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6 Misconceptions About Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

Having a system that magically controls the workflow, manages relationships with your suppliers and carriers, helps you provide world class customer service, and shows you where you need to focus your attention, all while saving you time, money, and aggravation, is a dream come true.

Can a warehouse management system really do so much for your business?

Lets look into some of the common misconceptions about warehouse management systems.

1. Implementing a warehouse management system is risky.
Sometimes true. Implementing the wrong warehouse management system is risky. It’s important to research systems to ensure that your needs will be met. A good system will be realistic. It won’t set up false expectations. There will be inconveniences. There will be problems that need to be solved. But when you choose a provider that fits well with your objectives, listens to your concerns, helps you formulate a plan, and calculates the upfront costs to you, the risk is minimal

2. It’s difficult to implement a warehouse management system into your business.
False. Only if you fail to make a plan for implementation. There will be disruptions, but with a good implementation plan, they can be held down to a minimum. Much of the system can be set up and tested before going live. When you plan the implementation, you can prepare your employees to deal with problems and put coping solutions into place to downplay disruptions. If your plan is well executed, the disruptions will be brief.

3. It’s very expensive.
False. It’s going to cost you money, maybe even a lot of money. But, you will save money in the long run by becoming more efficient, eliminating waste, and increasing the productivity of your business. A good WMS should pay for itself in a relatively short amount of time.

4. It would increase employee training costs.
False. Warehouse management systems don’t require large amounts of training classes for employees to use them. They are very user friendly and employees will only need minimal amounts of training in order to learn to interact with it. Managers can be trained first and then they will be able to pass on the training to the employees they manage in smaller groups.

5. It’s difficult to integrate with suppliers and carriers.
False. Suppliers and carriers systems are compatible with WMS software using standardized language or translated software language. Once your system is in place, communication is done automatically with your trade partners. Managing multiple suppliers and carriers at the same time is what warehouse management systems are made for.

6. It would require a large investment in peripheral technology.
Sometimes True. You may need to upgrade your technology, depending on when you last updated, but in some cases existing technology can be used. Your employees may be able to use smartphones to scan and track materials and products, view reports, and communicate with other employees. But even if you haven’t updated your technology in a while, don’t have to upgrade everything at once. Technology can be phased in over time. A good warehouse management system is flexible and dynamic.