Warehouse systems (WMS - warehouse management system) are already standard in the warehouses of large and medium-sized companies. It means that there are a lot of them on the market and the company chooses from dozens of options. To make it easier for you to choose something so complex, we've put together a guide on what to look for and what to think about. We will advise why you should not focus only on the price of WMS or what to check with potential suppliers.
If it takes you an in ordinate amount of time to pick orders, you can't keep up in the warehouse during sales peaks, you lose trackof the goods in the warehouse and no longer have enough capacity, it's high time you start actively solving the deployment of a warehouse system.
Some problems are not even noticed during normal operation, but they are reflected in the financial results - for example, large differences during stocktaking between expected and actual stock levels. WMS will help you put the warehouse in order and prepare the company for further growth.
However, its implementation is a rather lengthy process, and therefore it is not worth rushing the choice. There is basically no such thing as trial deployment - or it would cost you hell. Better to take your time and play it safe.
It is essential to start with an analysis of the current situation - either by yourself or by calling an auditing firm. The analysis will reveal the shortcomings and needs of your warehouse and is, thus, valuable in itself. It may happen that the analysis will reveal that the WMS will not solve your problems or that you are not yet ready for it.
If it turns out that you need a WMS, the knowledge gained will help you define the goals you are aiming for as precisely aspossible. In addition to the requirements for the WMS as such, include your business ambitions and plans there - and don't be modest. If there's a chance you'll be significantly increasing warehouse space or expanding internationally in 5-10 years, make sure your WMS is ready to expand with you.
Once you have completed the strategic steps, you can start searching for the system itself. For this, single out an implementation team that will fully devote itself to the task.
The team will conduct market research and select candidates to approach with an offer of cooperation. This is one of theimportant rules: do not look at the choice of a warehouse solution as a product purchase, but as a long-term cooperation with a partner who will implementthe WMS for you.
Make a selection process and during the presentation ask about specific things applicable specifically to your company. Don't rush this stage. When you're really sure, draw up a contract that sets out the schedule and implementation process.
We cover the selection of WMS in more detail and with concrete examples in our e-book How to choose a WMS. We have projected into it the experience of colleagues who have already deployed warehouse systems for dozens of companies. We have collected both good and bad experiences and compiled a guide from them that will warn you about common mistakes. We will advise you, for example, on who should be a member of thei mplementation team or what specifically you should ask suppliers during the selection process.
If your business is considering a WMS, download the e-book.