WMS Checklist: What to Demand Before You Purchase

The goal of any good company is to be more efficient, to focus on customer satisfaction, and to lower costs, thereby increasing both profits and company stature. Surely your company is one that would like to improve in all of these areas. A proper warehouse management system (WMS) can do exactly that. With the ability for new WMS programs to deliver flexible, real-time intelligence of just about any sort of warehouse you have, you can have the control you need to take your company to the next level of productivity and profitability.

However, not all WMS products are created equal. So, you need to carefully research the options out there, create a WMS checklist with your business requirements, and pick the one that will ensure that your customers are satisfied. This will help you choose a solution that will increase sales and your cash flow. Making the wrong WMS choice can cost you customers and cause you to fail in a business that already has thin margins. What follows are key considerations to include in your WMS checklist when deciding which WMS product you are going to deploy.

At the top of your WMS checklist should be the ease of use of your WMS solution. No matter how great a WMS product is or how many features it has, if your people are not able to work with the system, it will not matter. If, however, it is easy to use, there are many benefits. For starters, the training time is much shorter, and the time spent on projects is also shorter.  The ease of use of the system also ensures that it functions as you intend, to its fullest extent.

Second on your WMS checklist should be the functionality of your WMS solution. Functionality does not simply mean how well it works, but how well it helps you function better as a company. A good WMS system can help you streamline product manifests; it can automatically generate orders to replenish low stock; it can track incidents; it can determine which delivery vehicle should be used; and much more.  Can the WMS solution you are looking at do all of these things? Go through your WMS checklist as you compare features to ensure that you get the solution best suited to your business.

For a WMS system to truly be useful, it also needs to be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of your company. What works today, may or may not work tomorrow. Proper planning and testing will show if the software can change with the needs of your company. It is not cost effective to continually buy different systems every few years. Quality customer service is also a huge benefit, which you can get from many WMS vendors.

Finally, your WMS checklist should also cover whether the WMS solution integrates with any other software program you are currently running, especially your ERP platform. Your new system will not improve anything, if after installation you have to change or upgrade the other software packages you are using to help your company run efficiently. In the long run, a good WMS program should save you money. Follow the criteria on your WMS checklist to find the best solution for your needs and watch your long term profits grow.