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How to Choose a Warehouse Management System

As a business grows, so does its need for an effective system to manage its product and workers. Finding the right warehouse management system can bring many benefits. For example, a WMS can help improve efficiency and keep everyone up to date to 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 many. The right solution can give insights to inventory location and value. Other benefits include ending inefficiencies and automating data collection. A warehouse management system can track product location and stock levels. Also, it allows simple understanding of how to optimize labor costs. Furthermore, the right system allows senior management to quickly identify and resolve problems.
 
Potential benefits automating your warehouse operation with a WMS include:
 
  • Accurate inventory counts
  • Improved worker efficiency
  • Less manual data entry
  • Reduce the amount of picking errors
  • Real-time data visibility
  • Accurate reporting
  • Monitor daily operations
 
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, a transportation business needs a system that tracks cargo locations. In contrast, a food-based business requires tracking 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 system? 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 justify your WMS purchase. Consider potential savings gained from reducing picking errors and streamlining inventory counts. Also, effective management of your warehouse can improve labor, equipment and space use.
 
How to choose between different systems
 
First, consider your growth model. It’s important to find a solution that can meet your current needs while allowing for future growth. Also, look for a company with a proven track record of helping companies in your industry. Finally, an experienced team can help you work through for all the questions that will arise.
 
Besides to functionality and experience, of course pricing will factor into your decision. Be sure to evaluate potential vendors on the following:
 
  1. Licenses – Does the vendor charge per user or is it charged by a subscription model?
  2.  Professional services – What are the costs of project management, training and go-live?
  3.  Development costs – Are there any extra charges for customization? These would be over and above the standard project cost.
  4.  On-going Support – What are the various customer support options? Are they charged per incident or by an annual fee?
 
Successful WMS implementation
 
Getting a new system can be perplexing even to the most advanced user. So, having access to effective customer service is a must in the beginning. Be sure to contact an experienced WMS vendor for advice on how to choose a warehouse management system. For more tips read Warehouse Management Systems: A Complete Guide.
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