6 basic steps of Warehouse Management System Implementation
Posted in Just Implementation

1 Expectations and Motivations. Implementing a new warehouse management system involves differing sets of expectations and motivations from the various stakeholders. Company Directors and Operations / Logistics Managers by definition are seeking a speedy ROI and smooth implementation. Warehouse managers expect the new system to be user friendly in order to make their job easier, eliminating inefficient processes and bad warehouse practices and habits. Warehouse staff expect their work to become easier, with fewer errors, but without their job being threatened. It is the job of the warehouse management system provider to communicate clearly and manage expectations from the start in order to assist employees at all levels adjust to imminent changes in the warehouse operation.

2 Business review. The business review at the start of the warehouse management system project allows both parties to discuss, dissect and understand how the warehouse functions and what are the needs and requirements of the warehouse. The types of issues that should arise are the disadvantages of the incumbent warehouse management system, risks and expectations. The implementation schedule and process should be built around the business review.

3 Team Building. Two teams are required for WMS implementation: an implementation team and a team of client warehouse executives. Selecting the right team can make the difference between success and failure. The process is more complex than merely selecting the best personnel. Issues such as communication between client representatives and implementation team leaders, personal chemistry are critical to the success of a warehouse management system installation.

4 Design and customisation. The warehouse management system installation project is designed based on the aforementioned business review, and the existing software is customized to meet client needs. The more flexible the future WMS, the less customization required. Minimizing customisation is usually one of the keys to a successful project. Although most warehouse management systems are built to meet industry standards, changes may be required in the way the warehouse works. Risks and expectations should be addressed accordingly.

5 Training. During design and customisation future users of the system should undergo training. Snapfulfil typically offer two day in house training sessions for client warehouse staff. This is critical for facilitating the transition from one warehouse management system to another. Although user training is a time-consuming process, do not neglect it. The success of the implementation depends greatly on the ability of the users to handle the new system.

6 Testing. Testing is usually performed using real warehouse data, comparing the results of warehouse process execution in both systems. Different warehousing scenarios are tested, and bugs in the design are fixed by the warehouse management system supplier. Bugs in configuration are also addressed by the WMS provider implementation team.

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