Looking for a new Warehouse Management System (WMS) can be a tricky endeavour. Finding the ‘best’ or most expensive system and plugging it into your warehouse does not ensure success. Even if a good system is implemented poorly, it will always fail. Some of the biggest companies in the world have found this out the hard way with poor implementation and bad software choices.
The key to a successful Warehouse Management System is finding one that meets your specific business requirements. Here are 7 questions you and your company should be asking if you’re in the market for a new WMS.
1. What are your company’s warehouse requirements?
Your first step in the process of implementing a new WMS is to conduct an assessment of your business’ needs. Begin by identifying the areas needing improvement along with your overall warehousing requirements. Once this is done you’ll be able to find and compare providers for the most suitable system for your business.
2. Does the WMS provider have experience within the warehouse?
Finding a WMS provider with hands on experience in the warehousing industry is important. These providers have the knowledge and experience that software developers lack. A WMS which is created in conjunction with experts from the industry ensures that it will be a practical system that works well within your warehouse. Choosing a system that combines leading edge software and operational knowledge will give you the best results.
3. Is the WMS configurable?
Look for a provider who can tailor the WMS to your business’ needs. A configurable rules based WMS that can handle your warehouse processes without modifications will save you a lot of money down the track as customised software development can be expensive.
WMS providers who cater to Third Party Logistics (3PL) generally can configure on the fly, so keep an eye out for such providers.
4. Is the WMS user friendly?
A simple, easy-to-use, ‘point and click’ graphical user interface makes it very easy for the user to navigate the software. If the keyboard is used more than the mouse, you’re likely looking at the wrong WMS. In other words, the WMS should generate a positive feeling for the user. Additionally, a warehouse manager should have access to a traffic alert driven dashboard that keeps them up to date and in the know at all times.
5.Can the WMS be integrated easily into my current business systems?
It is essential that your WMS can be integrated easily into any other business systems, current or future. The best systems work effortlessly with top Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. If a WMS provider doesn’t have an existing interface into any of the top ERP systems they are likely not running any large operations and paying to build and develop such interfaces can be costly.
6 . Does the WMS provider offer support?
When you need help, which is very likely during set-up and the initial stages, it’s important that your WMS provider is available at all times. A 24/7 help desk is imperative as no business can afford to shut down their warehouse overnight if a problem arises.
7. Is the WMS provider a partner or just a vendor?
A Warehouse Management System provider who shows an interest and understanding in your business is obviously going to be a better option than one who is simply trying to sell you software. Implement a system from a provider who wants to see your business grow and succeed.
There’s a huge range of Warehouse Management Systems out there. The best one for you will depend on your business’ needs. Look for a WMS provider who has great software, a user friendly interface, operational experience and one who is interested and available to offer help.
Talk to PACK & SEND about our Warehousing and Distribution solutions that can make your life easier and your business run smoother.