[News brief] SMES: the 4 essential tips for choosing the right WMS
Published on 2 February 2017
In order for businesses to stay in today’s game, it has become vitally important to be able to manage cross-channel solutions and all of the moving parts of the supply chain seamlessly. Digital transformation now allows for innovative logistics solutions to be accessible and available to all, especially SaaS, and SMEs need to take advantage of all of the different options available to them. While these innovative solutions used to be mainly only available to the goliaths of business, today there are solutions tailored to any business size, allowing SMEs to enjoy some of the same competitive advantages as larger enterprises. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) can significantly help create higher efficiency, reduce unnecessary costs, and streamline workflows, as long as you do the necessary research and go with what’s best for your business.
Ease of installation and use
The first thing that you need to look into when researching a WMS is its general ease of use. This also goes along with how fast it is to get up and running, how many resources will installation and initial launch require, and how lengthy will employee training be. SMEs want something that is going to installed and ready to go as fast as possible, with minimal training. The longer it takes to completely install a system, the longer it will take to catch up with the competition, and the longer precious resources will be focusing on the system rather than on business. A great system will require little to no training, even for those employees who are not necessarily tech-savvy, and will be extremely user-friendly. Easy menus and a clear dashboard, a tool that not only allows a company to rapidly optimize employee efficiency and time, but that also upgrades seamlessly across the company, and at an international level if needed.
A WMS is meant to make everyone’s life easier by running company-specific business processes through one platform, and allowing for streamlined and centralized end-to-end functionality. To this end, it is important to ask yourself how a WMS is going to help your business specifically, and how a WMS is going to streamline your processes correctly. A great WMS will have the ability to assist in all problematic areas and provide a solution in an organized manner. Business processes, challenges, and strategies should be laid out clearly before choosing a WMS, ensuring that the one chosen has all of the functionalities required to accomplish your company’s organizational needs. The main take-away is that you need a WMS that will make your business more efficient and therefore more profitable while requiring minimal assistance.
Flexibility of a WMS is of key importance, because any SME is looking to grow and expand their business, and will therefore need their digital tools to be able to expand with them. No one wants to be bogged down by a tool that ages fast and cannot be integrated with other newer tools. Look for a WMS that can be integrated with different ERPs, and that can be used with different business models. You are looking for a tool that is flexible enough to grow with you and not cost you more money in the long run.
When we talk about accessibility, we mean both a WMS’ ability to integrate a company’s business processes as well as its ability to be easily available to anyone who needs to use it. A great system will be able to manage all activity surrounding a warehouse seamlessly, including receiving and manifesting. It should manage employees, products, and movements, allowing for an easier analysis of employee efficiency as well as inventory. SMEs need to look at a WMS as a way to access higher visibility of all processes from one platform, with the ability to access all types of company data and process it in an efficient manner.