When it comes to choosing new warehouse management software, you may be wondering where to begin. The way you approach this decision will determine whether or not you make a good investment. Here are five key steps for choosing warehouse management software for the best results.
- Evaluate: Whether you already have a WMS installed or not, you need to be clear about what your system is currently missing. You began looking for warehouse management software to solve problems and improve your processes. Take some time to evaluate your existing system and understand where you need to make improvements.
- Brainstorm: Once you have a good idea of where your system is lacking, brainstorm solutions with your team. Gathering intel from the people on the floor is a great way to learn about what systems and solutions would help your employees most. You can also hold discussion panels with your management team to determine what reports and information they need to be more effective in their positions.
- Consult: There are plenty of software vendors out there willing to sell you warehouse management software. There are fewer people who can really dig in and help you evaluate your needs. During this stage, you can consult with several vendors in your area, learn more about the specific pros and cons of their systems, and ask questions. You should definitely be taking notes during this stage so that you can compare your options later on and understand how each one stacks up. This is also your opportunity to gather ideas from professionals about solutions you may not have thought of on your own.
- Analyze: Now that you have talked to a handful of vendors, it is time to analyze their proposals in depth. Some software companies offer the ability to develop the warehouse management software to specifically fit the needs of your organization. Others sell simple, out-of-the-box solutions. You need to think about not just the cost of each option, but also the ability to get the solutions you really need. Take the time now to narrow down your list and contact your vendors with any additional questions you have before you make your decision.
- Commit: Once you fully understand which option will best suit your needs, it is time to commit. It is important to keep in mind that committing to new warehouse management software is bigger than just installing the program. Once you have committed to making the change, you also need to start working on buy-in from your team for the chosen software. Start educating them on the changes that will be headed their way and prepare them for making the transition as smoothly as possible.
Once you have decided you need new warehouse management software, it is easy to get drawn in by the wide range of modern possibilities for your warehouse. In order to make the best possible choice, it is important to take into account not just what you want for your warehouse but also what your employees wish to see to make their jobs easier. The more you include them in the process, the more informed your decision will be, and the more support you will have going into the transition. Consulting with professionals along the way opens up more options and ensures that you have explored all available avenues.