Protect Your WMS Investment with These Implementation Tips
Proper warehouse management is critical to your business’ success. If your warehouse is not operating at maximum capacity, you are setting your business up for failure. Many of today’s companies are turning to warehouse management systems (WMS) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their warehouse operations, and they are getting great results.
However, because no two companies are alike, warehouse management systems can be difficult to implement, especially if your company does not know what it needs in the area of warehouse management software. Not one company is alike; some will need different customizations, while others will handle different levels of transaction volume and employ different levels of technology savvy users. Because of this lack of standardization, one small oversight can result in a number of challenges throughout the warehouse management software implementation process. These challenges could include:
- Significant implementation delays
- Software training problems
- Cost overruns
- Configuration and interface errors
- Difficult and cost software upgrades
- Inability to ship products once the system goes live
Implementing a warehouse management system is not easy, but it’s not impossible. With the right tools and information, you can successfully implement your new warehouse management software system. The following tips were created to ensure a successful warehouse management software implementation. Make sure you keep them in mind as you go about implementing your new system:
- Review your warehouse management software purchase and make sure it integrates with your current software and processes. Many times, companies invest in warehouse management software systems without looking too much into the functional alignment of the software they are purchasing. This can lead to significant problems down the road, particularly if the software is not capable of accommodating your company’s desired level of functionality. Make sure that you have completed an in-depth business process requirements review prior to selecting your warehouse management software. As you review software solutions, refer to your requirements and make sure the software you select meets your main needs. Software vendors can certainly tailor functionality; however, as a whole, your warehouse management solution should automatically fit your needs.
- Test your warehouse management software again… and again. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of testing your warehouse management software system before you go live. Like any new software implementation, warehouse management software is guaranteed to have a few errors and kinks to work out. Make sure that you have enough test scripts and each script addresses the proper items (such as user errors, normal functionality, and exceptions). Document the results of each test so you can go back and review any errors down the road.
- Train your employees on the new warehouse management system. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many companies fail to do this. Employee training is key to your software system’s success. Make sure that you are training everyone who will be using the system.
- Conduct a thorough and honest readiness assessment. Before you go-live, make sure that you have assessed items such as system readiness, interface readiness, level of training, visibility and reporting capabilities, inventory condition, and data conversion. If the warehouse management system is not ready to go-live for any reason, be prepared to delay the go-live.
- Make sure you have adequate go-live support. Having enough support for your system’s go-live date is important to your success. This will help you handle the inevitable user operating errors and software bugs.
- Expect your productivity to suffer during the initial implementation stages. Give your employees time to learn the new system. Familiarity won’t happen overnight.
Are you looking for a warehouse management software solution? We offer a variety of products, including Accellos WMS, designed to meet your company’s unique needs. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our warehouse management solutions or if you need help implementing your new warehouse management system. Our team of WMS experts is here to help solve all of your warehouse management challenges.