Whether you’re re-engineering your warehouse management processes for the very first time or looking to modernize and update your current warehouse software and automation, there are four universal truths you must address to succeed in your Warehouse Management Software (WMS) selection and implementation process. These truths are based on my hands-on experience helping companies of all sizes make highly successful transitions to a new WMS and avoid the pain and suffering that can come from making a sub-optimal software decision for the wrong reasons.
Truth Number One – Technology Won’t Fix the Unknown
Yes, WMS is a powerful technology and one that can transform your warehouse operations, boosting efficiency, saving time & money, and making your operation run much more smoothly. But it doesn’t do ANY of that right out of the box. Like any computer system, you must feed the WMS with the right data to solve problems and enable you to make your operations faster, cheaper , and better … for the short term and the long haul. A new WMS won’t magically identify these challenges and tasks for you. Knowing which questions to ask about your particular warehouse operations and challenges is essential. Understanding your high-level functional requirements BEFORE you begin your software selection is critical so you can ultimately choose software/automation that best meets your strategic objectives and realize the business benefits you desire.
Truth Number Two – You Must Be Prepared to Actively Manage Change
Implementing new technology won’t be effective if your people and processes don’t adapt to using it. Some workers may be resistant to change while others may be too busy to learn new skills or take on additional project work. Practices and business processes already in place can be difficult to let go of. Many failed implementations occur because no groundwork was done in advance of deploying the new technology. Our ATS best practices have proven the benefits of focusing on change management right from the start – including communicating the business case for WMS strategy and making your workers an integral part of the planning, design, and testing before, during and after implementation.
Truth Number Three – You’re Buying a Company, Not Just an Application
You can do a great job identifying the problems you want your WMS to solve. And you can make solid plans to manage change. But your efforts can still be undone by selecting a technology provider that doesn’t have an exceptional track record for success and client satisfaction or isn’t in sync with your goals, objectives, and needs. Doing due diligence about the company you’re going to engage for your WMS is critical. Look into their financial history and stability. Take the time to check references and verify their case studies for comparable projects. Ask about the company’s business strategy and five-year product roadmap. Are they looking to grow or sell the company? The industry is more volatile than ever before; not only are software companies merging with or acquiring competitors, but many logistics companies are buying software companies and vice versa. This is a critical business decision – seek a partner you can trust before your purchase.
Truth Number Four – Asking for Help in Selection and Implementation is Smart!
Selecting the right partner is mission critical today, and project implementation is where the rubber meets the road! Don’t go it alone. You may know all you need to know about your warehousing operation, but technology is evolving faster than ever, and you can benefit from guidance from an experienced consultant who has been down this road many times and knows how to help you anticipate and avoid the twists and turns and bumps in the road. That’s where ATS fits in. We do this work all day, every day. And we have helped scores of businesses successfully select and automate warehouse operations with the best solution for their needs and budget. Making a bad decision in today’s world may not just be costly; it could be catastrophic. Save Time, Money & Risk. Set up a free consultation with an Advantage Technology Solutions expert today!