Business Automation and Software Blog

Choosing a WMS that Optimizes Distribution Automation

Posted by Robert Baran on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

When you select a new warehouse management system (WMS), you want to optimize your distribution automation processes. The key is to find a system that will maximize the work it does for you and minimize the work you have to do. You need a solution that will ensure your operations run as smoothly as possible while reducing costs, increasing customer satisfaction and improving revenue.

In order to achieve these benefits, the functionality of your WMS is critical. If you follow the steps in the blog “Detailed Steps for WMS Selection and Implementation”, you will know what capabilities you require. While you may find multiple product solutions that fit your requirements, in addition to system capability, you should ask these important questions about the WMS.

Is the system user friendly?

An easy-to-use system requires less training so more time can be spent on your running your mission-critical operations. Your warehouse management system should enhance the way you do business, not complicate the process.

Can the WMS Integrate easily with your accounting system?

Your WMS should be seamlessly integrated with your other business systems. Sharing data transparently enables your company to be more efficient and effective.

Does the WMS offer real-time updates?

In a fast-paced warehousing and distribution business, every second counts. If your data is not updated in real-time, you may be slower in reacting to broken process or solving problems.

What is the total cost of ownership?

Price is only one piece of the total cost of ownership. Lower up-front costs may be appealing, but you should consider the cost of the WMS over its lifetime. You should evaluate the number of users and whether there will be a cost to add more users as your business grows. Don’t forget the expense of additional modules, if needed now or in the future. Finally, factor in the cost of maintenance, technical support and software upgrades.

Is the WMS flexible enough to grow with your business?

Your WMS solution should be scalable to adapt to company growth and future requirements. In order to support rapid company growth, the product you choose should have a clear upgrade path. Your customers’ needs may shift, your market may become more competitive and technology will change. Your chosen WMS should have a proven history of updates to provide the latest technology and functional enhancements that improve distribution automation.

Can the WMS support E-business?

If E-business hasn’t affected your company today, it may do so in the future. E-commerce fulfillment requires very different capabilities than traditional fulfillment. Your WMS must be flexible enough to work with your business strategy today and tomorrow.

Are powerful reporting capabilities included?

No matter how much data you capture, it is useless unless it can be easily used to create reports and at-a-glance business metrics. A good WMS should have graphical dashboard reporting in real time. It should provide you with access to any type of report you require on any data that you collect.

Does the WMS offer essential security?

Sensitive functions and reports should be protected by security. A good WMS should be able to create an audit trail that ties transactions to specific users.

Evaluating these questions, combined with your other functional requirements will lead you toward the optimal warehouse management system for you. For a detailed look at evaluating WMS software, download our whitepaper, “How to Choose a Warehouse Management System”.

PositiveVision can help you with WMS evaluation and selection. Our distribution automation solutions, using Sage 300 inventory modules, feature intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces with seamless integration to many leading accounting and ERP systems, scan guns, bar-code tags, shipping systems, and other warehouse technologies.

Contact us today to learn more about our warehouse management solutions.

Topics: Distribution Automation, Warehouse Management System, WMS