A warehouse management system (WMS) is a type of software solution designed to optimize and provide support to warehouse operations, aside from having a clear view of the warehouse inventory, WMS also offers access to many functions such as receiving, put-away, picking, sorting, shipping and tracking of goods.In implementing a warehouse system, the organization should conduct a thorough planning and careful understanding of the system requirement. Ensure to gather all crucial factors and key benefits that will help achieve an effective system. The total cost of the system is one of the crucial factors that need to be considered. Try not to get a simple system that in the end, it will just cost a huge impact to re-construct because it did not work the way the business wanted. System requirements, users’ responsibility and comprehensive system training will also play a big part in the implementation stage of the system, a system will not properly work without a user interface and understanding.
System Requirements and Customization
In selecting a warehouse inventory management system, it is important to ask the right questions and define the operational needs. This will benefit the warehouse to run with smooth transactions and free from error. Each business has different needs and requirements according to its day-to-day operations. A common warehouse system should provide a way to store, control, arrange, achieve and analyze inventory data.Furthermore, the other importance of customizing a system is to improve the system security function and the ability to give the users a different level of system access, features and functions.
Total Cost of Implementation
The total cost will be the highest contributing factor in purchasing a warehouse management system. A new warehouse system will require adjustment to properly align and suit the warehouse operation and user requirements. It is also important to know the future cost associated with the software maintenance such as system upgrade, the cost per license, and initial training provided. The basic WMS installation packages that include additional functionality and enhancements designed to increase picking productivity can cost between $200 and $300 per user or $1,000 to $1,500 per facility/month. Some companies include the training and step-by-step procedures for the implementation of the software but not the system upgrade cost.
User’s Role and Responsibility
Setting up the access roles for each user is one of the most important things to consider in implementing the warehouse management system. The key roles are warehouse manager, supervisor, picker, packer, and receiver. The warehouse manager’s role is considered a super-user role. This role has full control to manage and overview the overall function of the system. The supervisor’s role is the one who plans, arranges, and supervises the daily operational activities such as shipment orders, shipment preparation, stock inventory, and outgoing shipment. The order picker’s role has access to the entire picking task in the system while the order packer’s role has the access to the packing screens, this screen will provide all the required information such as printing shipping labels, packing slips, cancelling the order, scanning the barcodes, and selecting the type of box. Receiving and unloading of goods to a staging area, reporting damaged goods, and put-away pallets of goods into inventory location are the receiver’s role.