The rate of adoption for the latest warehouse management systems continues to pick up speed not only in the U.S. but around the world. Most projections now show that momentum will only continue to build over the next several years. This trend indicates that it's time for any warehouse executives without an upgrade to at least consider such a move or implement as soon as possible.
However, even as it's important to quickly adapt to the emerging environment, it's also vital to consider not only what steps to take when it comes to adopting new WMS platforms, but how to do it as smoothly as can be, according to Business Matters Magazine. The benefits the latest WMS can provide to any warehouse operation are manifold, especially for those companies that either don't have such systems in place or have been using outdated ones for so long that they have become difficult to manage.
Where to begin?
When it comes to choosing a WMS platform to implement, there are plenty of options, Business Matters Magazine noted. Therefore, executives have to find the ones that will work best for their present and future needs. The right WMS should also integrate well with whatever systems they were using before, so that years of efficiency data remain usable and become potentially more actionable. Moreover, everyone involved with these systems – from the shop floor to the boardroom – must know how to use them more effectively.
At this time, it is also important to accept hiccups as they happen during the transition process and pivot from them successfully.
Some good examples
Many warehouse executives are interested in the benefits wearables can provide for their operations. This technology gives pickers and managers alike more flexibility to move throughout facilities and get the latest and most accurate data possible, according to Supply and Demand Chain Executive. Wearables are now very reliable and make warehouse work easier, increasing efficiency along the way. However, here too it's important to have a plan for rolling them out. How will executives determine who will use these devices and how? What will they do when systems go down? How will companies keep their systems insulated from security risks such as viruses and malware?
Fortunately, there are plenty of companies in the logistics field now moving to adopt all kinds of WMS platforms and add-ons. These businesses provide a template for how latecomers can get up to speed as quickly and easily as possible. For example, the major grocery chain Schnuck Markets recently implemented a new WMS system for one of its large warehouses in the Midwest, according to The Produce News. It hopes to significantly increase productivity and reduce costs.
Executives should strive to get the clearest pictures possible of their operations before they even examine their options for modern WMS. That way, they ensure that they know exactly what they're looking for from a new system. By doing so, they're likely to transition as seamless as possible, hit the ground running and wring as much value out of their investments as they can.