WMS deployment, or the act of adopting warehouse management software (WMS), enables businesses to digitise their logistical operations, eliminate errors, and coordinate all processes occurring within and outside their facilities. In this article, we will walk you through the process of implementing warehouse software.
Warehouse management software is a digital programme that specialises in arranging, coordinating, and streamlining a company’s logistics procedures. The software’s primary goals are to monitor items and workflows to maximise throughput and, more critically, to reduce errors in operations such as order picking, product allocation, and inventory control.
Using a WMS can assist in optimising processes in a variety of ways, ultimately strengthening firms. Some of the most significant advantages include the ability to:
- Real-time inventory management
A WMS frequently includes real-time inventory tracking features, which assist staff in knowing what is in stock and where it is situated. A business is less likely to be taken off guard if an item goes out of stock this way. Staff should be able to see when a new order has to be placed and place it in time to replenish inventories at their storage facilities.
- Improve order precision
A WMS can also aid with order accuracy. By knowing what’s in stock in real-time, you’re less likely to make mistakes like selling an item that’s no longer available online. A WMS that assists with fulfilment can also lessen the chance of errors such as orders being mixed up, where items for one client are placed in a box that is sent to another customer.
- Improve inventory levels
Knowing what your inventory looks like can also aid in inventory optimisation. Not only can you restock things as needed, but you can also identify problems such as overstocking. This may allow you to take remedial action, such as reducing the volume of your next order, or you may be able to relocate inventory across sites to maintain ideal levels and fully control your supply chain management.
- Reduce waste
Improving stocking efficiency and inventory management can also result in waste reduction. For one thing, precisely and effectively storing temperature-sensitive commodities can help avoid spoiling. Inventory tracking and enhanced logistics can also assist decrease waste by ensuring that older items are sent before fresher ones, lowering the danger of items expiring. You can also prevent waste by avoiding ordering errors that result in surplus inventory.
Tips for a Successful Warehouse Management Software Implementation
Determine your company’s needs
When it comes to warehouse management software, supply chain managers must work with IT to undertake an impartial gap analysis. A gap analysis guarantees that the WMS software meets your company’s needs and adheres to its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
A WMS solution should be centred on the customer rather than the provider. After you’ve identified a few solutions that meet your needs, ask each vendor to show how their solution will handle circumstances unique to your company.
You can also approach businesses that are facing similar business difficulties to seek solutions that have helped them expand.
Adopting best practices for warehouse management software implementation
Every software company has a list of dos and don’ts linked with their product. This information is based on years of dealing with clients like you. Adopting the best practices provided by your vendor is one of the quickest ways to make the most of your WMS software.
Following the selection of your vendor, they will be able to provide you with an implementation strategy that takes your requirements into account. This should contain useful methods for streamlining your warehouse processes, which will lead to better operational efficiency.
Having a person from the software provider on-site can assist you with any implementation-related challenges you may have while adjusting to the new system. You will be able to solve any problems more rapidly if you follow their advice.
Formulate the team
The team is critical to the success of your warehouse management system implementation. As a result, you should attempt to bring together the finest and brightest for the project. You will be able to gain different viewpoints and exploit their unique knowledge in their domains if you have a varied workforce. If any team members encounter any roadblocks, they should seek appropriate counsel from the project manager.
The engineer will assist in monitoring the entire implementation process and testing the system to ensure that everything functions properly. The engineer can determine the optimum database and operating system for the WMS with the support of the vendor.
Although your IT team is in charge of making sure the new system operates properly, the supporting team will be the primary users of the WMS. Their participation is critical in training and testing.
Warehouse management software testing
WMS testing is divided into three stages:
- System testing guarantees that the warehouse management system is properly configured to support company operations.
- Integration testing determines whether or not the WMS is fully connected with your organization’s existing technology stack. It is done to guarantee that everything runs smoothly and in unison.
- User acceptability testing – The term “user” refers to the operational personnel who will be significantly relying on the system. Testing is performed to confirm that the system is fit for its intended function.
Follow well-established business processes and use genuine data acquired from a live business environment involving real users for each testing phase. Volume tests assess the WMS’s capacity to process big data pools. Data processing and storage issues that go unnoticed can jeopardise security or cause a system meltdown.
A volume tester’s responsibility is to guarantee that the software can manage any expected data loads. Testing is critical, especially in the early stages of installation, to ensure that old data is accurately moved to the new WMS, that the WMS records new data, that data backups are successful, and that the system functions as expected.
The IT department can monitor how orders are processed through the WMS, and the warehouse manager may oversee operations to ensure on-time delivery.
Train the staff
Staff training is critical to the success of a new WMS system. Trust the knowledge of the WMS provider and discuss requirements with them to alter training processes. To ensure seamless operations, create a standard operating procedure (SOP) and provide screenshots. Adequate training reduces errors and increases productivity.