When it comes to extensive inventories, warehouses can be very hectic to manage. Whether you own your warehouse or hire a third-party logistics partner to do your warehousing for you, a Warehouse Management System will help keep things well organized and tidy. There are so many aspects that need to be controlled inside a warehouse which has ripple effects that impact the end customer and the business itself in so many ways.
If a warehouse is not well organized, it leads to mishaps in the delivery, leading to more returns. This and many more reasons justify the purchase of a WMS. You can reap so many benefits from installing a WMS in your warehouse to make things easier. These benefits include more efficient labor management, easier stock management, accurate inventory counting and reporting, improved responsiveness, better customer service, and minimum paperwork.
However, there needs to be some caution that needs to be taken before a business gets into a WMS. There needs to be a certainty of profit or benefit before getting their hands on a WMS because they take a significant investment to get up and running. It also takes help, intention, and drive from the entire warehousing staff to make a WMS work. That is the only way you can get proper utility out of your investment.
A WMS is not an instant fix to your problems. It is just a tool to collect data and help you control your inventory better. The best it can do is to help you automate your warehousing operations, but the work will still be very human-oriented and dependant. You would even need a professional staff that can make the best use of this system. Let’s look at some points to consider that should help you pick a WMS.
1..Return on Investment: At the very early stage of this process, you need to decide what amount is justified to spend on something like this and how much it will be worth in the longer term. You should take time and analyze your current process and see how much damage is being done from the absence of such a system. Key factors to consider include the potential difference a WMS would make on your process, productivity, and cost. The bigger your warehouse and staff, the more investing in a WMS will make sense.
2. Choosing the Process: Technology has made it possible for modern-day systems to be highly configurable. Earlier, there were many factors to consider before picking a WMS, including detailed ITTs and other documents, which made it challenging to pick one and stick with it.
3. Analyzing your Present System: Your Enterprise Resource Planning might already have a pre-installed WMS module. You must study it first before you decide to go all-in for a new, improved system. Depending on the size of the operation, you must determine whether your business even demands a better and more professional WMS or not.
4. Evaluate the Growth Potential: Every vendor comes with a different set of advantages and disadvantages. You never plan a business for it to settle in terms of growth at some point. You always intend to make your business grow bigger and bigger. Your ideal WMS vendor should fit into these plans as well. You should have prior information about their cost over time and growth. Do some due diligence and figure out whether their past clients have benefited from their services in terms of growth or not.
5. Request information from Potential Vendors: Speaking of due diligence, you should demand some basic information about your potential vendor to help you compare and make decisions in a better-informed way. This information includes company history, financial history, clientele, people operating the source code, intellectual property owners of the WMS, developmental plans, and track record. This should help you weed out the bad ones and leave you with a list to select from.
6. Create a Shortlist and Select: Once you’ve done all the research you needed to, shortlist the vendors that give you precisely what you need, compare their costs, returns, future potential etc., and make your pick!