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How do I find the best WMS provider?

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The fundamentals of warehouse management part three

Our latest blog on warehouse management systems (WMS) discusses the importance of finding the best WMS provider to implement your new software.

How do I find the best WMS provider?

This is the third blog in our series on warehouse management systems where we’ve looked at what a warehouse management system is, its basic features and benefits and the various types of software on the market.

Your WMS provider is as important as the product

When looking for a new warehouse management system, identifying the right software provider is equally as important as the product you’re investing in. And whilst you need to be sure that the new system is right for your operations, it’s also critical that the partner who is going help you implement it, is the best fit for you and your people.

Here are three tips to help you get it right:

Invest in WMS software AND support

Introducing new systems into a business is never a simple process. It will require new ways of working, employees will need retraining, and your organisation will go through a period of change management. You, therefore, need a WMS provider who can support you with all these challenges, not one who’ll deliver the software and then leave you to it.

Your WMS supplier should become more than just a vendor, and instead be your WMS implementation partner – in it for the long haul.

The WMS company that you choose should become your lead consultant in the WMS implementation project, offering support, guidance and expert advice throughout the specification and installation phase.

Once your WMS is up and running they’ll also need to be by your side to help train your team, trouble-shoot any issues and assist with any updates. It’s therefore imperative that you find a WMS company that has the infrastructure and support services to help you every step of the way.

Work with warehouse efficiency and WMS experts

Review your WMS provider’s credentials. Make sure they have a background in warehouse efficiency and automation. This will ensure that the WMS you invest in has been developed by people who understand the challenges of warehouse management and have built a system that best overcomes them.

There are many WMS companies in the market who have developed a warehouse management system as an add-on to another software product – be it accountancy software, or a personnel programme. In our experience, these products often fail, as they simply don’t address the fundamentals of warehouse efficiency. Understanding the best way to automate warehouse processes in real-life requires specialist knowledge and years of experience. Make sure your WMS supplier can demonstrate this level of expertise.

Don’t go with the ‘yes’ men

Your warehouse management software provider shouldn’t be a team of ‘yes’ men who agree with all your ideas and demands. The aim of introducing a WMS should not be to simply digitalise your current way of working. Just because you’ve always done something in a specific way, doesn’t mean it’s the right way to carry on doing it. Plus, as your businesses develops and changes, your processes will need to move forward too, in order to keep optimising efficiency.

A good WMS provider will challenge the norm, suggest new ways of working to make the most of your new software and optimise efficiency.

If your business is expanding in size, taking on more SKUs or changing its routes to market, make sure your WMS provider is prepared to put in the time to understand your future goals, so they can set-up your new WMS to help achieve them.

If you’re considering implementing a WMS in the coming months, make sure you take time to review your options in terms of:

  • Understanding the fundamentals of a warehouse management system
  • Choosing the best WMS software
  • Identifying the best WMS software provider

Our three-part blog series offers a wealth of tips and advice, but if you’d like to arrange a meeting with us to discuss your individual project in more detail, please feel free to contact us here.

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