Critical Considerations and Questions Before Signing a WMS Contract

True story. A client’s system selection team had arrived at the three best Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) for their e-commerce company. There were still open questions from the demos. The company did not have a total budget yet as costs for modifications and interfaces were not yet identified. No project planning had been discussed. The contractual agreements had not been reviewed by an attorney.

Unbeknownst to the team, the salesperson went around the team to the CFO and proposed a significant discount to sign with his company within the next few days. It also meant paying a non-refundable discount in excess of 25%. After briefly reviewing the potential discount with several senior managers, he signed the agreement and announced the decision.

A year later the implementation proved to be a disaster because the fit was not as good as the CFO had hoped it would turn out to be. After initial Go Live and the new WMS’ failure, the legacy system had to be reinstalled.

As the year end approaches, software and technology vendors will offer significant discounts in order to secure your business and book it in the current year. This is also true with many vendors at the end of each quarter. But don’t let the last-minute vendor discounts distract your company from prudent due diligence in selecting the right WMS for your business.

Read "13 Steps to Successfully Select Your Next Warehouse Management System (WMS)"

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How To Conduct A Post Implementation Audit of Your Recently Installed System

After months of preparation, systems customizations, file conversions, training, etc., you have just implemented your new ERP, OMS, WMS or Forecasting system. The Go Live isn’t as problem free as you’d like. What next?

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5 Reasons Why Request for Proposals Are Crucial to Your ERP System Search and Selection

 Last week we sent a Request for Information (RFI) for budgetary pricing to three ERP system vendors that we felt best fit our client’s business. We laid out the schedule for how the client expected the system selection to proceed. This list of tasks included sending a Request for Proposal (RFP), analyzing the responses and on-site demonstrations of the software. For some context, the client has sales of $13 million and a budget of $500,000 to implement.

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Build, Buy or Best of Breed – What’s the Right Systems Strategy For Your Company?

Panelists Ashley Kohnen, Shao Li, Keith KirssonAt a recent conference, I had one of the best panels I have ever had on systems strategies.  Joining me were:  Ashley Kohnen, Co-owner, COO, LEM Products, Keith Kirssin, President of BoxInBoxOut and Shao Li, Senior Operations Manager, UncommonGoods.   What made the panel so effective was they easily articulated why the three radically different approaches worked best for providing order management and warehouse management functionality to their company. 

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13 Steps To Help You Plan An ERP System File Conversion

File conversions “don’t get no respect,” as Rodney Dangerfield would say. Everyone knows they need to write programs and convert files. However, it’s not uncommon to leave off detailed discussion of which files and tables to convert, what data fields and how much data (this year’s only or how many years’ history) until the implementation.

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9 Ways Procedures and Documentation Improve ERP Systems Use

Well, we just watched the 402nd project where management intended to have new operational procedures and training materials developed to accompany the major upgrade of a new ERP system. The procedures were not developed and the users went live on the new ERP system for call center and fulfillment operations.

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An Order Management System Installation: How Bad Could It Be?

That’s the rhetorical question Matt Jordan, CEO, Premier Performance, Inc. asked of the audience at the Senior Executive Forum at Operations Summit 2015 about installing an order management system.  Matt is an FCBCO client and he has gone through several ERP and order management system conversions and shared his experiences.

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Successful Order Management System Install through Project Management

For any organization taking on the implementation of a new order management system is always Order Management System project managementchallenging and a bit stressful at times.  There are a myriad of articles on how to successfully implement a new system but one item we recommend to our clients is to have organized a strong implementation team. 

You, as the client, need to start with a strong Project Manager (PM).  This person may have already been the lead for the order management system selection process and understand the total business.  Without this leadership role your company will have paid out most if not all software license costs and not achieve successful implementation.  With most contracts, the company pays most all of the license costs well in advance of the “Go Live” date.  Professional or Implementation Services from the vendor often require a deposit and are invoiced as they are used.  This means that 85% to 100% of the total system costs are paid before “Go Live”. 

READ: How to Improve Your New Systems Selection and Implementation Process

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Accurate Budget Estimates for Implementing Order Management System

As we have written many times, 50% of large scale implementations end up over budget and well behindAccurate Order Management System Budget the original proposed implementation schedules. Typically, we have always identified investment in several areas: hardware, operating software, third-party software, professional services and applications licenses. In order to plan initial new system implementation budgets for large scale order management system and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), it’s prudent to go well beyond these categories of expense and engage in broader based planning and due diligence.

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The 2 Cent Refund Check - What's the Real Cost?

As God is my judge, this is a true story.  An example I challenge the reader to find in their business and eradicate.

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