With rising complexity in e-commerce fulfillment, customer expectations, and market competition, e-commerce fulfillment companies are in dire need of a powerful Warehouse Management System. Therefore, we bring a perfect WMS implementation guide for your ecommerce business.
Fulfillment businesses still dependent on legacy warehousing systems, manual processes, and spreadsheets are prone to a higher rate of human errors, dampened operational visibility, and cost and fulfillment inefficiencies. Such issues, when occurring at scale, impact a fulfillment company’s bottom line and sours the experience of brands and sellers.
In the absence of a powerful Warehouse Management System (WMS), today’s fulfillment companies are always at the risk of losing business to a more tech-enabled player and are struggling with throughput and accuracy with their existing clients.
An e-commerce WMS is a platform designed to manage and optimize the storage and movement of goods in a warehouse used for e-commerce fulfillment. The system typically integrates with other e-commerce platforms, such as online marketplaces, shopping carts, and order management systems, to execute the order fulfillment process (picking, packing, and shipping).
A WMS empowers warehouse operators to manage and control all inbound, storage, and outbound activities within a warehouse. Capabilities offered by a modern e-commerce WMS include: (a) Multi-client system (b) Inventory management (c) Multichannel order management (d) Outbound fulfillment execution (e) Labor optimization (f) Automated 3PL billing, and more.
Benefits of Warehouse Management System (WMS)for E-commerce Fulfillment
A WMS can improve the speed and accuracy of warehouse operations by optimizing workflows, reducing the time required for manual tasks, and enabling more efficient use of resources. This can help an e-commerce fulfillment business to fulfill orders faster and more reliably, meet SLAs, and increase customer satisfaction.
WMS’ help warehouse operators cut down operational errors – inbound errors, picking errors, packing and labeling errors, and more and improve the satisfaction of the clientele.
A WMS can help a fulfillment business to scale its operations by providing a platform for managing larger volumes of orders, more SKUs, multiple channels, and many clients. This can help a fulfillment company to grow its business and expand into new markets while maintaining service quality and without scaling labor.
E-commerce focussed WMS integrates with a range of services – e-commerce marketplaces and platforms, ERPs, accounting software, shipping carriers, and more. This ensures seamless data transfer between the fulfillment company’s and the client’s existing systems and zero human intervention.
A WMS can help a fulfillment company to reduce costs by optimizing inventory levels, reducing labor requirements, improving space utilization, and minimizing errors and returns. This can enable a fulfillment company to operate more efficiently and achieve better margins in the e-commerce fulfillment market.
About this WMS Implementation Guide
Our goal with this guide is to help e-commerce fulfillment businesses buying their first WMS/transitioning to a modern WMS have complete information and preparedness for choosing and implementing the right system.
By the end of this guide, you will be able to 1. Map your business requirements properly 2. Use that information to evaluate different Warehouse Management System (WMS) providers 3. Choose the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) 4. Understand the different parts in Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation 5. Be equipped to avoid many pitfalls and challenges in Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation and more.
Part 1: Assessing your E-commerce Fulfillment Operations
The most important prerequisite to scouting for WMS’, choosing the right one, and deploying it is to understand the specifics of your fulfillment business. In this step, you would assess your current state of operations and the desired state of operations. The gap analysis will later help determine the required WMS capabilities for your fulfillment business.
Mapping the business landscape
By answering these questions, you can get a clear picture of your fulfillment business and what capabilities you need to have in your Warehouse Management System (WMS).
A. Number of warehouse facilities
- Do you operate out of a single warehouse location or multiple locations?
- Do you have expansion plans in the near future?
- What’s the level of interconnectedness you desire to have amongst your warehouse network? Interconnectedness includes but is not limited to a centralized view of inventory levels and operations, order and consignment routing, administrative controls, and more.
B. Client characteristics
- What kind of clients do you cater to?
- What kind of products do your clients sell?
- What all e-commerce sales channels do they use?
- What kind of suppliers/manufacturers your clients buy from?
C. Order and product characteristics
- What kind of products do your clients sell?
- What kind of order volumes are you expected to fulfill?
- What is the average number of units and line items per order?
- How complex are the packing, labeling, and shipping processes for such orders?
Current Workflows and Processes
The purpose of this exercise is for you to clearly understand and establish workflows for various inbound, storage, and outbound processes in your fulfillment business. This process involves implementing the necessary SOPs and identifying potential bottlenecks and pitfalls.
Answering the following questions can help with this exercise:
A. Inbound operations
- What does the receiving and inspection/quality check process look like?
- Do you do blind receiving? What does the workflow look like?
- What is the workflow for executing the putaway of units, boxes, and pallets?
- How are the putaway locations determined for different products and product classes?
B. Inventory and storage operations
- How do you track bin and lot numbers to attain FIFO/FEFO compliance?
- How do you execute the movement of units, boxes, and pallets within the warehouse?
- Do you have a real-time view of the placement of each product and SKU?
C. Outbound Operations
- What does the standard process for picking, packing, sorting, and shipping look like?
- What is your standard picking method? This could be batch picking, zone picking, order picking, etc.
- Do you offer e-commerce shipping services as well? What is the process to meet the carrier’s guidelines around warehouse packaging and labeling?
Identifying unique client needs
Over here, you must assess the unique needs and requirements of your clients that you need to account for in your processes and workflows. This could involve many aspects from specialized handling to value-added services and more.
A. Inventory management
- Does the client have any special requirements with regard to the handling of their products?
- Are the client’s products to be stored in specific locations such as cold or dry storage, ambient storage, etc.?
B. Value added services
- Do you offer value-added services to your clients such as kitting, bundling, assembly, inspection, etc.?
C. Reporting requirements and SLAs
- What kind of reporting have you promised to each client? This involves real-time/periodic reporting for inventory, orders, order returns, efficiency, and accuracy metrics.
- What are the SLAs promised to the client? The SLAs could be with one-day/two-day fulfillment, etc.
Part 2: Identifying pain points and Warehouse Management System (WMS) goals
From the above exercise, you have a clear understanding of who your clients are, what expectations they have from your fulfillment business, and how your fulfillment operations are to be set up and executed to meet those expectations.
This stage is more about setting the premise for choosing and implementing the right WMS for your fulfillment company. Identifying and acknowledging the current pain points and areas for improvement is crucial to mapping the outcomes expected from a WMS. By having an understanding of the desired changes you want to drive with the WMS implementation, you are better positioned to chalk out the goals for the project.
The first step here is to identify your current pain points. These pain points could be the result of or contributors to poor operational efficiency, labor issues, high fulfillment costs, high client churn, and more.
Some of the common pain points experienced by e-commerce fulfillment businesses include:
- Lack of scalability making it difficult to handle a high volume of orders, SKUs, etc.
- Slow fulfillment rate affecting the SLAs promised
- Difficulty managing and tracking order returns
- Challenges with inventory visibility and accuracy
- Subpar warehouse throughput, leading to high inventory shelf life and associated costs
Goal setting for the Warehouse Management System (WMS) project
This step is key in choosing and implementing the right WMS, and configuring it to your unique requirements.
These goals would often step from the above two exercises – pain point identification and business landscape mapping. The WMS should ideally help alleviate the pain points and enable you to carry out the fulfillment operations unique to your fulfillment business.
The goals can be both qualitative and quantitative and must help clearly define the end results your fulfillment business is intending to achieve. They should be measurable and must be communicated with the providers during the WMS evaluation process.
At the same time, you must also have a clear definition of the metrics you are trying to move with the WMS and how those metrics impact the overall health and performance of the company.
Some of the common metrics fulfillment businesses try to improve with a modern WMS implementation are
- Warehouse throughput
- Order fulfillment rate
- Daily/weekly/monthly orders processed
- Order lead time
- Labor cost reduction
- Net margins per order fulfilled
Part 3: Choosing the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your e-commerce fulfillment business
By now, you have a crystal clear understanding of your fulfillment business, client characteristics, operational specifics, warehouse workflow, and the key challenges you want to address. These will now be translated into your exact requirements, and the requirements will help you choose the best WMS for your fulfillment business.
Types of WMS’ and their characteristics
An e-commerce Warehouse Management System (WMS) comes in all shapes and sizes. They have their own unique characteristics and help cater to different kinds of fulfillment businesses. Let us understand some of the key WMS types and how they function.
Types of WMS’ for e-commerce fulfillment businesses
Standalone Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Often operating in silo, a standalone WMS is used by fulfillment businesses where they don’t need their WMS to integrate with their other systems. It is commonly used for smaller operations generally in offline stores. The orders and inventory data are often entered manually by the warehouse staff. Although they are often hosted on-premise, some of the Standalone WMS’ are also available as a cloud-based service. Such WMS’ typically have no use in complex e-commerce fulfillment operations.
Cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Cloud-based WMS’ are best suited for the modern age of connected and headless commerce. They do not geographically restrict the fulfillment companies to local providers and help tap into newer territories seamlessly. They are easy to scale up and down based on the dynamic needs of the fullfillment businesses and in turn help optimize cost and effort.
Integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS)
An Integrated WMS is a subtype of a Cloud-based WMS. It is a highly integrated system that seamlessly connects with other systems such as shipping carriers, Order Management Systems, ERPs, accounting software, and more. For a modern e-commerce fulfillment business, an Integrated WMS is not only a must-have but also the backbone of their fulfillment business.
Industry-specific Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Such WMS’ help fulfillment businesses cater to very specific industries such as apparel, perishable goods, chemicals, etc. They are highly specialized software that enable fulfillment companies to have extreme depth in serving a particular industry. However, such a choice can be very limiting for the fulfillment company, creating roadblocks in their future expansion plans in other industries. Should a fulfillment company wish to expand later, it would require another parallel WMS, leading to data silos, difficulties in adoption, and various other challenges.
Advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Such WMS’ are often also referred to as ‘Warehouse Operating Systems’. They are a more advanced category of WMS that are not only integrated and comprehensive but also intelligent in their deployment and use. They enable true omnichannel capabilities, empowering fulfillment businesses to expand their repertoire to serve both e-commerce and bulk wholesale. These Warehouse Operating Systems are comprehensive – providing all capabilities needed to run a successful e-commerce fulfillment business. The capabilities include order management processes, inventory optimization, shipping, labor optimization, automated 3PL billing, and a lot more. Moreover, they also provide advanced intelligence capabilities for space optimization, order routing across warehouses, workforce optimization, inventory allocation, and more.
Factors to consider while evaluating a Warehouse Management System (WMS)
This is arguably the most important consideration for fulfillment companies looking to buy a new WMS for their business. WMS’ come with various pricing models and it is on the fulfillment business to figure out what meets their preferences and requirements.
The WMS might charge per user or per transaction volume. Transactions in this case might refer to orders, line items per order, or the number of units per order.
The WMS provider might also charge a one-time license fee for the software or may have a SaaS-based pricing model where the fulfillment company pays every month/quarter/year.
Can the WMS scale with the fulfillment operations? How easy is it for the WMS to manage a surge in order volumes, products, product classes, clients, inventory volumes, and more? These are the most crucial questions an e-commerce fulfillment company must ask while evaluating a WMS provder to future-proof its technology stack.
Customization and flexibility
How much customization and flexibility is provided to the e-commerce fulfillment company to meet the unique needs of each client? Does the fulfillment company get to customize processes at each level to enable specialized services? How much external technical assistance is needed to customize and configure different aspects of the WMS? These are the key considerations that an e-commerce fulfillment company must have while evaluating the level of flexibility provided by the WMS.
The abovementioned flexibility is typically about the unique and dynamic workflows, business rules, setup customization, flexible inbound and outbound processes for each client, and more.
E-commerce fulfillment companies evaluating WMS’ also have to also choose whether to host it on the cloud or on-premise. Although most businesses today prefer their software on the cloud due to scalability, lesser capital investment, and security measures, some may choose to have it on-premise.
Cloud vs on-premise and the complexity and tradeoff in each is another important factor to consider while evaluating a WMS.
After-sales support is just as crucial as choosing the right software. In fact, it might also be the most important criterion for many buyers. The fulfillment company here must be evaluating the support services and SLAs promised by different WMS providers. Most common after-sales services involve changes in configuration, training, adding custom integrations, fixing broken integrations, deployment in additional warehouse facilities, and more.
The e-commerce fulfillment company must be confident that the WMS provider is already serving other customers in the same/similar domain and that the customers are satisfied with the service. The fulfillment company may ask the WMS provider for customer references, success stories, or testimonials, and may also lookup for reviews online.
WMS provider’s team expertise in the domain
The sales representatives, customer support personnel, and the deployment team must not only be adept with their software but must also have a firm understanding of warehousing and fulfillment as a whole. Given the complexity of this space, the fulfillment company must evaluate the team to understand how well each WMS provider can serve the unique needs of the fulfillment company.
The buying decision
Your 3PL, after having considered different factors for choosing a WMS, must now be in a state to make the buying decision. Decide the importance of each of the abovementioned factors, and more, and match that with the different WMS options available.
To successfully make the buying decision, you can create a decision matrix involving your most important factors and map each WMS to the matrix to identify different advantages and tradeoffs in each.
Part 4: Preparing for Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation
WMS implementation is a long and complex activity that requires equal effort, proactiveness, and commitment from both the WMS provider and the e-commerce fulfillment customer. In many instances, the WMS implementation is less-than-successful due to inadequate proactiveness from the fulfillment company. Businesses that believe the implementation is the sole responsibility of the provider, don’t often yield the best results from such an implementation.
WMS implementation can be broken down into the following aspects and activities:
Defining the implementation plan and timelines
As soon as the customer completes the purchase agreement, the next step is to start planning and executing the implementation items.
As the first step, the e-commerce fulfillment business and the WMS provider must work together to break down different implementation activities and assign timelines to each.
Here is what a typical WMS implementation plan looks like:
Phase 1: Information collection
- Enabling the WMS provider with all the necessary information about the fulfillment company
- Information includes integration information, hardware requirements, location information, and more
- The provider may share an RFI (request for information) document for this purpose.
Phase 2: Enabling hardware and software integrations
- Setting up different handheld scanners, mobile PDAs, printers, weighing devices, etc. to integrate with the WMS. Ensuring error-free two-way data transfer.
- Setting up different software integrations such as ERPs, e-commerce marketplaces, accounting software, etc. The data in the two systems should be mapped appropriately for effective syncing of order, inventory, product, and shipping data.
Phase 3: Configuring the WMS
- Based on the information received above, the WMS provider will configure the platform to meet the requirements of the fulfillment business.
- Defining different locations and creating a digital warehouse replica of the space. Involves codifying and setting up different bin and pallet locations, zones, rows, etc.
- Configuring different client profiles including customizable client-facing platform, specific billing profiles, defining fulfillment type, and more.
- Sourcing client product and inventory information – product name, barcodes such as SKU, UPC, ASIN, etc., dimension and weight information, etc. Mapping each SKU to the appropriate bin and defining legal bins for each SKU.
Phase 4: Testing and training
- Using the configured WMS to simulate different real-world scenarios in inbound, storage, and outbound activities
- This gives the fulfillment compnany and the provider a sense of how well can the WMS handle specific workflows/processes
- Training each warehouse stakeholder for general use of the WMS as well as for their specific activities (picking, receiving, quality check, packing, etc)
Phase 5: Go-live
- Getting started with actual fulfillment operations using the WMS
- Client would switch all their inbound, storage, and outbound operations to take place through the platform.
Phase 6: Hypercare
- The WMS provider will maintain close contact with the fulfillment company to resolve any queries, alleviate concerns, and provide additional training if necessary.
Identifying resources and budget for successful WMS implementation
After planning out the implementation steps and timelines, the next step involves identifying and allocating resources and a budget to the implementation process.
The primary step in deciding and allocating resources is to assign the key personnel responsible for the successful implementation of the WMS.
Both, the WMS provder and the e-commerce fulfillment company, must have a designated project manager/implementation manager who will be responsible for their part of the implementation responsibilities.
At the fulfillment business’ end, the project manager must share all data, configuration details, hardware procurement and integration information, and more. The implementation manager at the WMS provider’s end must translate the information into platform configuration, custom development, and more. The implementation manager is also responsible for deciding and communicating project timelines, helping with any questions, and training the workforce.
Alongside the project managers, the implementation will also involve the IT team, warehouse management, and others.
Budget for the hardware
The success of a WMS and the intended outcomes are also driven by the presence of the right hardware. Having the right hardware capabilities is essential to gaining the most out of a powerful WMS.
The fulfillment company in this case must have allocated a budget for procuring the hardware. A small to mid-size e-commerce fulfillment business would require simpler devices like barcode scanners, mobile PDAs, etc. to carry out its inbound and outbound operations. On the other hand, an enterprise fulfillment company would typically also require conveyer belts, AMRs, etc. to achieve complex automation, higher fulfillment rate, and throughput.
The implementation requires quite a few activities to be completed at your fulfillment business’ end. There is a certain degree of standardization to these activities to ensure smooth implementation and the quick go-live of the WMS.
A WMS provider may request the following information to be available and in the prescribed/standardized format:
- Warehouse layout plan: The division of sections and different locations within the warehouse must be communicated to the provider for the configuration of the WMS.
- Location codification: The various aisles, rows, and bins must have the necessary codes and the codes must be in a standard format.
- Ensuring SKU IDs: Each product and unit must be properly labeled with the correct SKU ID and the e-commerce fulfillment company must ensure zero duplication of SKUs among different products.
Implementing a new WMS in your e-commerce fulfillment warehouse is a major event and involves significant changes in your warehouse processes and how the different stakeholders use technology to perform their intended job.
Thus, it becomes crucial for senior management to align the team and prepare for the upcoming changes.
First off, the management must communicate the benefits of the new WMS to each warehouse associate and how the same will help them perform their tasks with less effort and higher productivity. The entire warehousing team must have a single vision that they are chasing and must understand the benefits of the new WMS.
The fulfillment company’s management must work with the WMS provider to provide sufficient training to the floor workers and help mitigate any challenges and reservations they might have.
However, change management isn’t just about your workforce. It extends to business processes, fulfillment operations, and client engagement. Your fulfillment business will also have to communicate the changes to your clients and what the new expectations are from each party. The clients must also be aligned on how the new system helps you render your e-commerce fulfillment services better and more efficiently.
Part 5: Implementing the Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Once aligned, internally and with the provider, on the scope, different activities, and timelines for the WMS implementation project, the next step is the actual implementation.
The implementation step can be broken down into various components, each equally material to the success of the project.
Setup and configuration
Often handled by the provider, and aided by the fulfillment company, the setup involves setting up different warehouses, bin-locations, zones, and areas in each of them, specifying workflows for different inbound, storage, and outbound activities, creating client profiles, creating user profiles and assigning the relevant user role, and more.
The provider may also help the client with connecting different services such as ERPs, shipping carriers, etc. Most of the modern WMS’ come pre-built with the most commonly used integrations, and in this case, the fulfillment business’ clients can seamlessly connect their services using the login credentials/access tokens.
Once the basic configuration is completed and the integrations are all connected, the next step is about importing all of fulfillment company and its clientele’s data. In this stage, the provider will help the e-commerce fulfillment company import all its inventory, order, and product-related information to the WMS.
The data import can take place either using spreadsheets to move data from the existing WMS/other systems or through the various integrations configured in the previous step – ERPs, marketplaces, e-commerce platforms, and accounting software.
Data compatibility is key here. The inventory, order, and product information should be in the right format that is compatible with how the new WMS is configured. The fulfillment company and the WMS provider must take a collaborative approach to ensure data hygiene and compatibility with the new system.
Testing and dry-run
It is crucial to test the platform in real-world scenarios to measure the effectiveness of the implementation, and course-correct if necessary.
Here, the WMS provider and the e-commerce fulfillment company will simulate actual warehouse activities, using actual client data, to determine if the configuration is done correctly. They may create dummy consignments, carry out the receiving and putaway warehouse processes, test the SKU-bin mapping, source omnichannel orders, create test batches, and carry out the outbound fulfillment – picking, packing, sorting, and shipping.
If the above activities are not performed as intended, the respective teams will go back to the setup and configuration step and ensure that it is completed properly.
WMS’ are complex systems that require a considerable amount of training and practical use to become adept at. Appropriate training, or the lack of it, can make or break the post-implementation customer experience.
In this stage, the WMS provider will conduct general training sessions for the team, as well as role-specific training for different warehouse admins, receivers, putaway associates, pickers, packers, sorters, and billing managers.
The end goal of the training is to eliminate any lapses in productivity and fulfillment activity, that may otherwise occur if the warehouse workforce isn’t properly trained.
Upon the successful completion of testing and training, the fulfillment business is now in a state to carry out its warehousing operations using the WMS.
In this stage, the fulfillment company is handed complete control and ownership of the platform. The fulfillment company may now start onboarding its clients and managing their operations.
Part 6: Common pitfalls in Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation and how to avoid them
By now, it's fairly obvious that the implementation of a WMS is a complex affair tied to many systems, different client needs, and unique fulfillment characteristics. Unfortunately, not all WMS projects are a success, and many also end up contributing to delayed timelines, higher costs, and even abandoned projects.
At every step in the implementation lifecycle, there are many risks and challenges that make the implementation more error-prone and costly.
Here are some of the common pitfalls experienced by WMS provider and e-commerce fulfillment company, and how the two can work together to avoid them.
Poor planning is the biggest cause of WMS implementation failure. The responsibility of planning the project properly falls on both the provider and the fulfillment business. Inadequate planning can cause some major issues such as missed deadlines, cost overruns, unanticipated technical issues, insufficient training, poor set-up, and a lot more.
As discussed earlier, it is imperative to create a detailed project plan that aligns both the WMS provider and the fulfillment business. The project plan must clearly detail the timelines, the required budget, and the resource allocation.
For WMS implementation, the following are the typical timelines given the varying degree of complexity and client-specific requirements:
Low Complexity (1-2 months)
Typically having a single warehouse, limited sales channels (up to 3-4), and fulfilling not more than 10,000 orders per month.
Medium Complexity (3-6 months)
Mid-sized fulfillment companies that may have a small network of warehouses, fulfilling 10,000-100,000 orders every month and handling not more than 10,000-20,000 SKUs. Their integration requirements usually include a handful of sales channels and shipping carriers.
High Complexity (6-12 months)
Enterprise fulfillment customers handling and fulfilling millions of orders every month and catering to a large number of enterprise clients. They usually have a more widespread warehouse network and handle north of 50,000 SKUs. Their integration needs are complex that include EDI integrations, custom applications, and more. They may also require custom development in the WMS to meet specific needs.
Inadequate requirements gathering
3PLs purchasing their first WMS or shifting from one to another might end up not mapping their requirements appropriately. As discussed earlier, requirements gathering and documenting is a crucial step in the buying process, and the failure to do so accurately results in either choosing the wrong WMS provider or implementing the WMS in a way that doesn’t meet business needs.
3PLs in the buying journey must clearly define and state their current pain points, areas for improvement, and the intended outcomes. They must also define and communicate the improvements they expect and the metrics they wish to move with this project.
Constant and clear communication is crucial to the success of a WMS implementation project. Lapses in communication can not only hamper the experience of both the provider and the 3PL but also derail them from the intended timelines and cost estimations.
Poor communication is a major contributing factor to misunderstandings, misaligned expectations, and unmet requirements. The provider and the 3PL must consistently communicate and align on project progress, changes in priorities, and obstacles to ensure smooth implementation.
The 3PL and the WMS provider must test the implemented system to ensure that processes and workflows are configured as intended. It is important to test the WMS thoroughly, including functional testing, integration testing, performance testing, and more.
It is also crucial to involve the end user in the testing process since they will be using the platform on a daily basis.
Inadequate and incomplete training for the warehouse admin, associates, and other staff can be detrimental in many ways. It can cause poor user adoption, reduced system utilization, operational errors, and lower efficiency.
It is important to provide complete training to the end users of the new WMS to help them perform their tasks better and have the new system adopted and utilized at the earliest.
Poor change management
Implementing WMS is one of the biggest changes a 3PL can introduce in the organization. Thus, handling the change, aligning the team, and managing the resources is critical to the success of the project.
Poor change management can lead to resistance to newer systems, reduced user adoption, and a complete failure of the implementation project.
It is important to have a change management plan in place and involve the end-user in the change management process. The primary objective of change management is to have the new system up and running without hampering the fulfillment activity and causing difficulties for different stakeholders.
Part 7: Post-implementation success
Your fulfillment business has gone through the weeks-long implementation process and is now ready to use the WMS at its full capacity. The appropriate use of the WMS is just as important as choosing and implementing it in your WMS journey.
Here are a few tips on how to use the WMS to maximize benefits and the value you attain from the system.
Optimizing WMS for ongoing success
There are a few things your e-commerce fulfillment business can do to ensure continuous success in the post-implementation go-live phase. First, maintaining data sanity is critical to smooth fulfillment operations. This means ensuring complete and clean data at each step at all times.
The warehouse operators must also become habitual in performing all warehouse operations using the platform and not off it. By doing so, your fulfillment business can ensure a complete record of every task performed, as well as aggregate data.
Continuous learning and improvement
Your WMS can help you improve the accuracy and efficiency of your operations over time. Learning from the data and insights provided by the WMS is the most important thing a warehousing manager can do.
WMS’ also helps in identifying chokepoints and areas of improvement. They provide data for the most common errors, labor productivity, and inefficient processes.
By learning from insights and information provided by the WMS, you can increase fulfillment efficiencies, attain higher operating margins, and improve client experience.
A powerful WMS is the most important tool in a modern-day fulfillment company’s arsenal. With rising client expectations, complex SLAs, and industry competitiveness, a WMS that caters to e-commerce fulfillment, isn’t a growth need. It is a survival need.
Having any WMS just doesn’t cut it anymore. Having the right WMS that integrates, is intelligent, and provides flexibility is what your fulfillment company needs in the modern commerce landscape.
We hope the above guide helped you grasp how you can choose and implement the right WMS for your e-commerce fulfillment business. We also hope you are better equipped to evaluate the different options available and are now able to avoid many pitfalls that come with implementing a new e-commerce-focused WMS.