The purpose of implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) is to increase your ability to track your inventory, increase your company’s profitability, and increase your customers’ satisfaction. A good system should have the potential to;
- Lower the cost per order.
- Reduce the instances of inventory being out of stock.
- Reduce customer service costs.
- Increase accuracy to save time.
- To increase sales.
- Make your life easier.
Researching your needs is a good way to get the most for your money, but with all that’s available, your research can also put you into information overload. So, in order to prevent the embarrassment of your employees finding you curled up in the fetal position under your desk, try asking these questions instead.
- How will the installation process affect your business? The transition into a new WMS needs to be smooth. You want your customers to be impressed by how easy it is to buy from you, not to be frustrated by bugs and delays. You should also know how much of your company’s time and resources will be involved.
- How will the implementation help you gain new business and/or add value to your current model? With so many options to choose from, your WMS should fit with your business model. Will the reporting function help you to identify trends and new markets? How will your customers’ shopping experience be positively impacted?
- Will the WMS streamline your operation? A good WMS should make things much easier for you. It should remove redundant actions by employees. Reports should be clear and concise. Tracking should be easy and informative.
- How user-friendly is it? A good WMS should decrease the time needed to train your employees to use the new system, which in turn will save your money and aggravation.
- Does it enhance your customer's shopping experience? Will your customers be able to shop in real-time? Can they use their smartphone to check on pricing and availability? Does it work seamlessly between their laptop and smartphone? Will it allow store employees to find your product at another location?
- How will tracking management impact your business? Will you be able to track a transaction from start to finish easily? If a problem arises, how quickly will it allow you to resolve it? Can you track employees, products, and transactions?
- Does it use simple metrics for tracking from door to door? A good system should be able to give you the data in a manner that’s easily understood and doesn’t waste your time.
- As your business grows and expands, will the WMS be flexible enough to expand with it? If you’re going to make a large investment in a WMS, it should be able to grow with your business. Can the WMS adjust to fit your growing needs? How long will you be able to use it? 5 years? 10 years?
- Is the latest technology used? Brand new technology is almost always on the horizon. Your WMS needs to be cutting edge if you want to get the most from your investment.
- Will you be able to visit the websites of satisfied customers? Can you see examples of successful WMS in real time? Your provider should be able to provide you with a list of happy customers.
- What is your projected ROI? Can they project for you how their system will help you get a satisfactory return on your investment?
- Do they listen to customer feedback? With new technologies introduced all the time, will your WMS provider update according to the needs of their clients?
Not every question presented here will be applicable to you and your WMS needs. Make sure to carefully and methodically plan out your implementation process so that you can ask the right questions. If you’d like help figuring out what you might need, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.