Warehouse management systems have revolutionized the way warehouses operate. Advancements in barcode technology and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) have made tracking inventory much easier and more reliable than ever before. Leveraging technology to automate your warehouse can reduce the time and resources need to count inventory by eliminating many processes that have traditionally been done manually. However, reengineering your business can be challenging. Here are 3 tips that will help ensure a successful warehouse management implementation:
1. Take the time to define your needs
Before creating an RFP or viewing a software demo, organizations should take the time to understand their unique requirements and define internal business processes. By doing this upfront, you will be able to eliminate some systems based on their ability to deliver your “must have” functionality requirements. Often many warehouse management systems are either customizable or configurable allowing users to add functionality as needs arise. In cases where the software cannot be customized to fit your operation, you may have to determine if you can operate within the confines of the software.
2. Industry expertise is preferred
There are many warehouse management software vendors in the marketplace, so trying to develop a short list of candidates can often be overwhelming. Most warehouse management systems vendors have expertise in one or more niches or industries. Take the time to understand their industry knowledge base by asking if they have experience implementing warehouse management systems for companies like yours. Find out if they have implemented any warehouse management systems for companies that have similar processes or business issues that you are trying to solve. Asking for and checking customer references is a great way to better understand the track record for how a particular warehouse management system provider has performed.
3. Get user buy-in
Many software implementations fail because they lack buy-in from different departments within your organization. In order for a warehouse management system to reach its full potential, you need full support from all facets of your operation. Before the vendor selection process starts, build an internal team that involves every department throughout the life of the project from selection and installation to training and go-live. Getting buy-in from operations, finance, IT, as well as upper management is critical to the long-term success of your project. By taking this approach, you will help ensure that the system can benefit all aspects of your business, and address various needs of different departments within your organization.
As with any IT project, taking the time to do proper planning and due diligence before selecting and implementing a new system will save your organization time and resources. Use these three tips to help ensure your warehouse management system project is a success!