6 Signs You've Outgrown Your WMS

Advice from true warehouse experts

Issue link: https://resources.pathguide.com/i/730389

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● ● ● Is my current WMS holding back productivity? If so, how and in which areas of the warehouse? This will let you identify your weaknesses and tell you what features to look for in a new WMS. According to one of our customers, Alex Hirsch, the vice president of technology at HUB Industrial Supply in Florida: "One of the most important steps HUB took before deciding on a WMS vendor was to hone in on our requirements. These included…the ability to achieve greater efficiency, improve receiving and picking accuracy, and better employee accountability and time management in the warehouse." Defining a wish list of features like these ahead of time will limit your WMS search to a manageable level. Look for everything, including the kitchen sink, and your search can continue to spin with no end in sight. Which WMS products will integrate with my ERP system? Most independent WMS providers now support the major ERPs, so if the WMS provided by your ERP vendor doesn't have the depth or flexibility to do everything you need, it may be a good idea to consider other options. Check this up front to avoid wasting time investigating a WMS that won't work with your ERP. The Signs You've Outgrown Your WMS 2 Three-quarters of warehouse professionals expect that their companies will add new locations, increase shipment volumes and invest in new technologies over the next five years, according to a 2016 survey of over 1,378 warehouse professionals from 12 countries. While planning for this growth, many companies will naturally consider upgrading the WMS because of its high impact on customer service, warehouse productivity and inventory control. But, when is the right time to switch? The simple answer is that you should upgrade to a new system if it offers the right improvements, can scale better, and brings enough benefits to justify the investment. This includes both the financial spend on the new system, as well as the time required to train staff and implement new processes, plus any disruption that the implementation may cause your business during the transition. Like a capital equipment investment, your company will pay the costs of a new WMS up front and enjoy the benefits spread out over many years. (Yes, I'm foregoing the lower startup cost model of cloud offerings and the reasons why this software model refuses to catch traction in the WMS space, as that is a whole different discussion in itself). The improvements often seem less immediate than the large price tag and the prospect of company-wide retraining. So, let's be more objective and point to some questions that will help you compare your current system against one from a new vendor. You may find that you need a better fit to support and scale with your business in the long run. I'll include some customer case examples from my company, PathGuide Technologies. 1 6

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