The benefits of warehouse management software are many, but even after you have made the decision to jump onboard there are still plenty of questions to be asked along the way. It is important that you have a good understanding of what you are signing up for before you begin making the transition. Here are a few of the most important questions for you to ask during the planning stages:
- How Much Customization Can Be Done? Every warehouse has its own unique set of needs and wishes. If you are going to fork over the money for a large warehouse management software investment, it's important to make sure you can get exactly what you are looking for. Some programs are very open to customization with the help of your WMS partner, while others offer fewer options. Of course, you should also consult with your WMS partner about your wishes and get their feedback on how they have solved similar problems in the past.
- What Kind of Support Will We Get? It's nice to think that your new warehouse management software will be so straightforward that you'll never need help, but the reality is that during the early months, you will want some support. Some companies offer packaged training sessions to help get your crew up to speed as well as ongoing phone and chat support to walk you through any difficulties.
- What is the Cost/Time to Implementation? Depending on the level of customization you are requiring from your warehouse management software, and numerous other factors, the time to reach 100% implementation can be several months. If you are rolling out your new software in stages, you will need a timeline to keep things on track. Naturally, the longer it takes to get the whole thing up and running, the more it will likely cost. Try to get a rough estimate of how long your WMS partner thinks it should take from start to finish.
- Which Equipment Can We Keep, Which Equipment Should We Buy? The move to a modern WMS is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your whole warehouse. Ask your warehouse management software provider about the equipment currently in your warehouse and whether it can be carried forward. You should also get recommendations for additional equipment that will be compatible with your new system and that will help make your jobs easier going forward.
Planning for new warehouse management software takes a lot of time and careful consideration. You don't want to be left with a program that doesn't meet all of your expectations or that is too hard for your team to use. That's why it's important to ensure you can customize the system and you will have the backing of your software provider to help you navigate during the early stages. Understanding how the software will make its way out into your warehouse and the cost of rolling it out is also an important part of the equation. Lastly, learning which equipment you can keep to save money and what other investments you should make will help you focus on the stuff that matters most.