7 WMS Must Haves

Advice from true warehouse experts

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By having further insight into every step of a transaction, a company can fully optimize product stocking needs and employee efficiency, therefore maximizing customer service. Scalability Your company is going to grow and change. Your technology needs to grow and adapt accordingly. A warehouse management system is no exception to this rule. When looking at investing in a WMS, ask yourself these things: • Does your new warehouse management system work with your host system, or any host system that you might migrate to in the future? It is essential that a WMS is fully compatible with an existing host business system (usually an ERP) so a company maintains the way it does business, without reinventing infrastructure, systems or procedures. • Does it work with multiple brands and models of portable RF terminals, fork truck mounted RF terminals, and bar code label printers, scales, and scanners? • Is the WMS used by a variety of distributor types and sizes? • Is the WMS built on open architecture, making it much more likely that the system can work with future applications and operating systems (rather than locking in a particular platform)? Remember, an investment is only worthwhile if it continues to pay off. Make sure that the WMS you invest in can work with your business in the future, not just your business as it is today. Performance Tracking A good WMS will let you easily create reports and charts that let you know everything you need to know about your warehouse performance. From total lines picked to individual employee performance, your WMS should give you both the big picture and the nitty gritty details as you need them. A truly exceptional WMS will let you set performance standards and will track warehouse performance against these standards. By tracking employee efficiency in the warehouse, you can start planning new ways to staff your warehouse for optimal productivity. You can set goals, create incentive programs, and create a positively competitive atmosphere in the warehouse. Outstanding Support The vendor behind the WMS is as important as the application itself. Look for WMS vendors who have an outstanding reputation for implementation and support. When investigating WMS solutions, ask for a list of customer references. When talking to these customers, ask the following: • Did the WMS meet all expectations? • What kind of customer support is available? • Does the vendor provide customization work? • How frequently are software upgrades offered? Are upgrades and updates free of charge? • Does the WMS vendor actively solicit customer feedback? PathGuide Technologies ● Bothell, WA 98021

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