Baker’s Dozen of WMS (Warehouse Management System) Acronyms Defined

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Where would we be without our 3 letter Acronyms?  I wish I could say the Supply Chain industry is different, but I am afraid that we have our own set of acronyms.   You will want to be conversant with the Supply Chain experts when you begin exploring WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) and what it can do to help optimize your business processes.   So here are the Top Baker’s Dozen WMS acronyms defined so that you can get a fast start!

  1. WMS  (Warehouse Management System) - Software designed specifically for managing the movement and storage of materials throughout the warehouse.  WMS functionality is generally broken into the following three operations:  Put-away, Replenishment, and Picking.  The key to these systems is the logic to direct these operations to specific locations based on user defined criteria
  2. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – computer application integrating all information flows to do with management of the different corporate functions (accounting, production, sales, logistics, etc …)  WMS are set up to integrate with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Systems such as the Microsoft Dynamics Platforms:  Axapta (AX), Navision (NAV), Great Plains (GP) and Solomon (SL).
  3. SQL (Sequel Server – Structured Query Language) – Microsoft SQL Server is a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization and quickly build solutions to extend data across on-premises and public cloud, backed by mission critical confidence.  Sequel Server Reporting Services is a server-based report generation software system from Microsoft. It can be used to prepare and deliver a variety of interactive and printed reports. It is administered via a web interface as a business intelligent tool.
  4. FIFO/FEFO (First-In-First-Out/First-Expired-First-Out) – picking/shipping methods to rotate your inventory stock.  It attempts to ensure that perishable products are sold while they are still in good condition.  Inventory is identified through Lot or Serial # tracking so that you enable traceability throughout your supply chain.
  5. ILP (Intelligent License Plate) – a moveable bin.  A barcode placed on a pallet, tote, carton or other container used to track the contents of that container as it moves through the warehouse.  By scanning a single License Plate bar code on the pallet you can initiate or complete movement transactions for all items and quantities on that pallet.
  6. FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) – President Obama passed this Act in January of 2011 to improve safety and recall capabilities for all US food organizations. 
  7. AFIA (American Feed Industry Association) - AFIA is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry and its suppliers.  Members include more than 500 domestic and international companies and state, regional and national associations. Member-companies are livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, integrators, pharmaceutical companies, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and companies which supply other products, services and supplies to feed manufacturers.
  8. VMI/3PL (Vendor Managed Inventory/3rd Party Logistics) – managing remote inventory can be challenging depending on who owns it at what phase of your supply chain.  For the most creative Remote Inventory solutions ideas please contact Appolis at
  9. GS1 (Global Standards 1) - a global standard for barcode symbology that allows for a great deal of information captured in a single bar code scan.  Information such as item, lot, quantity, unit of measure, location, expiration.  GS1/GTIN provides a great platform to drive Vendor Compliance toward a global standard.
  10. BOM (Bill of Materials) – lists materials (components or ingredients) required to produce an item.  Multi-level BOM’s also show subassemblies and their components.  Other information such as scrap factors may also be included in the BOM for use in materials planning and costing.
  11. MO/QMO (Manufacturing Order/Quick Manufacturing Order) – an automated method of tracking work orders through the Manufacturing process to include back-flush of raw materials, labor and materials tracking.
  12. SAAS (Software as a Service) – is closely associated with Cloud Computing and has three key benefits:   Predictable cash flow by having consistent IT costs, limited or no additional hardware investment and a greater focus on your core competencies & less on managing your data, your security & your IT resources.
  13. RF/RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) - the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking.  Barcodes can come in 1D, 2D or 3D (etched) configurations.

So now you are ready for a fast start!  Please look to Supply Chain experts such as the Appolis – WithoutWire™ (WoW) Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS) team for ways to put WMS in practice for your organization.  From our years of Distribution and Manufacturing experience we will share industry best practices, case studies, and WithoutWire™ (WoW) Customer Success Stories that will make you say WoW!

By Steve Dwyer, Vice President, Appolis

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