Warehouses are being impacted by increasing e-commerce and omni-channel commerce. Future innovation may predominantly involve automation but many warehouses remain manually operated. The golden rule of material handling is smooth product flow, but there are day-to-day operational issues that occur in the warehouse that can impact this and order fulfilment. Standard operational process is paramount to warehouse operational control but inflexible processes don’t allow for a dynamic response to real-time operational constraints. The growth of IoT sensor and data analytics technology provide new opportunities for designing warehouse management systems that detect and reorganise around real-time constraints to mitigate the impact of day-to-day warehouse operational issues. This paper presents an intelligent agent framework for basic warehouse management systems that is distributed, is structured around operational constraints and includes the human operator at operational and decision support levels. An agent based simulation was built to demonstrate the viability of the framework.