Is Your Business Ready For a WMS?
The idea of upgrading, updating, or simply changing your Warehouse Management System (WMS) can seem like a big challenge. There are several factors that need to be accounted for, such as:
• Return on investment (ROI)
• Necessary resources and technical skills
• System cost and 'Total Cost of Ownership' (TCO)
• Systems development
• Integration times
• Implementation costs
• And the list goes on and on...
That being said, technology is sustaining rapid growth and development. Consumer demands are changing - they expect more out of their retailers, vendors, and suppliers. As supply chains continue to get more complex, businesses must adjust to accommodate multi-channel B2B and B2C sales and distribution models. Here’s where advanced technology comes to the rescue.
In order to keep up, many businesses have opted to modernize their existing systems (whether it’s pen and paper, basic applications, or a legacy WMS) to a more technologically adept, configurable, and agile WMS.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not you need a new WMS, here are some questions that every business - with or without a WMS - should consider:
- Do you know what’s in your inventory? Can you quickly summarize that information?
- Do your key warehouse stakeholders have access to the high-level data they need to make informed business decisions?
- When things go wrong, can you pinpoint where, when, and how it happened?
- Can your current system, manual process or web based WMS, scale flexibly to meet customer demands and help you grow your business?
- Can you quickly customize your process for your business-specific tracking needs?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of these, it’s time to start looking. Now, ask yourself a set of more specific questions:
- Do you often ship incorrect items to your customers?
- Do you often misplace items during the picking process?
- Are you seeing an increase in customer complaints, mainly dealing with shipment issues?
- Are you having trouble generating pick lists with your current system?
- Does it take you an abnormal amount of time to locate items within your warehouse?
- Are you a fast growing business still using excel to manage your warehouse?
- Does your current WMS have difficulty integrating with 3rd party solutions or hardware?
- Lastly, are you the only one who truly believes in your current WMS?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any one of these - chances are it will be more than one - then it’s likely the right time for your business to upgrade its Warehouse Management System. At the very least, it’s about time to seriously consider a new system.
So, what will a WMS do for me?
While it is crucial to understand the upfront costs of a WMS, such as time spent on implementation, the time and financial investment for additional staff, and training your employees, it is equally as important to consider the benefits of upgrading to a modern WMS.
Here are just a few reasons to consider using a WMS, or upgrading your current system:
- Accuracy and Speed: Purchasing a WMS for the first time, or updating your system, will streamline your processes. It might take some time to adjust to the new system, but eventually, you’ll see fewer errors in your operations, like quicker and more accurate deliveries.
- Increased Productivity: Although it is a challenging process, by successfully training and integrating your staff with a WMS, you will see immediate and long-term returns. There will be a noticeable difference in productivity. Your operations will be easier to manage and locating items will be far simpler.
- Connecting & Integrating Businesses: Many of the older, outdated Warehouse Management Systems have trouble connecting with other businesses, i.e. 3rd party software, ERP’s, and hardware. By upgrading or purchasing a modern WMS, increase your business opportunities and reduce the time spent editing, exporting, and re-uploading fields and fields of data.
- Warehouse Automation: Businesses have recognized the need to automate many of their internal processes in order to keep up with customer demands. Using a WMS will enable your business to keep track of the tedious routine work, such as tracking inventory, planning & management, monthly reporting, and multi-ordering.
- Transparency and Visibility: Implementing a WMS will allow your business to become more transparent in its operations and processes by monitoring and controlling the details. Doing so will increase your end-to-end visibility, which is essential to becoming a more outside-in business as well as understanding what is happening within your warehouse at all times.
- Customer Collaboration: The importance of data, analytics, and dashboards isn’t just for your internal business. With a modern WMS, customers and key stakeholders can enjoy role-based access to key information in real-time and on demand. Customer dashboards and KPI measurement can help inform their own decision-making, enhance customer satisfaction and clearly demonstrate your value to their business.
All-in-all, a new WMS offers the following:
- Optimized Warehouse Operations - accuracy, productivity, and accountability
- Agility for the Modern Business - modularity, integration, and customization
- Customer & Partnership Satisfaction - visibility, flexibility, and connectivity
Ready for the next steps?
At Seldat Technology Services (STS), we are problem solvers, next-generation thinkers, and efficiency aficionados. Operating at both local and global scales, STS offers comprehensive solutions packages developed by in-house industry experts, tested against real-world scenarios, and designed for the changing supply chain. Learn more about Seldat Technology Services’ supply chain solutions and get in touch with our experts today.