In this new day and age, modern warehouse management systems are the only way to optimize processing and maintain order within your warehouse. However, some people are against the idea of implementing a new WMS. They feel it could be too complex, and that it is not worth the time, money, and training required to get the system up and running.
The real question is, are these perceived disadvantages worth it? Without the proper time and training, definitely. However, by implementing the correct system, and putting in the hours to learn it, you can bring your warehouse into the 21st century.
Here are a few steps to ensure that as a warehouse manager you can successfully justify your budget.
1. Justify the Purchase
It is true that warehouses are often the last in line to receive funding. Proposing a new WMS that would increase efficiency and cut costs can shorten this line. Without making your current warehouse operations look terrible, highlight areas that could use upgrades or that are costing more money than they should. Through more accurate data entry and improved automation, costly errors that affect the company’s bottom line can be eliminated.
More and more WMS are being offered with subscription based payment options, eliminating the large initial up-front investment which made many companies shy away. If a web based service is an appropriate choice, then it can be even more beneficial to your business.
2. Pick the Right Product
The key to installing a new WMS is finding one that operates well with your current workflow. This is the area in which the bulk of your warehouse management system research should take place. It is important to find a system with the correct functionality and features your warehouse needs.
Sifting through all of the different choices available is time well spent. Managers should determine whether the system integrates with your transportation management system, if it supports portable radio-frequency identification, and if the system has the proper picking functionality.
Many companies selling WMS will provide a short demo that covers the solution itself and its features. These demos allow you to get a feel for the system, and how it might fit into your current warehouse situation.
3. It Takes Time and Money
There is no way around it, setting up a new warehouse management system will take time and will come with a cost. Allocating the proper amount of time and training will allow you to reach the full potential your new WMS can provide. The most difficult part of this is justifying this time and training to your higher ups.
Preparing yourself with positive facts and figures can help sway their decision. Point out how much time and capital is currently being wasted on receipt picking errors. Next, compare this to the time and money it would take to implement the new system you have picked out. If the outcome is better functionality, the decision will be easy.
By following these steps, convincing management that it is beneficial to use a new WMS will be easy.