on 23 Feb 2017 11:51 AM
While today’s innovative WMS solutions promise easy installation and deployment with minimal downtime for your day-to-day operations, there are still several factors to keep in mind to ensure a successful and painless integration.
Trust your new system
One of the main downfalls when deploying new software is the urge to recreate exactly the same system as you had previously. Not only does this defeat the object of having a new system in place, but by trying to force a new system into the path of the old system, you won’t really be giving WMS integration a fair chance to succeed. After spending so much time reviewing and finally choosing a system that works for your company, you must give it a chance to take root, bud, and thrive. Once the system has been deployed, it should immediately start working at over 90-95% efficiency, and after a few months’ observation you will be able to tweak it to reach 100%. Accept that change is for the better, and that those helping you deploy your new WMS are fully aware of the best practices and the best ways to create optimal results according to your setup.
Set up the right internal project management team
Before even choosing the right solution for your company, you should set up an internal project management team comprised of employees from different areas of your organization (IT, Sales, Operations, etc.) who will be the leaders of any new integration project. This team will recognize what your company requires from a system, will have the right questions to ask a vendor, and will be able to make the right decisions rapidly through installation, deployment, and onwards. Having a team dedicated to ensuring a successful integration upfront will avoid delays and any additional cost overruns that you may not have anticipated.
Listen to your WMS Project Manager
This may seem like a no-brainer, but your solution vendor’s project managers are experts in WMS deployment in all types of unique environments. They will provide a project implementation plan that will not only work for the specific setup of your organization, but will ensure that you can continue your operation’s regular day-to-day processes without suffering any downtime during deployment. Detailed project plans will provide information on all steps of the integration as well as main goals and timelines. Having an internal project management team work hand in hand with your WMS vendor’s team will ensure rapid, painless, and successful solution integration.
Use updates to your advantage
SaaS or Cloud software has the great advantage of being flexible and easy to tweak and update. One of the main issues with legacy in-house software setups is that it takes a lot of planning and money to change business rules once the system is in place, and any customization can cause issues later on with upgrades. Use the flexibility of your new WMS integration to your advantage and tweak it to apply to your evolving business rules. As your business grows, so can your functionality.
Use training effectively
While SaaS solutions tend to be very user-friendly and created with the regular not so tech-savvy employee in mind, there still needs to be some kind of ongoing internal training on the new system. Different solutions come with different training modules, so it is important to review them carefully and make sure that you have an internal team set up to continue training post-deployment. A good system will be able to evolve with the company, and your training structure should do the same. Without adequate training, even the most user-friendly of systems won’t be used as efficiently as it could be.
Successful WMS integration is key to any business, and choosing a new solution is never an easy task. Following these tips can help ensure not only success in integration but optimization of your supply chain in general.