… And other Myths of Buying a WMS

Purchasing warehouse management software is a big decision and there are thousands of details for you to review. Demos are helpful, but as we learned in Part One: All WMS Software is Created Equal, sometimes you are shown features that are still in the development stage. In this second part, we continue with dispelling common myths about buying a WMS as it relates to providers because all providers are not created equal.

Myth 5 – This provider offers a turnkey solution. Everything’s included.

The term turnkey is a misnomer. Almost every company will have a different definition of the elements included. Determine what elements you need and which are included or considered an add-on. Make sure you understand:

  • Licensing costs
  • Maintenance
  • Infrastructure
  • Education
  • Facility
  • Implementation
  • Integration effort and cost

Myth 6 – Our enterprise system has a warehouse module that will work for our needs.

Enterprise software companies are experts in financials, not the supply chain. Further, a financial company is never going to build a warehousing module as well as a supply chain company. Often enterprise software is lacking the core functionality, depth, and flexibility that your company needs in a WMS. Ask your potential WMS providers how much they invest in development in the supply chain space. Are they invested in what they are selling? Look at the breadth of what the organization is bringing to the table. What is their vision? More importantly, does their vision match yours?

Myth 7 – The software provider will handle the implementation. We can go on with business as usual.

Many companies get caught off guard and underestimate the amount of work needed from their own team for the software implementation. Generally, you and your external resources will be responsible for two-thirds of the workload in implementing the system. Know exactly what is expected of you and your team and hire an implementation consultant to help.

Myth 8 – The implementation process is the same across all service providers.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Because the configuration and implementation are the most important aspects of your WMS and key to success, pay close attention during the sales cycle. Finding the right service provider can help guide you through the process and provide a strong foundation for your implementation. Find a partner who:

  • Has implemented the most current version of the WMS you intend to buy
  • Uses a proven methodology for implementations in your industry and delivers projects on time and on budget
  • Conducts mock go-lives during the implementation process, finding potential issues before you go live, and
  • Introduces you to team members that implement WMS. It’s a chance to see and interact with other company representatives beyond the salesperson and will give you a feel for the personalities, skills, and values of the services team.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on the search for a WMS, start the process right by building the right project team internally. This team includes:

  • Warehouse Operations
  • IT
  • Transportation
  • Customer Service
  • Purchasing
  • Production
  • Accounting
  • C-suite
  • An external consultant who can be your expert adviser

Team members should be champions of change. Have honest discussions as a group about current challenges and long-term vision. Do your homework and identify your current and future needs to help select the best solution for your company. Make the best choice for your business today and into the future.