The foundation of the Fraunhofer IML WMS Database is the WMS questionnaire, which covers more than 3000 aspects of a company and their system.
These aspects cover everything from general business to services and experience, for example
- How much experience do you have in this industry?
- Which warehouse technologies are supported?
- Which operating systems and languages are supported?
- Are Pick by Voice or Pick to Light supported?
The focus of the questionnaire is on the functional support of the typical functions and processes in a warehouse. The questionnaire captures the basic functionality – required for every warehouse – as well as the flows for material and information from receiving to shipping. Additional functionality that is required because of the different branches, product ranges, or desired degree of automation of a warehouse is indispensable to the successful operation of a warehouse.
The result of the questionnaire is a level of detail that defines the individual requirements of the user as well as the functional ability of the WMS solution. Typical questions are
- Does the WMS support the capturing of serial number ranges in receiving?
- Does the system support using the remaining life of a product as specified by the customer as a retrieval strategy?
- Does the system support the processing of aggregated orders (multi-order picking: one picker, multiple orders)?
The questionnaire is divided into functional areas that correspond to the functional structure of a WMS. Detailed information about the structure and the individual functional areas can be viewed by clicking the image.
Services / Implementation / Company Information / Product Range
- Locations / Branches
- Certifications / Partners
- Industry experience
- Warehouse technology / type
- Prices / Project costs
- Operating environment
- Ergonomics (with consideration of EN ISO 9241)
- Master data
- Order processing
- Order release
- Inventory management
- Information system
Receiving to Shipping
- Warehouse control
- Batch numbers (with consideration of 178/2002)
- Serial numbers
- Best before dates
- Consignment and VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory)
- Multi-client capability
- Multi-warehouse capability
- Management of empties and loading equipment
- Returned goods
- Transportation management
- Forklift control system
- Dock and yard management
- Resource planning
- VAS (Value-Added Services)
- Material flow control
- Double / multi-depth storage
- Management of hazardous material
The questionnaire also captures other information about the developments, trends, and evaluations of each company in the WMS market. This data is incorporated into the regularly updated WMS Market Report.
The questionnaire is modified or expanded each year to accommodate the latest requirements and developments. Project experience and the feedback from the users of the database (WMS vendors, WMS users, and consulting companies) are used to make these changes.
The data provided by a WMS vendor is not added to the WMS Database or made available for use by WMS Online Selection until it has been successfully validated. The annual updating of the questionnaire combined with the yearly validation of the data is what guarantees that the data is always up to date.