What are the some of the benefits of implementing a warehouse management system (WMS)?

Using an automated WMS as well as real time information provided from mobile computers can increase accuracy, efficiency and productivity tremendously and decrease labor.   Evaluation and implementation of a warehouse management system is the ideal time to evaluate current warehouse processes.  Installing a new WMS without doing so will not necessarily lead to increased efficiency.  The warehouse management system will make current warehouse processes run faster but if the current processes are flawed, greater efficiency will not be the end result.

Some benefits are simply hard to quantify.  Using an automated system will eliminate errors and improve customer satisfaction.  Using an automated system provides your users with real time information, ideal for making critical decisions quickly.

Some benefits can be anticipated.  Implementing a warehouse management system will improve space utilization within the warehouse by telling warehouse workers where to position inventory within the warehouse to best fit the product.  A WMS can also improve warehouse capacity by providing real time information on inventory so that safety stock can be reduced, increasing the dollar value of goods processes per square foot of warehouse space.  Using the cross docking feature of a warehouse management system that can also anticipate orders, receipts and materials movements reduces handling and storage requirements and helps to achieve continuous flow through the warehouse.  Warehouse management systems designed to direct labor can have a measurable impact on labor productivity.

How long does it take to implement a warehouse management system (WMS)?

An enterprise level warehouse management system can take a minimum of thirty to ninety days to implement for a medium sized operation of 10 or more employees.  Warehouse management software is not like other software that can simply be installed and then used immediately.  It requires professional expertise to install and set up so that all the data and processes are properly configured to work according to your company’s specifications and needs.   Companies often find that a software vendor that communicates clearly and has a knowledgeable, experienced staff provide the best implementation services.  If your company cooperates, communicates clearly and meets the deadlines established by the Project Manager, it may be possible to reduce implementation time.