Most experts agree that the average lifecycle of a warehouse management system (WMS) is between 8 and 10 years. Of course, inefficiencies that increase staff response time, as well as the inability to incorporate new technological advances or new functional requirements within legacy systems, may signal the need to retire a WMS long before the end of its projected life cycle.
Warehouse inefficiencies carry significant business costs both in terms of personnel time and customer satisfaction. Delays can even translate to lost business.
New technology enables warehouse operations to leverage the latest advances and be more efficient. Moreover, it helps reduce overhead costs, especially in those instances where in-house staff have been maintaining older technology and/or vendors have been customizing the legacy system in an attempt to keep up with new demands.
Technology acquisitions are major capital investments deserving of careful due diligence. When considering a move to a new WMS, the management team should consider at least six factors when evaluating vendor offerings.