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When Should I Replace My Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

It’s no secret that warehouse management systems (WMS) make your enterprise much more productive and efficient. However, if your WMS is dated, it’s not doing as much as it could to increase your productivity and your profits. You are also missing out on a prime opportunity to get ahead of your competition.

A WMS is clearly important, but how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new one?

1. Does your current WMS actually hinder your business operations rather than help them?

Consider the ease of use of your current WMS. If it needs a rocket scientist, or even just requires extensive employee training, then it is probably a bit dated. New warehouse management systems are very intuitive to run. This will decrease the amount of training time needed on a new system. It will also decrease the amount of human error that you probably run into with your dated system due to complicated use.

2. Are upgrades for your current WMS obsolete or extremely expensive due to being nearly obsolete?

If you are wondering if you can just upgrade your current system, take this into consideration. Software and hardware for old technology can be extremely difficult to come by. That means that upgrading your current system may either be impossible or prohibitively expensive. In that case, you might as well invest in a new, up-to-date WMS that will allow you to have vital functionalities that even an updated yet old WMS wouldn’t have. Those new functionalities will help your company gain a competitive edge in your market.

3. Do you have separate systems handling all of your business operations — from accounting to inventory?

For the most part, traditional warehouse management systems just keep track of inventory. But the new systems of today can streamline all business operations, including accounting, inventory, and seasonal-trend tracking.

With all of your business operations streamlined, you will find that nothing will get lost in your enterprise’s line of communication from warehouse floor, to transport, to yard and labor management. All data collected will be held within one system that is updated in real time and is accessible at anytime and from anywhere with just a tap of a finger.

4. Is your vendor able to continue to provide you with service?

It is also important to keep in mind your vendor’s role in the WMS updating process. If you purchased your WMS ten years ago from an obsolete vendor, you need to explore different vendor options.

Good vendors provide installation, training, and technical support for warehouse management systems. These services are invaluable for creating a positive consumer experience with your company’s brands.

If your current WMS has started to sound a bit like it’s from the Stone Age, consider it an indication that you may need to invest in a new one.  If you want to rise to the top of your market, an up-to-date WMS is essential.

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