Finding the best WMS solution for your business can be easy as 1..2..3..
Modern technology is constantly evolving and being introduced into the world of logistics to keep businesses on top of consumer demands, improve profits and drive growth. As this technology continues to develop, ecommerce booms and companies are fulfilling a higher frequency of small online orders, it is vital your business has the best WMS technology in place to provide improved, efficient, and accurate strategies for order picking and despatching.
Not all cloud warehouse management systems are created equal and for many, the idea of business systems delivered as a cloud service still feels very new and a bit scary. Cloud Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are no exception.
Today, more than ever, warehouse efficiency is a critical success factor to effectively managing your supply chain and achieving peak performance. Implementation of the latest technologies can significantly improve warehouse operations, employee productivity and customer satisfaction. By installing the right system and realigning how your warehouse interacts with your employees, customers, and vendors, you can streamline your warehouse operations while achieving a high return on investment.
The core functionality of a WMS is to support warehouse staff to accurately guide inventory through receiving, put-away, picking, packing and shipping; and as such, the primary decider for choosing a WMS should be based on the objective of delivery to the end customer, improved accuracy, and right first time, to ultimately improve internal efficiencies.
So how do you find the best WMS for your business?
For any company going through a WMS selection, whether for the first time or as a replacement, our quick guide below covers the keys points you should consider before selecting your WMS.
1) Maximum Functionality
When analysing a WMS system, ask yourself, “Will this WMS streamline our business processes?” There are dozens of other ways in which a cloud WMS can help you do more with fewer resources whilst maximising productivity.
2) Ease of Use
If a WMS is easy to use, it will reduce the amount of time you spend on employee training, for ALL employees, from pickers to senior management. Well-designed cloud warehouse management sustems lets users spend less time setting up and monitoring daily operations, so they are able to quickly adapt to new requirements and new employees can also be up and running in a matter of hours, instead of weeks.
3) Transaction Management from start to finish
A good WMS will let you manage everything from door to door, from receiving to manifesting. You want a WMS that gives you detailed information for everything like products, employees, and transactions, every step of the way.
At a minimum, the following are some of the steps that should be tracked:
- Putting away received goods
- Order picking
- Cycle counting (inventory audits)
- Any item movement
A cloud WMS solution needs to be able to scale with a company’s growth and adapt to meet future requirements. Otherwise, it’s not a long-term WMS solution. Is the WMS is built around an open architecture? If it is, your WMS is more likely to work with future applications and operating systems (rather than locking you into in a particular platform).
Your WMS should be able to grow with your business. So flexibility is key, check to see if a potential WMS works with many ERPs, hardware brands and types, and business models and sizes.
5) Useful, Easy-to-read Metrics
Data is important, but so is data presentation. It’s all very well having the metrics that help you track performance of your warehouse operations; it’s quite another to be able to understand the data. Good cloud warehouse management systems should allow you to easily create reports and charts that let you see how your warehouse is running.
6) Seamless ERP Integration
Your WMS has to work in tandem with your ERP to keep a business running. That’s why it’s so important that you choose a cloud WMS that works with major ERP systems, seamlessly.
7) Proven Track Record
To find out how well a WMS works, you want to get information from the people who have actually used it. Ask for a list of customer references and if possible go and see it in action.
8) Value for ROI
Price is only one small part of total cost of ownership. Functionality, flexibility, integration, scalability, ease of use, customer support and more all come into play. When choosing a WMS system, you obviously need to weigh these requirements.
9) Commitment to Warehousing and Logistics
A final indicator to ensure you get the best WMS for your business is the vendor’s overall focus on warehousing and logistics. In many cases, cloud warehouse management systems are available from companies that offer business solution tools spanning many industries and requirements. This may enable those vendors to diversify their offerings, but it also restricts their day-to-day insight into the very specific, niche field of warehouse management.
Whether you are sourcing software to automate your warehouse operations for the first time, or to upgrade to a more robust warehousing system; adequate research should be conducted, prior to selecting the best WMS solution to fit your environment. To be successful, a good piece of software should not only accommodate your company’s present activity, but also address scalability to accommodate future business growth.
The benefits of finding a good WMS include increased productivity, reduced operating costs, and improved inventory control and visibility. This makes your selection critical to growing your business and taking your operations to the next level.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.