Can WMS help enable social distancing?

A warehouse management system is a software designed to support and manage warehouse operations.

But, in the current circumstances, can a WMS help enable or enforce social distancing in your warehouse? What functionality can help solve this conundrum? And is your WMS capable?

Where to target social distancing?

The key areas to focus are the more labour intensive warehouse processes:

Goods Receipt




Functionality to enable Social Distancing?

Workforce Management – control the total number of operatives and number in a zone or aisle, what is the safe number in order to maintain 2m distancing?

Task Allocation – allocate tasks to your staff so that social distancing is maintained, # of operatives per operation, # of operatives per zone or aisle?

Zone picking – divides the warehouse into zones based on product type, movement category, pick type etc, help limit the number of operatives per zone

Random distribution of fast movers across the warehouse –reduce operative traffic in fast moving locations which are traditionally close to despatch

Warehouse automation – reduce contact with products – touch-free putaway, picking, packing & loading with higher productivity and accuracy

Technology such as Voice – enable handsfree operations with increased productivity. Headsets can be personal to operatives and sanitised regularly)

Next Steps

  • Review your WMS for the functionality listed here or contact the right experts to do this for you
  • Identify if some or all of the functionality can be enabled?
  • Are operations suitable for Voice or Vision picking?
  • Can volumes be pushed through automation, where it already exists and is possible?

To learn how to select the right WMS for your operation or for implementation support, contact our expert consulting team at

wms social distancing infographic