The Right Warehouse Management Software for You

If you’re in the market for warehouse management systems (WMS), it is important to understand the needs of your warehouse and the benefits of installing a functional WMS before starting the selection process. Whether your purpose is to fully automate your warehouse operations or simply to upgrade to a more reliable system, doing your homework is key. Arming yourself with accurate information often leads to making the right decisions.

A warehouse management system is often a piece of software or application which supports the daily operations in a warehouse. These WMS applications enable a more centralized management of warehouse operations, from inventory checks and supply management to sales records and stock allocations. Early warehouse management systems only provided simple storage and inventory tracking functionalities. Modern WMS solutions, however, are more complex and data intensive that they may need a dedicated staff to run them.

Arguably, the greatest challenge to acquiring new warehouse management systems may not be finding the system itself, but convincing the management of the need for it. While most senior company officials and executives would agree that an accounting software solution is a must-have, they might have mixed feelings about adopting a WMS. Most likely, you’ll have to sell the idea to the upper management and convince them that investing in such a system is a good idea.

Aside from the obvious benefits of streamlining your warehouse operations and automating your warehouse (thereby significantly increasing efficiency), you’ll also need quantifiable metrics to prove your case. These include the predictive error rate and return materials authorization (RMA) costs, among others. It is, therefore, essential that you outline the numerous ways your company will benefit from such a system, both directly and indirectly, and be prepared to explain all these to management.

In doing so, you have the choice of either standalone WMS applications or those part of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Selecting a WMS software that fully integrates with ERP systems ensures complete control over information flow, keeps your warehouse activities synchronized with other departments such as accounting and sales, and helps eliminate manual transcription errors while providing updated inventory oversight. Just as importantly, WMS applications that combine ERP elements also support any financial data you might have.

In the end, however, no matter how simple or complex the warehouse software solution might be, the goal of any warehouse management system remains the same. It provides management with the information it needs to efficiently monitor the goings-on in the warehouse, most especially the movement of materials and cash flow.

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