Looking to improve efficiency in your warehouse operations? The right warehouse management systems (WMS) can help you delegate labor effectively, maintain accurate inventory counts, provide traceability of inventory and a whole host of other benefits. Whether you’re upgrading your current system or starting from scratch, there are some important qualities your new system must have. Here’s what to look for when shopping around for the right WMS system for your applications.
Clearly, the most important quality of a WMS system is what it’s able to do for you. Investigate your options and see how a WMS will be able to help you do more with fewer resources, and choose a system with all the advanced WMS features you’ll need. The features you select will depend entirely on the unique applications of your business, but the bare minimum features of any WMS system should address the following issues:
- Inbound operations/receiving
- Putaway management
- Advanced shipping notifications
- Shipping management
- Picking and packing
- Product lifecycle management
A good warehouse management system is easy to use, reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on training employees to use it. All employees, from newbie pickers to senior management, must be able to use the software. The easiest way to promote usability is to test out the system yourself and look for easy-to-follow menus, help screens and other useful features. Another helpful thing to look for is an easy-to-read dashboard that provides all team members with an overview of the most useful data.
Comprehensive transaction management
The best warehouse management systems allow warehouse teams to manage everything from door to door. Receiving, manifesting and every other aspect of operations should be tracked in the WMS, and there should be detailed information for everything including products, employees and transactions. Basic operational steps that should be tracked in a WMS include:
- Storing of received goods
- Order picking
- Inventory audits
- All movement of items
Is your company growing, or do you want it to be in the future? If so, your warehouse management system must be able to adapt to future requirements of your business. You shouldn’t invest in a short-term WMS solution—rather, you should anticipate your future needs and choose a WMS that can scale along with your growth.
How do you find a scalable solution? First, determine whether your chosen WMS system will work with the majority of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems. Since you may change ERP systems as your company grows, you need to be sure your WMS system remains compatible with the new ERP solution you choose. Also, determine whether your chosen WMS system is built around open architecture so you’re not locked into a particular operating system.
Choosing a new WMS system can be a challenge, and it’s a decision that absolutely must be correct the very first time. For assistance in selecting the right system for your needs, contact Quality Experienced Moving, Inc. today. You’ll have experts on your side who can guide you to the ideal system for the unique applications of your warehouse.