Lest we forget, yes the Internet, order management and websites are all systems. But more importantly, successful development is dependent on how well ideas are communicated by users, developers and management and then into the programming which becomes the physical programming product or service. I was working with a user last week on some serious issues that had arisen as they developed their website. The end product that had been delivered by a contractor was light years from the client's expectations. And in the next minute this old cartoon popped into my email Inbox from a friend. I first saw it in some form in the 1970s or 80s. The cartoon, although humorous, illustrates that when there is poor communication during a systems project; what can happen between vision, development, programming and delivery of the system.
As you compare your WMS requirements against the detailed demo and presentations of a shortlist of vendors, it rapidly becomes obvious that selecting the most effective WMS is NOT a “one size fits all warehouses or businesses”. The core system (often referred to as the base or vanilla system) will have certain functions that will personalize the WMS to your business through site-specific configurations at implementation time and without program changes. Add-on modules are available to extend the core system with additional functions such as Labor Management (LMS), Slotting, Transportation Management (TMS), automation, and other systems integrations, to name a few. Large WMS users might have custom programming accessible from the WMS’ user library to provide specific functions not available in the core WMS.Read More >
An efficient warehouse maximizes its space use, streamlines operational functions, and increases employee productivity. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) standardizes and manages the four-wall activities and inventory management. When a warehouse is efficient, customers receive their orders on time, and the company's costs are in-line with management’s financial plan.
Below are nine major ways a WMS improves operations efficiency.Read More >
One of the biggest challenges companies face in acquiring a new WMS is determining how much to budget for. In our experience, 50% of major systems projects are not completed within the proposed budget or time frame. Companies must understand the potential costs early on to prevent finding out they can’t afford the system after spending significant time in the system selection phase.
To make matters worse, WMS vendors may paint an incomplete picture when companies ask about the cost. Some vendors will only focus on the user license, but not the software services or annual maintenance costs.
Companies should focus on the following nine cost categories when developing an accurate budget for replacing a software solution.Read More >
In our experience, more than 50% of the time, major fulfillment center projects such as a new WMS installation or an automation enhancement are not implemented on time or within budget. The solutions and new processes a WMS allows for can cause major changes to how inventory is managed, and the ways orders are fulfilled. It can take months for workers to achieve the expected productivity gains and for companies to get back to and exceed the same level of throughput as before the new system.Read More >
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 More >
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?Read More >
The supply chain has changed dramatically over the last 10 years in so many ways that it can be hard for some to keep up with. Increases in freight and transportation have made these costs higher than distribution center labor in many businesses. The cost and quality of labor throughout your supply chain can be challenging. One way to get ahead of this constantly changing landscape is using robust Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Whether you running an ecommerce site, retail chain or are a manufacturer or distributor, these systems can bring increased controls to labor, inventory and transportation.Read More >
As you conduct strategic planning for fulfillment, what are the operational strategies you should consider to remain competitive and be efficient in the future? To consider this topic, we looked at trends that are shaping the operations in multichannel companies. Here is our list:Read More >