Implementing a warehouse management system is one of the best ways make your warehouse more efficient, however running an effective warehouse management systems (WMS) requires a great deal of planning to identify the best processes for your company. A WMS should not only streamline processes within your company but should also be able to handle data from suppliers and vendors as well as custom-written programs that are required by vendors or their preferred supplier. Whether you are starting from scratch or revamping an existing warehouse management system, there are several things you can do to help ensure the process is as smooth as possible. To help you get started with implementing your new WMS, let’s take a look at some of the top tips to prepare for implementation.
Build a foundation before implementation.
It’s important to be prepared before you implement a WMS. Before you lift a finger and start any costly or time-consuming process, build a foundation for your processes. This includes planning out how your WMS will work with other systems in the warehouse and what needs to be built from scratch. This will help give you an idea of what needs to be in place before implementation begins so that you don’t have to waste time and resources trying to figure it all out later.
Define your goals for implementing a warehouse management system.
70% of projects fail due to poor project management and unclear goals. Before you begin your implementation process, it is important that you identify what your goals are. This with the end in mind. This will help you to figure out which steps to take first. Are your goals critical operations or are they more of a general idea? What types of data do you hope the WMS will give you? What kind of data would be helpful in making decisions and changes within your company? Defining your goals will help streamline the process and make sure you have an efficient WMS.
Set expectations with team meetings.
One of the most important steps you can take when implementing a new WMS is to set expectations with your team. When meeting with your warehouse staff and managers, be sure to cover the following topics:
What are the benefits and advantages of your company’s WMS?
How will it benefit their work?
What will they need to do to prepare for implementation?
What changes will they see in their jobs as a result?
Don’t rush the process.
Take your time to determine which processes are necessary and what elements of the system you need. This will help you make sure that you have considered all the variables before making a decision. There is no point in rushing into implementing a WMS without first having thought about what is needed. It’s important to think through all the possible scenarios before implementing a new process to ensure that everything will work smoothly.
Involve every stakeholder.
To ensure a successful implementation, it is important to involve all the stakeholders in the process. This will include the warehouse manager, warehouse staff, IT department, suppliers and vendors that your warehouse manages for, as well as any third-party service providers that may be involved. The more people you can involve in the process and communicate with at different levels of the process, the better chance you have of success.
Use an agile approach when implementing your warehouse management system.
You want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and implement a WMS that can handle any kind of processing that comes your way. If you are not planning on going with an agile approach, then you might want to think about how to speed up processes and reduce errors. You can use artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) technologies to help find the best solutions for your company’s needs. Establishing a WMS strategy should be done in phases and should include all aspects of your warehouse, such as receiving, shipping, inventory management, human resource management, product storage and handling.
Final thoughts on implementing a warehouse management system
First, it is important to look at the size and complexity of your warehouse. What are the basic processes that need to be streamlined? What will the software be used for? For example, if you are looking to implement a WMS that only manages order fulfilment, then you won’t have much data coming in from other sources. In fact, most WMS would not need other sources because they only focus on order fulfilment.
Second, you should be thinking about how the new system will change how your team members operate. Will their jobs change or are there certain tasks that need to be added or subtracted? How will this affect existing processes?
Third, it’s important to think about what data will be collected and what type of information it will collect. Will it collect every piece of data or just some key pieces? Some systems can handle both types of information while others specialise in one type of data collection. If you’re implementing a WMS that collects all types of data, then make sure this is something the team is prepared for as well as what kind of hardware/software needs to be purchased in order for the process to run smoothly.
For more information on WaBI, the Warehouse Management System that is simple, increases profits, and is designed to fit your business contact us on +61 2 6188 7306, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here.