A good competent and established WMS is very complex and includes many features, many of which you will never use, but there are many features that can help you in your warehouse operations that you do not know about.
Often warehouse manager is the one who is responsible for the development of a warehouse. It is only in very large companies with multiple warehouses there is a real logistics development department. It means that there are very high demands on the warehouse manager and his subordinates. Warehouse manager must be a good leader and be able to motivate their staff but he or she must also have great technical skills and interest to immerse himself in the WMS. The role as a warehouse manager is very complex if you want to be successful.
It is not easy to keep up with innovations and to adopt new features and capabilities. Some WMS vendors offer webinars where they go through the new features. Sometimes they have user meetings where companies meet with the WMS vendor and go through the new features and user experience. Be sure to be a part of these events often you can find new features that you can use in your environment. It is not uncommon a WMS vendor have two new releases per year.
I recommend that you also go through the release notes for each new version of your WMS. It may sound overly ambitious but if you want to take advantage of the WMS fully, it is best the best thing to do. Often the vendor only highlights a few new features in newsletters, etc. those features that they think are most viable for their clients but there may be many features they never inform about that may be great for your business.
I’m surprised that WMS vendors do not go out more actively to customers and promotes new features in more detail. All too often the vendor terminates contact with the customer when the system is implemented. I’m sure that WMS providers would have a greater impact on their sale if they focused a little bit more on the development of the customer’s warehouse and helped them take advantage of the systems optimally. Talk about having a happy and satisfied customer reference that would sell the system for the WMS vendor! Today, I feel that they often just looking to bill expensive consultant hours, I think they would benefit from to support the customer to use the system better. In this way, the system would sell itself when rumor starts going how good it is and how good support the vendor provides.
In the warehouse I have responsibility of, we have made great efficiency and quality improvements using the new features in WMS. But that’s because I’m a “technology geek” and reads the release notes as evening reading material.
In all the changes you make in the warehouse you should investigate what your WMS can do for you. How should goods receiving, replenishment, stocktaking, picking and packing look like? First, look what features the WMS have. For example, you may not even need a pack station if there’s pack function associated with picked orders on the forklift. Then you have saved a great time thief.
About the quality, it is the same. By using control functions such as scanning and manual confirmation of the operations you can reduce delivery notes radically.
Ok! Now take contact with your WMS provider and schedule an appointment. Ask them to update you on your system. Make sure to get the release notes on those releases that come after your version. Maybe it is time to talk to senior management about an upgrade? To have the right arguments learn about new features that can be good for your business and what the potential savings in budget is.
If you want a successful warehouse at the forefront of efficiency and quality, you must have a good WMS that you utilize maximally