A WMS is a comprehensive investment that should be backed by a long-term strategy. Which storage problems does the company want to tackle with a new WMS? Does it integrate seamlessly with existing and future technology solutions, as well as with your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system? Does it offer functionality tailored for manufacturing?
The right WMS can improve the movement of goods and parts, improve tracking and reporting, and increase speed and efficiency, among other things. Here are 5 key considerations for manufacturing companies looking to select and integrate a new WMS.
Ease of use and installation
When considering a WMS replacement, ease of use for employees is key. A WMS should not add complexity to simple tasks or add excessive training time to managers’ busy schedules.
This does not mean that employees immediately adopt a new WMS. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither should your WMS integration.
Look for ease of use when navigating menus, help screens, data entry, retrieval, and creating reports and charts. The WMS should include built-in self-help tools that are easily accessible and understandable to reduce training time and troubleshooting. This reduces the error rate as employees are empowered to use business tools correctly and efficiently.
Reliability & Efficiency
Manufacturing companies rely on their WMS for efficiency, consistency and quality control by improving the speed at which goods are processed and shipped. Investing in the right WMS can reduce excess inventory, improve order fulfillment and shorten order lead times.
When choosing a WMS, consider how it gives employees more visibility, control, and quick and efficient access to important data.
Employees should be able to better manage inventory flow, track items in real time, predict inventory fluctuations and keep a close eye on items shipped.
Features & Functionality
A WMS is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. For this reason, make sure that the system you choose has the features and functionality needed to meet industry-specific needs.
Manufacturers should identify the unique aspects of their business that make them truly niche. Does the company have a larger than usual volume of products that it is attempting to manufacture and ship to customers within a given time frame? Is coordination between several warehouses required? Is the WMS equipped with technology that can handle high-volume transaction processing?
Ensure that the WMS provider can provide relevant manufacturing use cases that relate to companies of similar size and reach.
Flexibility & Scalability
One of the first things to consider when upgrading your WMS is ease of integration with an existing ERP. For companies looking to overhaul their ERP as well, it’s wise to upgrade both at the same time to ensure they choose the right solutions for years to come. When choosing a WMS, look for compatibility with leading ERP providers such as:
Choosing a system that meets the needs of today and the years to come can be daunting. Manufacturing companies must ensure a clear technology roadmap here so that they can choose a WMS that grows and scales with their company.
In general, a WMS should be compatible with industry-leading ERPs and hardware brands, different business models and sizes, and built on an open platform compatible with other SaaS products and integrations.
This ensures flexibility and scalability for years to come.
Technology & future security
While there may be resistance within an organization to moving away from a familiar legacy WMS, it’s important to understand the potential costs of sticking with a legacy WMS.
Older systems can quickly become unreliable, insecure or outdated. They are likely to have been custom developed in-house, which can make systems too costly and time-consuming to maintain and nearly impossible to integrate with newer systems or technology.
It is crucial for manufacturing companies to consider today’s customers, but also who they will be serving in the years to come.
Innovative technologies such as edge computing, IoT devices and 5G are fast becoming tabletop pillars for warehousing and supply chains and will continue to evolve.
Investing in the latest WMS technology today can ensure years of reliability and improved efficiency.
A case for WMS: analog devices
Analog Devices (ADI) supplies signal processing equipment to over 100,000 customers worldwide. Before moving to a WMS solution, warehouse workers manually tracked inventory and parts through an Excel spreadsheet. This led to confusion throughout the warehouse about the location, condition, and version of each replacement part.
The integration of a SOLOCHAIN WMS from Generix Group enabled employees to track and locate their inventory more efficiently and gave them the flexibility to streamline and consolidate their picking methods.
Find out more about innovative products and solutions from WMS SOLOCHAIN.
About the Generix Group
Generix Group offers a range of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub suite of products to increase efficiencies across the supply chain. Our solutions are in use worldwide and our experience is second to none. We invite you to contact us to find out more.