There are many kinds of software out there that are made for processing sales, transactions, payroll, and more that can assist your business. However, you can get all those things by implementing a warehouse management software (WMS). As a standalone tool or an integrated solution for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. A WMS is highly functional for a number of industries, and it can make your business run much smoother. However, is a WMS worth the cost? Let’s find out.
What is a WMS?
You may already have a basic understanding of warehouse management systems (WMS). For businesses and warehouses, a WMS plays a key role in the control and movement of inventory and materials. Implementing a warehouse management system aids in the flow of the supply chain by regulating business transactions, shipping, pick-and-pack strategies, handling, cross-docking, and more. Depending on the kind of WMS and developer that you choose, there will be a variety of advantageous features included.
Naturally, making mistakes costs money, so having a WMS eliminate those mistakes could potentially save you thousands.
What to Consider When Estimating the Cost of WMS
WMS can cost your business quite a bit, so it is important to consider what factors influence the price of the software. That way, you can evaluate your options and choose the WMS that balances function with a reasonable price.
Products and Industry
The stringent policies of some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, chemical warehousing, and food and beverage, can increase the outright cost of a WMS. Regulated goods often require more technology and features that a basic version of a WMS may not have. Therefore, you should gauge the scope of the WMS that you would like and see if it covers the most important processes within your SMB.
The Features Included
Core implementations often have a set of features that are good for SMBs that are just starting out. As your business grows, your WMS should grow with you. The Agility WMS from Wisys is one example of software that can be customized to suit your SMB as it is now while preserving the flexibility needed in the future. Of course, you may also be a larger enterprise in need of a WMS that is much more expansive. In that case, you should look at the features included in each version of a WMS to see which one is going to suit your needs.
Here are some examples of what you might find in an entry-level, mid-range, or enterprise WMS:
- Entry-level: Basic inventory management functions, order fulfillment, barcode scanning, shipping, and receiving.
- Mid-level: Pick-and-pack optimization, real-time data collection, and analytics, asset management, capacity and labor force planning, and custom dashboards.
- Enterprise-level: IoT automation, dynamic slotting, compliance support, forecasting.
As mentioned previously, choosing a flexible, customizable WMS like Agility gives you the opportunity to get all the features you need, regardless of the size of your business.
Number of Users
Consider the number of people who are going to be using the system. Many business owners overlook the number of users, including warehouse workers and administration. This will affect the cost of the WMS in most cases. Most developers will base the cost of the WMS licenses on the number of people who will be using it. Therefore, you may be able to calculate some of the cost by multiplying a single license by the number of projected users.
Companies should also consider the costs involved when bringing in additional equipment. For example, you may need to purchase barcode scanners, RFID tag printers, voice terminals, or an in-house server, depending on the WMS you choose. This could boost the initial cost of your investment. On the other hand, if you have software and hardware that is compatible with a WMS, this could lower the price tag of the investment.
If you find that, yes, all of these new devices and terminals are going to be helpful, then a WMS will undoubtedly help your business. The technology a WMS includes guarantees more productivity and efficiency.
Why a WMS is Worth The Cost
Knowing what to consider when choosing a cost-effective WMS is important, but so too is knowing when you found the right system. Here are some ways you know a WMS is going to be worth the cost:
- Accelerated inventory turnover. Scanning and automatically updating inventory levels is the key function of a WMS. You can also manage inventory movement, forecast based on demand, and select pick-and-pack routes.
- Enhanced stock control. Stock is like the ocean—always moving. With a WMS, you can track everything that is coming, going, or already delivered. Being able to keep track of stock also helps with compliance.
- Decreased errors. Remove the need for redundant data entry and misplaced items, and you get more accuracy and fewer problems.
- Better customer service. Fewer mistakes, backorders, and stock-outs lead to happier customers. WMS also allows for notifications to the customer, especially when integrated into an ERP, to provide accurate shipping and delivery dates.
- Improved productivity. When your warehouse is struggling to watch the inventory and pick the correct items, it ends up slow and unproductive. A WMS allows you to divide tasks between the labor force, send reports and notifications, and automate data collection.
- Optimized use of warehouse space. Use a WMS to organize the warehouse so that you can move goods more easily, prevent goods from expiring, open up logical picking pathways, and more.
Ready to Implement a WMS?
Is a WMS worth the cost? Yes! By choosing the correct WMS, you get a tool that not only saves you money, but it also enhances your business as a whole. Warehouse management systems like Agility from Wisys are designed to promote inventory visibility, increased productivity, fewer mistakes and recalls, and improved customer service. However, there are many WMS out there, so knowing which one suits your needs best is important. Remember to look at what is offered and whether the WMS has compatibility and scalability.
Wisys has WMS solutions that suit every industry and need. Give us a call today at 770-955-3530 to learn about our flexible and customizable WMS, Agility, or request a demo.