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Selecting a Warehouse Management System that Cures Growing Pains

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This eBook will help executives in warehouse management identify whether they need to upgrade their current Warehouse Management System and, if so, how to select a best-value solution based on today’s competitive landscape. By Iptor

The supply chain is becoming more complex.

Customers are demanding more services, greater visibility and value, and delivery times are getting shorter.

As well, with many customers now placing orders directly with the manufacturer, pick orders are increasing as the number of items per order is shrinking.

The result: more items than ever need to be managed.

Channel expansion, multiple owners of inventory, multiple clients, multiple locations, support for value-added services, and variable business models present additional growth challenges for warehouse managers.

Under the traditional model, warehouses have functioned within their four walls, leaving gaps among key supply chain players (manufacturer, suppliers distributor, warehouse) that disrupt the flow of inventory and information.

As a key component in the end-to-end supply chain, warehouse management systems should help connect the extended supply chain to efficiently meet consumer demand, drive the optimization of labor, productivity, inventory, and maximize customer service at the lowest possible cost.

When to upgrade a WMS: The telltale signs
As companies grow and acquire more space, they need to have a WMS that better optimizes their order requirements, inventory locations, movements and labor.

Conversely, for companies that find themselves with underutilized warehouse space due to economic contraction, a WMS that is powerful enough to leverage their expertise in warehouse operations into a money-making 3PL could very well be the lifeline the business needs.

Hobbling along with an inefficient WMS that lacks agility is a liability to a growing business.

Frequently, changing business requirements with short time-to-market demands call for a highly responsive WMS that is configurable without IT involvement.

That being said, here are some telltale signs that indicate a strong need for such a WMS solution:

  • Customers ask for new services the company can’t deliver, or takes too long to deliver, risking loss of business.
  • Functionality gaps frequently require new process workarounds.
  • Integration with trading partners is difficult, making real-time visibility into data impossible, which compromises customer service.
  • There is a vast amount of data, but no simple way to view and work with it to make information actionable.
  • IT staff is spending too much time supporting a dated solution.
  • Technology isn’t adaptable to business and might actually be making things more difficult than they need to be.

As business needs change, a WMS should be agile enough to adapt accordingly.

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