PSI Blog

What makes a WMS user-friendly?

16 Dec 2020 - Logistics, Technology

A user-friendly warehouse management system offers many advantages. Source: Blue Planet Studio/AdobeStock (edited by PSI)
A user-friendly warehouse management system offers many advantages. Source: Blue Planet Studio/AdobeStock (edited by PSI)

The Warehouse Management System (WMS) maps the entire internal material and goods flow of a company. Improved usability ensures that the user interface guides and supports users through the workflow. At the same time, it increases productivity and reduces, for example, training and maintenance costs. How can a user-friendly WMS be recognized?

Unused potential due to lack of user-friendliness

It is assumed that usability is not taken into account when introducing a warehouse management system. What would be the consequences for the logistics of a company? Even when using a smoothly running system, there is one permanent challenge in every company: people.

What is usability?

In the Duden dictionary, user-friendliness is explained as “operability; user-friendly nature”. In the context of software systems, usability is defined as a software quality feature. The series of standards ISO 9241 describes usability as the product of effectiveness in solving a task, efficiency in handling a system and satisfaction of the users of a software. The needs of the users are therefore in focus. A warehouse management system is user-friendly when it guides the user through the workflow and provides support.

As long as people work with software systems, the efficiency of their work results, among other things, from the quality of the software used. A warehouse management system that is not designed for user-friendliness can hardly exploit its potential for effective process management. As a consequence, this also applies to the logistics of the associated company.

What are the advantages of investing in usability?

Despite digitalization of the warehouse, many clicks can extend the process and make software use unmanageable. Time-intensive software handling also increases error rates and therefore also costs.

The use of a user-friendly WMS accelerates the workflows of warehouse staff and makes order picking much easier.

Before investing in software, warehouse operators must consider all the circumstances, possibilities and costs. In the field of intralogistics, the focus is particularly on suitable software for warehouse management to ensure the entire material flow. But: Which characteristics can you use to determine whether the investment in a user-friendly WMS will pay off?

The following checklist gives you an overview of the most important features that make a user-friendly warehouse management system an investment in the future of your company.

Checklist for a user-friendly WMS

  • Relevant display: Only the dialogs and screens relevant for the respective work step are displayed
  • Intuitive operability: Self-explanatory interaction of the user with the warehouse management system
  • Less is more: A few, necessary clicks to the destination; no additional consultation of the WMS manual
  • Efficient work: Adding or omitting functions in individual work steps can be adjusted at any time
  • Adaptability: Regardless of the manufacturer, the flexible, user-related adaptation of the software is possible with changing requirements in the warehouse and can therefore be individualized and expanded
  • Assistance: Continuous support in the warehouse, both online and offline

How does a user-friendly WMS improve the workflow in the warehouse?

The warehouse management system PSIwms bundles all these features in one software and thus supports companies in the development of efficient and strong intralogistics. Process-relevant information is captured faster and workflows are accelerated.

Thanks to the individual configuration, specific processes and information arrangements can be optimally displayed for users.

This is made possible by PSI-Click-Design. It is a feature that gives employees more freedom and flexibility in designing their work environment, allowing them to work more efficiently.

PSI-Click-Design in use: Individual design of dialog screen.

Thanks to Click-Design, you can individually adapt the user interface to your own needs and maintain and efficiently map your company's internal processes.

  • Menus,
  • lists,
  • tables or
  • complex dialogs

can be moved in a user-friendly manner via drag & drop.

Tables can be easily configured. Source: PSI
Tables can be easily configured. Source: PSI

Superfluous and non-relevant information, on the other hand, can be hidden so that every warehouse employee has his or her own work area at one glance.

A further process-oriented facilitation is the possibility of linking several dialogs into one screen. This ensures that users can see all the information they need directly in this single screen and navigate through the data quickly and easily. Through the so-called event management, PSIwms also enables the monitoring of various information and processes in the warehouse. In this way, certain events can be comprehensively controlled and configured.

The user-friendly WMS makes the difference

With a user-friendly warehouse management system, users are able to individually adapt all work and process-relevant screens and dialogs. A clear design mainly ensures comprehensibility so that work steps are simplified for warehouse employees.

Here, you can see how dashboard views in PSIwms facilitate your daily work.

Different work areas require different displays in screens. With PSIwms, users can select the most appropriate tools for their particular work area,

  • configure relevant data themselves without any programming knowledge and
  • concisely display it via diagrams.

This way, they always keep an eye on all information. This ease of work not only enhance an overview of relevant process information but also results in increased employee satisfaction. The optimized flow of logistical material and goods increases productivity and reduces both error potential and possible costs for a company.

Are you interested in PSIwms?

For more information, please click here.

What is your opinion on this topic?

Hartmut Braun

PSI Logistics GmbH
Head of Business Development