There’s no question that selecting the correct WMS software for your needs can be extremely difficult to do. Yet it remains one of the biggest decisions warehouse managers or anyone else in your organization can possibly ever make.
Given the stakes, it’s important to have a resource like this two-part guide to help you select the best possible option.
Read on, as we cover the final steps to finding the warehouse management solution that will make everything, from ordering to operations, run more smoothly.
Did You Miss Part I? Catch up now:
How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management Solution – Part I
6. Keep Integration in Mind
Spend at least some time looking into how a WMS will integrate into your existing systems – think about transportation, accounting/financials and any other enterprise system you currently use.
WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Talking to a vendor’s current software customers is a great way to dig deeper into how easy the integration and interface experience was when they switched.
7. Call References and (if Possible) Make Visits
The best way to figure out how great a software solution is, is by simply looking to other companies who use it. Of course every WMS vendor will tell you they’re the best, but the proof is in what others are going to tell you. Take the time to call and, if possible, visit.
WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Identify a list of questions to ask customers regarding the implementation methodology and timeframe. Questions to ask could include:
- How are issues handled?
- Is their staff knowledgeable and helpful?
- Did they take time to understand your business?
- Have modifications been difficult?
- Is the solution you received was what you expected?
8. Really Look at the Software Provider
History can tell us a lot about an industry provider. In the age of the internet, when companies can present themselves any way they want to, it’s easy to be deceived. Keep in mind, the biggest company isn’t necessarily the best.
WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > There are a number of indicators that can give you insight into how well a WMS will fit your needs. Ask any software provider you’re considering things questions like:
- How long have you been in business?
- Is distribution and logistics software your primary specialty?
- Have you developed other successful solutions for logistics and distribution?
- Do you have strong, long-lasting partnerships with hardware providers?
- Are you economically strong?
9. Compare Strengths and Weaknesses
By now, you likely have a shortlist of WMS providers you’re considering. You probably also have a pretty clear idea of your needs and what any deal breakers are. Time to compare WMS solutions against each other. To make this a worthwhile exercise, simply list out the pros and cons for each solution you’re considering. Weigh them next to one another and you’ll be able to quickly (and effectively) redline any WMS software that won’t be the best fit.
WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Evaluate: how each solution meets, exceeds or falls short of what you’re looking for. Review your requirements for a solid WMS investment.
10. Evaluate Software License Agreements
Yes, it can feel burdensome to review licensing agreements, but it’s also something that must be done. Cutting through all the legal paperwork and terminology in those agreements is certainly not most people’s idea of fun, but it just might save you a lot of money and frustration. After all, licensing agreements tend to contain some very serious information within them regarding how software may be used. If you’re not taking the time to look through licensing line by line, you’re probably going to miss something important.
WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Not sure what to look for in a licensing agreement? At the most basic level, you want to know if contracts are fair and reasonable – for both parties.
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