1) Maximum Functionality
Obviously, the first thing you need to learn about a WMS solution is what it can do for you.
When analyzing a WMS solution, ask yourself, “Will this WMS streamline our business processes?” For instance, if your company has a hard time measuring employees’ productivity, a good WMS solution will help. A WMS should be able to track what tasks an employee has performed (and where they were performed), giving you direct visibility your workforce’s efficiency.
2) Ease of Use
If a WMS is easy to use, it will reduce the amount of time you spend on employee training – for ALL employees, from pickers to senior management. A well-designed WMS lets users spend less time setting up and monitoring daily operations, so they are able to quickly adapt to new requirements.
3) Complete Transaction Management
A good WMS will let you manage everything from door to door – from receiving to manifesting. You want a WMS that gives you detailed information for everything – products, employees, and transactions – every step of the way.
A WMS solution needs to be able to scale with a company’s growth and adapt to meet future requirements. Otherwise, it’s not a long-term WMS solution. If your business is successful, it will grow and continue to grow. Your investments, including a WMS, should be able to grow with your business.
5) Useful, Easy-to-read Metrics
Data is important, but so is data presentation. It’s one thing to have metrics that help you track performance of your warehouse operations; it’s quite another to be able to understand the data. A good WMS should allow you to easily create reports and charts that let you see how your warehouse is running.
6) Seamless ERP Integration
Your WMS has to work in tandem with your ERP to keep a business running. That’s why it’s so important that you choose a WMS that works with major ERP systems – seamlessly.
7) Proven Track Record
To find out how well a WMS works, you want to get information from the people who actually use it. If possible, check demo versions to see if the WMS meets your business requirements.
8) Value for ROI
Price is only one small part of total cost of ownership. Functionality, flexibility, integration, scalability, ease of use, customer support and more all come into play. When choosing a WMS, you obviously need to weigh these factors. Remember that lower upfront cost may seem appealing, but may ultimately cost you more in the long run if the WMS solution (or vendor) is unable to meet your needs as your business continues to grow and develop.
9) Commitment to Warehousing and Logistics
A final indicator can be found in the vendor’s overall focus (or lack thereof) on warehousing and logistics. In many cases, WMS solutions are available from companies that offer business solution tools spanning many industries and requirements. This may enable those vendors to diversify their offerings, but it also restricts their day-to-day insight into the very specific, niche field of warehouse management.