New technology is helping manufacturing organizations become more efficient every day, but one part that many companies could have problems with is adopting a warehouse management system that truly works well. Materials Handling World Magazine offered some tips on how enterprises can make sure they are getting the best possible product including first assessing the actual need for the system. This means figuring out that the company will be getting actual business benefits instead of just a new piece of software.
Next, manufacturers should consider what the long-term arc of this adoption will be. To do this, companies should look ahead as far as they can to have the clearest possible vision of what a new system will mean for their company, the website said. Examining all options, including how this tool will fit in with enterprise resource planning and business systems, will be essential as well. Creating a silo would likely make a manufacturer less efficient, so it must be able to tie in with other pieces at the company.
Another important part of the planning process is figuring out the return on investment these tools will bring in.
“Warehouse management system software has benefits to a business that are clearly defined and as such much easier to justify than many IT projects,” according to Materials Handling World. “When making this assessment, look at the potential for a warehouse management system to give you improved stock accuracy and associated increased productivity and cost savings, plus improved traceability and visibility and improved customer service.”
After looking at the ROI and costs of the system, manufacturers should think about whether they want an on-premise or cloud-based solution. At this point, a process can be figured out for full adoption of the software. A team of employees and executives should be created to ensure this runs smoothly on every possible level. Enterprises must consider this a long-term partnership and work with those inside of the company, as well as the provider, on making the adoption run as smooth as possible.
Systems growing more popular
Even with what many may consider complex steps to implementation, the interest in warehouse management system has and will continue to skyrocket over the next few years. TechNavio reported earlier this year that there will be a yearly growth rate of 16.15 percent from 2012 until 2016, with a big contributing factor being the need for organizations to reduce the amount of money they spend.
Food Logistics said there are some big benefits and drivers to the adoption of these warehouse management tools, including better traceability, improvements to manufacturer accuracy and better productivity of the workforce.
“We can understand what their expected time is for what they’re asked to do [versus] the actual time,” said Eric Lamphier, senior director of product management. “Then we can compare them and rate them based on their work for the day and have a really nice understanding of how the workforce is performing.”
For more information on improving efficiency with barcode technology, download the free white paper entitled “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync” from DMS today.