Every manufacturer has their own unique needs which must be addressed and Bill Tomasi, a product management director, wrote on Supply & Demand Chain Executive that whether adopting warehouse management systems (WMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions will likely come down to what these needs are. There's no single right answer, he said, as future goals and finances will likely play a role in what program is adopted. The first step will be looking at which operation demands will need to be met, how key performance enhancers can be affected in a positive way and how return on investment will be increased via the new software.
Some of the individual questions businesses can figure out at the start of implementation include how experienced the business is as a supply chain, how dynamic the operations are and what kind of technical expertise is already in place. After this, the enterprise must figure out what their costs are and how the solution will be able to meet company-specific goals in a way that makes sense for all sides of the company.
"This is a very important point. No matter whether it's free or costs very little, if the solution can't meet the requirements defined in your business strategy – or better yet, exceed them – it won't be worth the time and effort to implement," Tomasi wrote. "Moreover, it is essential that the solution have the ability to adapt quickly and profitably to your needs as they change."
Certain features may add value
Multichannel Merchant contributor Jon Watschke wrote that when adopting warehouse management software, there could be some features that are added later which will likely add value to the systems. This can mean serious improvements for ROI, he said, as additions can help manage labor, assort the location types and sizes and optimize trigger points and in-wave replenishment quantities.
"Pickers arriving to empty locations or stock overflowing a location are good indicators that something is amiss, and using analysis to determine optimal in-wave replenishment levels can help eliminate these problems," he wrote.
Another aspect of how to pick the software, according to Tomasi, is how well the provider knows the industry being worked with. While a solution may seem like a great fit, if the provider doesn't know what it is working with it could end up being disastrous.
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