Avoid these 3 WMS selection errors during your project

Making a WMS selection is difficult, expensive, and risky. You must choose a platform that will boost your operational effectiveness and be used by your staff.

Change management is a big part of success at the point of implementation. Before you reach that point, it’s important to consider the WMS selection errors and wins that you might impact your operations. To help you get on the right track, we’ve got a quick look at three things that could slip your mind and lead to issues.

1. Not being clear about requirements

Every WMS is different, and often every installation of the same WMS software is a little different. You’ve got custom requirements and any given platform may or may not address those elements of your business.

Start large with big-picture warehouse and supply chain concerns. Do you have goods that spoil? Do you need to track special documents for legal or compliance reasons? How many warehouses do you have today, and how many do you want to have within the next two quarters?

Check out our WMS requirements gathering guide for step-by-step instructions to choosing your WMS software requirements

Then, write down and explore the big unique factors of your business. Do you need help scheduling your docking or have significant cross-doc opportunities based on your orders? Are you able to track everything you need to track?

2. Not getting opinions from your stakeholders

Creating the questions in the previous section, and getting their answers, comes from asking your entire workforce. Companies often think about leadership and executives who will plan the budget and can look at the big-picture elements of the supply chain and warehouse.

Don’t forget to go granular and ask the shop floor staff to see what issues they’re having or things they need. Learn their pain points so you can see what a WMS selection can solve, or at least avoid making things worse.

Your WMS selection team needs to be complete. Everyone who touches the product has an important perspective.

Look for the things that are core to completing a job and shipping an order as well as interacting with the customer before, during, and after a sale. If your sales reps are constantly being asked for shipment updates and when you get things in stock, don’t make the WMS selection error of picking a system that doesn’t provide this data and work to improve those concerns at the same time.

3. Not focusing on the warehouse USP

There’s something that your warehouse does just plain right. It could be the speed of the delivery, or maybe you spent time creating the perfect box that protects goods and is enjoyable to open. Your pick lanes might be optimized through years of effort and knowing how sales change as the year progresses.

Whatever your unique selling proposition — whether that’s an internal metric or something the customers see — it should be reflected in your WMS decision. If you’re struggling to determine what that might be, you can look at these implementation metrics that may spark an idea about what benefits you need to protect when your warehouse makes any change.

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Geoff Whiting

About the author…

Geoff is an experienced journalist, writer, and business development consultant with a focus on enterprise technology, e-commerce, and supply chain development. Outside of the office he can be found toying with the latest in IoT, searching for classic radio broadcast recordings, and playing the perpetual tourist in his home of Washington D.C.

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Geoff Whiting

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