How to select the right WMS for your warehouse?
One of the things every business has learned this year is the importance of agility and a Warehouse Management System ensures your warehouse can rise to every challenge. Here's how to select the right solution for your needs.
Still relying on Excel spreadsheets and paper pick notes to run your warehouse? Do you have inflexible warehouse management processes driven through a legacy ERP system?
One of the things every business has learned this year, is the importance of agility. Being responsive to changing conditions is critical to business success and in many industries, warehouses have become the all-important final customer touch point. It’s time to make inflexible processes and poor visibility a thing of the past. Give your warehouse the agility makeover it needs. Automate with a best of breed warehouse management system (WMS). But how do you ensure you get the right WMS solution for your warehouse needs?
Why is a WMS important?
A business can only go so far with optimising its logistics performance without investing in a dedicated WMS. Consider the following example of Indigo’s customer, a pet accessories manufacturer with a successful e-commerce operation. They were achieving OTIF (on time in full) delivery targets and 99.9% accuracy levels using voice directed picking, but without a dedicated WMS, they lacked visibility and real-time supply chain information. This meant there was an unacceptable time delay between raw materials and finished goods being recorded as available for picking – either for manufacturing or sales. Further efficiency and cost savings could only be achieved by implementing a dedicated WMS system. They chose Indigo WMS.
Why does a dedicated WMS make good commercial sense?
An integrated, best of breed WMS has the following benefits:
- efficient raw materials floor delivery and replenishments in manufacturing areas;
- real time inventory accuracy at every location, no searching for putaway spaces;
- optimised picking with pre-allocated travel paths to minimise time between locations;
- no time delays between inventory transactions and system updates;
- accurate cycle counting and improved stock auditing.
Essential questions to ensure you get the right WMS for your warehouse
With a range of WMS solutions out there, how can you choose the one that’s right for your needs? Focus your research efforts on getting answers to these questions:
1. How will improved warehouse efficiency achieve your future business goals?
2. How flexible do you need your software to be? Can it be adapted easily as your warehouse operations change
3. Can your WMS support wave picking for e-commerce, perpetual inventory counting, value add packing, allergen management, compliance procedures or track and trace
4. How will you access functionality upgrades in the future? Can these be implemented without incurring extra costs?
5. Can the WMS vendor support you with real world industry experience to ensure your processes are best practice?
6. How well do the supply chain consultants who will potentially be working in your warehouse understand your business sector?
7. Can your WMS vendor offer in-house integration capabilities so that all systems can communicate in real time?
8. Do you like the people? A WMS is not just for Christmas and you will be working with your vendor for many years. Make sure there’s a good cultural fit.
9. Can a WMS help you communicate achieving KPIs to the rest of the organisation?
10. Can these key metrics be tracked? Think about the following key warehouse metrics:
- Time required to complete routine stock movements;
- Goods receiving and put away processing times;
- Stock replenishment timeframes;
- ‘On Time In Full’ order picking trends, pick accuracy levels and operator productivity;
- Stock accuracy and stock audit discrepancies.
Our reputation as WMS experts for 40 years
At Indigo, we’ve been developing WMS solutions for over 40 years. We’re here for the long term and pride ourselves on being a trusted technology partner to our clients. Many of our customers have been using our software for well over a decade. That speaks volumes about the quality of our technology and consulting services.
If you’re in the market for a more agile warehouse, get in touch with us and talk to our industry experts.
Our success over 4 decades speaks for itself and could be yours too.