness and consistency. This is followed by the schedule approval of delivery orders for processing in the warehouse. This comprises:
Usually, access to freely available stock and the subsequent reservation of the quantities required to fulfill the scheduled delivery orders takes place using warehouse tasks. In more complex environments, special order types also allow access to other stock qualifications, e.g. access to customer single stocks, consignment stock or QA stock for returning to the supplier. In addition, strategies for optimised retrieval are implemented for assigning stocks (e.g. first-in-first-out, last-in-first-out, retrieval based on quantity, retrieval of goods not to be picked shortly before time of delivery, e.g. retrieval of entire containers).
A pre-calculation for packages can be carried out during delivery order processing. Considering weight and volume and any hazardous material data or other factors, an algorithm is used to optimise the number and packing of packages.
During creation of a consignment, a check is carried out to see if several packages for the same recipient can be grouped together. Consignment creation takes place either continuously or subsequently. During continuous consignment creation, a check is carried out for each new package to see if a consignment for the same goods recipient already exists. If this is the case, the package is attached to the existing consignment if sufficient capacities are available. Where consignments are created subsequently, a check to determine which packages belong together is carried out during load creation. Accordingly, packages are only grouped together at that point.
Once schedule approval has been given, the approval for physical processing of the warehouse tasks takes place.