9 Keys for Choosing a Warehouse Management System

In choosing a warehouse management system, knowing your needs and what drives your company are important in identifying the keys to finding the right solution to address matters so you can grow.

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Tom Rau, SalesPad’s Sales Operations Manager, offers his top nine things to consider in selecting a warehouse management system (WMS) that fits:

Prioritize needs. “What’s at the top of your list? Do an assessment. Make a realistic decision about what you need to implement right away, and what can go on the back burner.”

Determine a budget. “There are many different options out there, and they all come with a different price tag. You can go from $5,000 to $500,000 in a hurry, and you need to know where you fall in between.”

Consider your staff. “You can’t succeed without them. Know their strengths, and also what they might struggle with. Take those things into consideration when choosing a solution. The greatest product out there fails without user adoption.”

Plan your approach. “Do you want to do everything at once, or do you want to do a phased approach? Often times doing a pilot phase is the way to go. Find a power user and have them try it out before giving it to the rest of your team.”

Layout. “Do you use bins, aisles, shelves, zones? Are you going to set these up alphanumeric? What makes sense for your business? Make a decision on how you want your warehouse organized, and make sure the software supports that.”

Consider support. “After you go live, what sort of resources do you have as you make process changes, or when you have an issue? Software isn’t perfect. Make sure the company you choose can support you when problems arise, because they will.”

Is customization an option? “Make this decision before your evaluation. Your business is unique. You might find a product that handles 90% of your needs. Is that last 10% important enough to pay for? Determine the ROI and make an educated decision.”

Scalability. “If your company is new to warehouse management software, you’ll probably start small, but everyone plans to grow, right? Make sure your choice doesn’t hold you back. There should be features that you can grow into.”

Have an evaluation plan. “How are you going to determine if the project was a success? Is it money saved? Processes fixed? Put this plan in place before you even start looking.”

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