Soft Allocation:

 

A WMS process in which orders are sent to the WMS from the ERP or other order management system, often days or weeks in advance of when they are needing to ship. Some WMS solutions are able to reserve inventory for those orders at a warehouse level, meaning it can prevent subsequent orders from “grabbing” that reserved inventory. That said, a WMS should have the flexibility in applying soft allocation, such as not reserving inventory shipping more than two weeks out, as that could cause nearer term orders to be short-shipped.

Soft allocation is often performed by the ERP system, but for companies without that ERP capability, a WMS that can do soft allocation (as contrasted with “hard allocation” of specific inventory locations for order picking) can offer significant advantages.