Future-Proofing Your Warehouse: How to Choose the Right WMS for Long-Term Success

In the current technological landscape, clients want their businesses and warehouses to become digital. Modern supply chains are constantly changing, and you need one tool to efficiently handle all your day-to-day tasks.

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a great way to digitize your warehouse and manage all your inventory from one central hub.

However, choosing a WMS can seem complicated. After all, there are so many things you need to consider. This guide will give you a step-by-step process for choosing the right WMS for long-term success.

Why Do You Need A Warehouse Management System?


Some warehouses might prefer the tried-and-tested manual inventory system, but if they want to keep up with digitization trends, they need a WMS.

Going from a fully manual to a completely digital inventory system might seem daunting, but the benefits are tenfold, and the errors are minimal.

A WMS system is designed to manage all major functions in a warehouse. You can add all your stored inventory here, assign categories, track its movement, and ensure it is shipped on time.

A WMS system also helps you manage workload and assign tasks according to a worker’s skills. Ultimately, your WMS should centralize all functions in the warehouse. Once you get started with this software, you’ll have a future-proof solution to increase your warehouse’s longevity.

6 Tips on Choosing The Best WMS

There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a WMS. Every warehouse has unique needs, so careful planning is crucial here.

We’ve compiled a list of 6 important features you need to look out for when opting for a WMS system.

1. Consider Your Warehousing Requirements

Warehousing Requirements

As we’ve mentioned, every warehouse is unique and has its own set of requirements. Before
choosing WMS software, consider all the problem areas you need to address.

Are you having trouble dealing with high order volumes, which leads to more picking errors? Are your lead times slower due to unskilled workers? These questions will help you understand what you want in a WMS.

A good way to understand your needs is by looking at performance gaps in your warehouse. This will give you a list of things to improve. A few other factors to help you decide include:

  • Take a good look at how your warehouse currently operates. Are there any improvements you can make to your day-to-day activities?
  • What does your inventory volume and variety look like? Do you need a WMS that can handle seasonal demand surges? Or do you store products with multiple varieties? A WMS can help differentiate between items to reduce picking errors.
  • Most warehouses rarely use all the available space. A WMS can help you efficiently store all your inventory and also provide an optimal picking route to reduce lead times.
  • Outline a few long-term goals and use a WMS to track your progress. This software will provide additional help in reaching these goals.

These are just a few ways to recognize your warehousing needs, but you can keep building a list to help you find a suitable WMS.

Once you thoroughly assess your warehouse operations, you’ll know exactly what to look for and what to avoid.

2. Choose The Type of WMS

Not all WMS are built the same; some might work well with smaller warehouses, while others are designed with multi-warehouse operations. Here are 4 common types of WMS you can find:

Standalone WMS: This is an independent software tool installed on a local server. It is ideal for small or medium-sized businesses.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) WMS: This type of WMS offers data-sharing and other automation features that are perfect for busy warehouses. You can manage multiple warehouses with this software and have access to more advanced features.
Cloud-Based WMS: This lets you share data with any connected device. It is ideal for warehouses that prioritize scalability and flexibility.
Supply Chain Module WMS: Ideal for warehouses focused on supply chain optimization.
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3. Check Your Requirements According to Your ROI

requirements

A WMS system is perfect for optimizing your supply chain, leading to improved finances and reduced costs. Your ideal WMS should help you meet your ROI requirements and remain an excellent long-term solution.

Check for WMS features that will net you a positive ROI and stabilize your supply chain. Such features include inventory tracking, logistic management, customer service and more. Whichever WMS you choose should reflect your warehouse’s requirements.

Another thing to remember is the total cost of ownership (TCO), as it affects your finances. Consider the initial installation charges and then any maintenance and support charges.

4. Check For Security Features

Data security is vital for any business; your WMS should be no exception. Most warehouses deal with large sets of data serving a wide range of customers.

To maintain peace of mind and keep customer’s trust, you must look for a WMS with robust security features. These features include data encryption, secure authentication, regular backups, security keys, etc.

With security parameters, you’ll ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your data and reduce the risk of third-party interference and data loss.

5. Look for Improved Analysis and Reporting

One of the primary goals of getting a WMS is to have access to in-depth data about your operation.

When looking for an ideal WMS, choose one with high-quality analytics tools and reporting features. This tool will let you make data-driven decisions that improve the warehouse environment.

Some WMSs will take a bird’ s-eye view of your inventory and give you valuable insights. You can use this data to find areas for improvement and make informed decisions. Consider a WMS that provides custom analytics and real-time data visualization to make the most of your warehouse data.

6. Consider Long-Term Goals

Last but certainly not least, you must consider your long-term goals. A WMS is a great tool that can bring major changes to your warehouse.

If your warehouse operates manually, adding a WMS can boost productivity and create a smooth supply chain. However, you can only reap these benefits if you have a clear goal in mind.

You can make significant improvements with a WMS, but having some key indicators will keep you on track. When listing your long-term plans, create specific metrics to help you measure your success rate with the WMS.

Key Features of A Great Warehouse Management System

Since there are numerous WMS on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is the right one for you.

Remember, not all WMS are built the same; some might have multiple advanced features while others are best for basic use. Here’s a list of key features you will find in a great WMS.

1. Real-Time Inventory Tracking Feature

inventory

Real-time tracking is one of the most innovative and helpful tools modern warehouses can use.
With real-time tracking, you’ll stay updated on your stock levels, so you never have to deal with overstocking or understocking.

In real-time inventory management, your system records every transaction instantly instead of updating the data regularly. This way, you’ll have accurate information and know what steps to take for a more efficient supply chain.

Real-time inventory data also reacts quickly to any disruptions or sudden changes that could target your workflow.

Real-time inventory management instantly records inventory purchases and sales through the software. This feature allows your business to understand and track stock movement in real-time.

With this incredibly helpful feature, business owners can take proactive steps to maintain their supply chain and stop problems from popping up.


2. Seamless Order Fulfilment

Modern businesses often use multichannel integrations and selling that outdated warehouses would need help keeping up with. Without the proper software and infrastructure to handle such fulfilment, you could create bottlenecks in your supply.

In addition, you’ll have higher lead times, leading to poor customer satisfaction. The modern warehouse should automate its order processing to keep up with multi-selling modes.

A robust WMS can be a great help here as it will be a central hub for all your order fulfilment needs. Canary7 WMS has an easy-to-use interface that allows integrations with some of the most popular eCommerce stores and shipping options.

3. Labour Management

labour management

Labour costs take up a significant portion of your warehouse budget. This is why you need to pay close attention to how you manage your team members.

Workers are crucial to a warehouse’s day-to-day operations, and with the right management techniques, you can improve the productivity of your workflow.

If you’re adding new machinery and introducing modern software, always provide extensive training to your workforce. This will ensure worker safety and that the new technology is used to its best ability.

Additionally, some WMS software is also designed to help with labour management. With this tool, you can assign appropriate tasks to your workers based on their skill level. Also, warehouse workers can use the WMS to stay on track of their tasks.

4. Integration Capabilities

In any WMS, integration is a pivotal feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. Warehouses need software that connects you to multiple shipping carriers and shopping platforms.

Think of it as a bridge connecting one part of order fulfilment to another. There 4 important reasons why your WMS needs integration features:

  • Makes the Shipping Process Easy: Automated shipping improves efficiency and reduces complexity. WMS automatically generates shipping labels, invoices, and more.
  • Provides Accurate Tracking: With shipping integration, your WMS will give you real-time tracking information for each shipment.
  • Ensure Timely Delivery: WMS with shipping integration will process orders quickly and accurately, reducing delivery time.

5. RFID or Barcode Scanner

RFID or barcode scanning is a vital feature that every good WMS needs. With this scanner, you can ensure all your products are logged accurately.

Modern WMS use RIFD tags to capture and send data through radio waves. All the data captured with RIFD tags is accurate, making it an excellent feature for real-time inventory tracking.

Barcodes are another great way to tag and organize your inventory. Each item in your stock is given a unique barcode, so there’s no chance of mix-up. With this feature, you can check your stock movement with better visibility.

Upgrade Your Warehouse with Canary7 WMS

Warehouse management systems are crucial resources for any business looking to optimize its workflow. With accurate forecasting, scalable design, and a fully responsive interface, Canary7 is an ideal solution for your warehouse worries.

Our WMS is designed to upgrade every part of your workspace to help you streamline your fulfilment process. Some helpful features of Canary7 include:

  • 360° view of all operation
  • User-friendly interface
  • Stock rotation capabilities
  • Multiple software integrations
  • Simplified labour management and more.

So get in touch today to level up your warehouse with Canary7!

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