Selection of right WMS Software for your organization

Software selection is always tricky and when the software is for improvement of productivity, automation and standardization, it becomes all the more important to evaluate it objectively so as to make sure that the objectives are met. The selection of a suitable Warehouse Management System (WMS) system is a key objective for many companies today. Properly fitting the correct software solution to the operation is critical, more so than for many other types of software.

Best WMS can be the piece of enabling technology that allows organizations to achieve these goals and improve their profitability. A failed WMS implementation, however, has the potential to put a company out of business in a worst-case scenario. Many companies have also been disappointed to see that their WMS implementation involved much more resources than anticipated to implement, and took much more time than budgeted. Additionally, a poorly fitting WMS can cost a significant amount of ongoing money to maintain and upgrade.

So, what should be the criteria for selecting the right WMS Software? InfoVerto believes that organizations should first finalize the value propositions which are best aligned with their needs and then start evaluating WMS software among the shortlisted solutions against those value propositions. Since distribution organizations are the ones which need WMS most, let us see what can be the value propositions for them:
  • Full features and functionality: Distribution companies with this strategy seek a software system with a robust feature set which includes WMS, labor management, slotting, order management, and other features, all available on a single platform. There is generally minimal need for third-party integration. Extremely high rates of transactions may also need to be supported. A trade-off these companies may need to make involves system investment – these solutions generally have a higher upfront cost than with other providers
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Companies looking for more flexibility may have highly unique business processes which need to be accommodated, while still maintaining the ability enhance and upgrade their system in the future. These companies should focus on systems with a high degree of user-configurability, often achieved through Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA). These companies often have strong internal IT capabilities and are able to create custom workflows in the software system with minimal outside assistance. The software systems which fit these needs sometimes cost less than those in the first group. A trade-off these companies may need to make, however, is that some of the more advanced features they seek such as order management, yard management, labor management, and slotting may need to be integrated from third-party software providers as they are not a core part of the WMS
  • Short time to value. Companies with this need often have a low level of process complexity in the distribution center, as well minimal amounts of automated material handling equipment. These organizations seek a basic, no-frills solution that can be implemented quickly and which will allow them to address their most pressing areas of inefficiency. These companies have often accepted the fact that the solution they are searching for might only meet their needs for the next three to five years, and are willing to implement a more robust solution in the future
  • Ease of enterprise integration. Many companies seek a warehousing solution that is very closely integrated into their ERP system. They may not wish to build a WMS/ERP interface themselves, or take responsibility for costly upgrades and maintenance of this interface. These companies do well to investigate WMS solutions which are offered by their ERP providers. The range of features and functionality available in ERP-based WMS systems vary broadly. Some of these companies have developed native WMS applications while others have developed them through acquisition. Depending on the ERP currently in use, some trade-offs may need to be made in terms of features and functionality
  • Ease of MHE integration. Companies with a high level of automated Material Handling Equipment (MHE) such as conveyors, carousels, and AS/RS systems often seek a solution that is closely integrated to these systems. They may seek a solution that will give them a single point of visibility and control over these devices with the ability to support very high transaction rates. These companies do well to investigate hybrid WMS/WCS solutions developed by manufacturers of MHE. As with the previous category, companies in this group must be often willing to accept fewer features and functionality out-of-the box
  • Industry focus. Some companies may seek a solution that is tailored to their industry and already has special workflows and features that are unique to their business. Third-party Logistics Providers (3PLs) and retailers often fall into this category. Any industry-focused solution, while providing specific functionality, may also limit a growth options for companies that plan to expand operations across industry boundaries
Just choose your picks and go for the right WMS software. To further assist the organizations with few prominent WMS solutions, InfoVerto has provided the list below in alphabetical order:

  • 7Hills Business Solutions
  • Accellos
  • Boxworks
  • Cadre Technologies
  • CDC/Catalyst
  • Click Commerce
  • Daifuku
  • Deposco
  • Epicor WMS
  • Fox Fire Technologies
  • HighJump
  • HK/Irista
  • IES
  • Infor WMS
  • Intellitrak
  • Knighted Computer systems
  • Lawson WMS
  • Logility
  • Lognet
  • Made4net
  • Manhattan Associates
  • Microsoft
  • Minerva Associates
  • Motek
  • Next View
  • Oracle WMS
  • ProAct
  • Reddwerks
  • RedPrairie
  • Retalix
  • Savant
  • SmartTurn
  • Softeon
  • Sologlobe
  • Sterling Commerce
  • Swisslog
  • Tecsys
  • Viewlocity
  • Zethcon

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