How do you know when it is time to upgrade your current warehouse management system (WMS)? Your distribution automation strategy should include a WMS integrated with your enterprise resource planning system (ERP). If you have implemented a WMS like Sage 300 inventory modules in your facilities, you have already attained tremendous benefits. You have realized cost savings, improved customer satisfaction and achieved higher sales. But a time will come when you should upgrade your current system or implement new software.
The majority of distribution companies in the United States have already implemented or are planning to implement a WMS. The benefits of moving to an automated system are tremendous and companies see a quick return on their investment.
- With a WMS, you are able to track and manage your inventory in real time
- With the full visibility a WMS provides, you are able to reduce safety stock and inventory loss
- Labor productivity is maximized as the entire operation is managed including putaway, pick tasks, and material handling
- Capacity is improved as you can handle more goods more efficiently
- Customer satisfaction increases with on-time, accurate shipments
If you have already realized the benefits of a WMS, it can be easy to become complacent and assume that you’ve done everything you can to automate your system. However, no marketplace remains stagnant and your company shouldn’t either. You should consider a new system if any of the following situations apply to you.
- Market demands are changing due to new technology, increased customer expectations, competitive pressure or dropping margins
- Your customers are demanding Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- E-commerce is affecting the way your company does business
- You have integrated new technology into your warehouse
- You are opening or consolidating warehouses
- There are inefficiencies in your warehousing and distribution process
In these situations, upgrading a WMS system in your distribution operations can provide numerous benefits. The WMS industry continues to add newer technology into their products. Most warehouse management systems, including the inventory modules in Sage 300, now include EDI capabilities. It is possible that you only need to add an additional module or customization to your existing system. Mobility has also become a standard capability as we discussed in a recent blog, “Mobility Improves Distribution Automation and Efficiency”. If you are selling over the web, you may be seeing higher transaction volumes, smaller units and thinner margins. E-commerce software will help you maximize profitability in this competitive market.
Another great time to upgrade your WMS system is when you are integrating new equipment into your operations or even designing a new warehouse. These situations provide an opportunity to eliminate bottlenecks and optimize performance and efficiency. Products like Sage 300 offer solutions to automate, streamline and verify all of your warehouse processes.
Once you have decided to implement a WMS or upgrade to a new system, you need to make a plan for selecting new software. Download our whitepaper, “How to Choose a Warehouse Management System”, to learn best practices for system selection and implementation. The whitepaper includes a detailed checklist of warehouse management system requirements to help you consider your choices.
PositiveVision can assist you in evaluating your requirements and choosing the warehouse management system that is right for you. Contact us for more information on how products like Sage 300 can improve distribution automation through increased inventory-handling accuracy, better allocation of human resources and lowered costs associated with obsolete and slow-moving stock. It may be time for you to maximize your operational efficiencies with an improved WMS.