11 Factors In Budgeting Add-On Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) Modules

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.

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9 Ways Warehouse Management Systems Makes Your Operation More Efficient

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.

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Developing a Warehouse Move Plan

Developing a warehouse move plan is critical to successfully transitioning to a new facility. Here are key aspects to plan for months before your intended move in date.

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How to Budget for a New Warehouse Management System

One of the biggest challenges companies face in acquiring new warehouse management systems is how much to budget. In our experience, 50% of major systems projects are not completed within 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, warehouse management system (WMS) vendors may paint an incomplete picture when companies ask 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:

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9 Considerations for Maximizing Your New WMS

In our experience, more than 50% of the time, major fulfillment center projects such as WMS and automation are not implemented on time and within budget.   WMS solutions create major changes to how inventory is managed, and the ways orders are fulfilled.  It can take months for workers to achieve full productivity and for companies to regain the same level of throughput.   

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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.

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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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Warehouse Management System Benefits For Today's Operations

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. 

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Seven Operational Strategies to Remain Competitive and Efficient in the Future

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:

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Are You Holding Onto Your Order Management System Too Long?

In many cases, businesses are holding on to their installed order management system or ERP for more order management systemthan 10 years – sometimes 15+ years – if they believe they’re the right fit. On the face of it, this is sound thinking; considering the time and expense involved in implementing a new system.

Your order management system or ERP may be right for your call center, the merchandisers’ management of inventory, accounting systems and integration with your web platform. But are your fulfillment system requirements the same as they were 10-15 years ago? For many businesses, the answer is a resounding no.

Maybe you’re being too conservative by expecting incrementally greater productivity from your distribution center’s warehouse management system each year without additional functionality. In most companies, direct and indirect labor accounts for more than 50% of the total cost of fulfillment, excluding cost of shipping. People productivity in a DC is largely based on the feature/function set designed into the systems.

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