Gartner defines a warehouse management system (WMS) as "a software application that helps manage the operations of a warehouse or distribution center." WMS applications offer capabilities such as receiving, put-away, stock locating, inventory management, cycle counting, task interleaving, wave planning, order allocation, order picking, replenishment, packing, shipping, labor management and automated materials-handling equipment interfaces. These systems incorporate radio frequency handheld devices in conjunction with bar codes and possibly RFID to form the foundation of a WMS. This enables efficiencies of directed work activity and the delivery of accurate information in near real time. Gartner includes integrated functionality — such as voice picking, parcel manifesting, value-added services, light manufacturing/kitting and third-party logistics billing — as components of a WMS evaluation. This is because many buyers now demand that these components be included in a large number of WMS engagements.
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