What are the types of WMS software?

3 major categories of WMS software

When we search for “WMS” on a search engine, we discover numerous solutions proposed by French or foreign publishers.


So how can we find our way through this maze of software solutions?

Are all WMS solutions the same or are there specificities to know in relation to your needs?

What are the advantages and the points of vigilance?


Let’s try to answer them!

Just like the publishers, we are used to classifying WMS software into 3 main types:

1 – WMS specialized on specific trades or sectors of activity

These WMS softwares are dedicated to specific professions or sectors of activity such as:

  • Process industries (food, chemical or pharmaceutical industries) or manufacturing industries (special machines, aeronautics, naval, railway),
  • Wholesalers and B2B in sectors of activity close to those found in Retail,
  • The retail world in which we find mass distribution, online sales / e-commerce or specialized distribution (publishing, hardware, home equipment, textiles – clothing …),
  • Finally, logistics and transport services / generalist 3PL or positioned on specialties such as cold logistics, port logistics, services to industry, messaging …

Some of these WMS are part of an ERP functional brick (itself sometimes specific to a sector of activity), or are positioned as a complement to an OMS (Order Management System), a TMS (Transport Management System) or an APS (Advanced Planning System).

As a result, these WMS are either at the heart of a vertical software suite (e.g. APS / ERP / WMS) or horizontal (OMS / WMS / TMS / YMS).

Their functional coverage is complete and proven in a given business or sector.

These solutions are often implemented in large companies that are leaders in their market. These companies often take advantage of their acquisition to overhaul their internal processes, on several sites simultaneously or “cascaded” (deployment on several sites from a pilot site and model).

However, even if the WMS software is specialized in a given sector, this will not prevent the company from incurring adaptation and specific development costs to standardize logistics processes and unify organizations.

It should be noted that ERPs integrating a “WMS” module are often limited to simple inventory management, without being able to manage complex logistics flows.



  • Pre-configured functionalities for logistics flows specific to a sector of activity,
  • Proven interfacing with other specific business tools in the same sector.


Example of WMS : Generix Reflex from Hardis Group, Manhattan WMS from Manhattan Associates, Odatio from Savoye, Körber Supply Chain, Suite ERP from VIF, Speed Medical from BK System…

2 – WMS limited to an “improved” inventory management

These are relatively basic and inexpensive solutions, ideal for inventory management.

But most of these WMS are not, to say the least, adapted to manage “logistic flows”.

Thus, some of these WMS softwares cannot manage as standard :

  • Control tasks, dimension and weight measurement, in the reception flow,
  • Storage by automatic addressing under multiple constraints,
  • Dynamic location management,
  • Cross-docking with direct docking,
  • Management of inter-site shuttles,
  • Planning of preparation,
  • Order preparation in several stages, monitoring of order processing progress, operator assignment,
  • Management of documents and publishing principles during docking and management of loads with loading control…

Your specifications must therefore be particularly detailed to ensure that the WMS is perfectly suited to your needs before you choose it. Otherwise, specific developments will incur significant costs and longer start-up times!



  • Cost of acquisition of the solution,
  • Ideal for logistics flows and basic business rules.
  • Ergonomic and easy to use


  • Weak functional coverage,
  • Scalability problem in case of activity growth,
  • Technical robustness for recent WMS.

Examples of WMS: Monstock, ShippingBo, Wileo from Acléa Solutions, Icare from Pixao, Pixi from Pixisoft

3 – Generalist WMS

Proposed by publishers, which are often SMEs based in France and have a long history in the logistics field, their WMS offers many standard features that adapt to most business cases and logistics flows present in the warehouse.


  • Inbound processes: Reception planning, unloading, data capture, quality control, rework and labeling, storage/casing, cross docking,
  • Internal processes: Preparation for manufacturing, operations on products (preparation of kits, etc.), management of inter-site shuttles, declarative outputs, picking replenishment,
  • Output processes: Preparation planning, order processing, assignment of a preparation mode, picking and packing, labels and shipping documents, consolidation, loading,
  • Support functions: Stock management, warehouse management (dashboards, organization of operations, interface and access management, management control and logistics invoicing).


Moreover, when the publisher has a long history (some have been on the market for more than 30 years) and many customers, its WMS has been able to benefit from numerous feedbacks that have allowed it to evolve, to become a real “Swiss Army knife” of warehouse management.

And this is a major asset when your needs are not detected and formalized at the time of your consultation!

With their numerous functionalities and in a wide range of sectors, these WMSs can cover a wide range of needs without the need for specific developments that would add to the final bill.

If, in addition, this WMS has good references in your sector of activity or close to yours, then go for it because you will benefit from the latest software developments and the best warehouse management practices!



  • Functional coverage,
  • Best practices from other sectors,
  • WMS often modularized.


  • WMS sometimes aging and not having benefited from an overhaul of the data model,
  • On Premise” offer still very present to the detriment of SaaS.

Examples of WMS: EGO from Sitaci, Suite KLS from KLS Logistic, Morpheus from GRN Logistic, Speed from BK Systems, Stock-IT, WMS Acteos