The increasing demand for retail products worldwide has driven sellers and fulfillment companies to work double time. A fulfillment business is an entity that handles a portion of the supply chain management system.
These companies perform on a particular business’ behalf such as processing orders, managing inventory, and shipping the goods. Thus, fulfillment centers are crucial to retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers who want to save time and costs in managing a warehouse.
With the demand for cost-effectiveness and efficiency, fulfillment companies must choose the right warehouse management system (WMS) software. If you run such an enterprise, read on as this article enumerates valuable tips for selecting the best WMS software to help you out.
Understanding WMS software
Based on market estimates, the 2021 global retail e-commerce sales had been valued at USD$ 25. 052 trillion. Countries like Russia, India, Argentina, and Brazil are expected to contribute significantly to the sector.
One of the significant benefits of having the best WMS software is overall efficiency. Because the markets are geographically distant from one another and the clients, a fulfillment company’s warehouse management system must enable it to automate its core tasks such as organizing the warehouse, monitoring stock movements, and overall inventory
Flexibility is also one of the main features of the best WMS software. It should help address the needs of a startup—from tracking raw materials to finished products ready to be shipped—and help it scale later. If you’re an entity operating in multiple locations, the best WMS software should let you track inventory systems across all offices.
Picking the best WMS software for your business requires a comprehensive review of your current system. Involve your staff and discuss the weakness and strengths of your current inventory processes. Together you can examine several points to develop a shortlist of must-haves.
Having ascertained how much you need it, here are six tips for choosing the best WMS software.
Assess your needs properly
Discussing the weaknesses of the existing approach enables fulfillment entities to prioritize the features for the best WMS software. Note that different businesses require different WMS features. Further, software products of this type also have varying functions, which means one product may be better for another business type and not for another.
Calculate your projected ROI
With proper use, WMS software is expected to reduce the costs of running a business. Unfortunately, coming up with an estimation can be challenging for fulfillment companies. To come up with a reasonable approximation, consider the projected expenses, including operational and ownership costs, and the expected savings from automation. Savings calculations may cover the projected salaries of warehouse staff.
Examine the WMS provider’s reliability
Choosing the best service provider can be challenging, but your team can compare different products vis-a-vis your needs, with a list of priorities, saving time and effort. Besides the features, your fulfillment business must also consider other factors such as the provider’s experience, post-sales support, and portfolio.
Looking at online reviews isn’t enough. Check the roster of clients each provider has and reach out to them. Opt for a company with expertise in your industry niche.
Choose a provider with robust customer service and support
Include the level of support each vendor has. Check whether they’re easy to reach and provide round-the-clock customer service and technical assistance. Even the best WMS software needs to have frequent security patches and enhancements, and it’s necessary to pick a provider that offers regular upgrades. Find out whether these technology enhancements are for free or require payments.
Regardless, you’ll find that paying for these updates allows you to save on costs down the road. Besides being stable, choosing the latest software version of the technology also ensures access to more features and security.
Fulfillment companies must value data privacy, as they hold sensitive personal information, including names, addresses, and contact details of clients and other relevant individuals. A WMS also often holds the contact details of suppliers, business partners, couriers, and many other people. All businesses engaged in this service must value security—as a breach can make or break any enterprise.
Insisting on secure software isn’t only a compliance issue. It’s also detrimental to all businesses not to do so because a data leak may cost you millions worth of settlement payments and reparation fees.
Check compatibility and scalability
The best WMS software is one that not only addresses your business requirements but can be seamlessly integrated with your existing business software systems. For instance, it’s highly recommended that your WMS be linked to your accounting system for a comprehensive view of your assets and projected and actual expenses.
As business software involves a considerable investment, always go for products that can accommodate growth and expansion. If your fulfillment company does well, and you decide to add another branch, it shouldn’t be a problem to scale using your existing WMS software.
In picking an automated inventory system, reviewing your current processes is necessary to arrive at your priorities—most of which are discussed in this blog. With these tips, it’ll be easier for you and your team to create a shortlist of vendors with the best WMS software for your fulfillment business.