As a business grows, so does its need for an effective system to manage its product and workers. Finding the right warehouse management system to help improve efficiency and keep everyone up to date can help lessen the chance of errors. Read on for tips on how to choose a warehouse management system.
Why get a Warehouse Management System (WMS)?
The benefits of a WMS system are numerous. The right solution can give insights to inventory location and value, eliminate inefficiencies, and automate data collection. Getting a warehouse management system means easy tracking of product location and stock levels. It allows simple understanding of how many workers will be needed to optimize labor costs. With a system in place, management can easily see where problems are occurring and resolve them quickly.
Potential benefits automating your warehouse with a WMS include:
- Accurate inventory counts
- Improved worker efficiency
- Less manual data entry
- Fewer picking errors
- Real-time data visibility
- Accurate reporting
Which system is your best fit?
With multiple warehouse management systems to choose from it can be a challenge, but understanding what your business does can make it easier. For example, having a transportation business means needing a system that tracks cargo locations and quickly billing the right customers. Being a food-based business means keeping track of expiration dates and storage conditions. Spend some time considering what you want—and NEED—from a WMS: What are the pain points in your current process? What gaps are there in your ERP? Where are the bottlenecks and inefficiencies? What industry or customer requirements do you need to meet?
Before starting down the road to warehouse automation, you’ll need to outline the justification for implementing the WMS. Consider potential savings gained from reducing picking errors, streamlining inventory counts, or improved labor, equipment and space utilization.
How to choose between different systems
If this is the first warehouse management system your company will be using, finding a solution that can meet your current needs now and scale for future growth may be the best option. Also look for a company with a proven track record of helping companies in your industry and an experienced team to help you work through for all the questions that will arise.
In addition to functionality and experience, of course pricing will factor into your decision. Be sure to evaluate potential vendors on the following:
- Licenses – Does the vendor charge per user or is it charged by a subscription model?
- Professional services – What are the costs of project management, training and go-live?
- Development costs – Are there any additional charges for customization above the standard project cost?
- On-going Support – What are the various support options and are they charged per incident or by an annual fee?
Successful WMS implementation
Getting a new system can be perplexing for even the best worker so having access to effective customer service is a must in the beginning. Contacting experts on the proper WMS will make it quick and efficient to change over and help keep the software updated for maximum profits. For more tips read Warehouse Management Systems: A Complete Guide.