Most warehouses need some kind of IT-system to support warehouse operations – when pen and paper doesn’t cut it anymore. This can be a self-developed solution or a WMS module in an ERP system. But when is it a good idea to invest in a more advanced, specialized WMS solution? In this blog post we give you 3 reasons a “proper” WMS can be a profitable investment – and some advice on what to look for when you decide to make the leap.
Changing software systems can be quite a big investment, in both time and money. In addition to paying for the actual software you might have to upgrade your hardware, your employees will have to be trained, and productivity in the warehouse might go down for a period of time. Still, investing in an advanced WMS can be a strategic decision when it comes to the long-term profitability of your company – especially if distribution is a critical part of your business. And here are three reasons why.
REASON 1: TO FUTURE-PROOF YOUR SYSTEM SOLUTION
Using a self-developed system for warehouse management can seem to be a cost-efficient solution. But it also makes your organization vulnerable to change. Often only a few people know the system in depth, and if they leave the company critical knowledge is lost. Making necessary updates when your business evolves, or adapting to new technology, takes time and effort for the IT-department, and might steal resources from the daily operations. Changes in the WMS module of an ERP system can also be costly and complicated, since this might affect other parts of the system. Therefore, a specialized WMS from an established vendor is a good way to make your business adaptable to a changing future.
REASON 2: TO MAKE THINGS BETTER
Any warehouse system support is meant to help keep things in order in the warehouse. But an advanced WMS can do much more than that. It acts as “the brain” of the warehouse, analyzing, optimizing and prioritizing activities and processes in real-time. Faster picking, less picking errors, increased traceability, and optimized storage are all positive effects of an efficient WMS, and contributes to a fast ROI on your investment. In other words, a WMS doesn’t only get things done, but done better.
REASON 3: NOT HAVING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL
Using a specialized WMS supplier for your warehouse management software also mean tapping into a network of knowledge and connections. Your WMS supplier will not only sell you a system, but can help you develop your warehouse operations, based on their experience from other customers and knowledge of new technological possibilities. They probably also have lots of valuable partnerships, in areas such as hardware, automation, and transport systems.
OKAY, YOU CONVINCED ME. BUT WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A WMS?`
What is the right WMS solution for you obviously depends on your business needs (and would take a whole blog post on its own to sort out), but four good key words to keep in mind when buying a WMS are Flexibility, Scalability, Real-time, and Partnership. A flexible and scalable system based on real-time data, from a supplier with focus on partnership and long-term development, is a good start to always stay on top of your warehouse operations.
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