While selecting the right warehouse management software for your small/medium business, it is essential to first understand your warehouse needs, and whether an integrated warehouse management system is beneficial for you before you start your selection.
Ask these few important questions to yourself-
- To what extent are inaccuracies affecting your business?
- What do you need to streamline picking, packing, and shipping processes?
- How can your current logistics system integrate with your online business initiatives?
- What data do you need to make strategic decisions?
- How fast do you need warehouse data to be available across your enterprise?
With answers to these questions, you will be able to understand exactly what you plan to accomplish by adopting a cloud-based warehouse management system. Once you have identified your requirements, you can select a warehouse management system on the basis of the following qualities.
Must-have Qualities in a Warehouse Management System
1. Integration with RFID and Barcode technology
Scanning each and every item separately or maintaining stock records on spreadsheets can be time-consuming and tiring. To ease this process, you want your warehouse management system to integrate with the latest technology like RFID and barcode scanning so that every piece of inventory is accounted for.
2. Useful and Easy to read metrics
Data is the most integral part of any business. But not just its generation but the presentation is equally important. Having a huge amount of data can be daunting if you cannot extract core results from it.
Make sure the WMS you select can reap meaning out of the data and prepare useful reports and analytics, which you can use to improve strategic decision-making regarding your warehouse functions.
3. Payment and Invoicing
3PLs, work very hard to provide top-notch service to provide timely delivery of client shipments. Thus, they should be paid correctly for their service.
An efficient warehouse management software should enable 3PL providers to keep track of all billing information so that no payment opportunity is lost. Not only does this facilitate accurate payment and invoicing, in turn saving time against manual calculations.
Third-party logistics are an important part of any business that holds inventory. On the outset, they might just handle their customers’ biggest asset, their inventory, but don’t forget their effortless performance ensures customer success.
A modern WMS should allow 3PL custom branding solutions so they can integrate their business with their customers’ operations, like adding their logo to client portals. This will provide visibility to 3PLs and gain customer trust.
Customers should be informed about the status of the shipments. A warehouse management system should provide automated alerts and save both theirs and clients’ money and time.
5. Seamless integration with ERP systems
The ideal warehouse management software should be one which can integrate seamlessly with your existing work management or ERP system. You need to make sure that the WMS is fully compliant to use workforce tools to automate many business and HR functions.
6. Flexibility and Scalability
Scalability is a natural progression for any business. With that, you also must keep in mind whether your business operations and tools are strong enough to maintain pace with organizational goals and objectives.
The software that you opt for should be able to sustain your growth, it should be dynamic and flexible enough to cater to your expanding business and inventory. It should be scalable enough to handle the increasing number of warehouses as you grow. One must make sure that the warehouse management system demands no further moderations and is scalable to accept more.
So, these are a few main qualities that you should definitely look for once you’ve decided to utilize a warehouse management software to streamline your business functions. However, these are the core functions a WMS should have while there are many additional elements as well such as-
- Real-time inventory updates
- Back-office integration with Order Management, inventory control, and Purchase orders.
- Segmentation of data according to each customer
- Door-to-door item tracking
- Performance Tracking
- Advanced Reporting and Analytics
Wrapping it up…
Introducing an efficient warehouse management system is extremely important for a company’s operations. Successfully fulfilling and tracking shipments at every point of the journey takes a cohesive system that involves many parts. You need to take into consideration the nature and scale of your business along with the objectives to be achieved before finalizing a warehouse management system.