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Implement a New WMS

Should I Implement a New WMS Before Peak Season?

Implementing a new WMS can increase supply chain visibility and speed to market. The increasing demand for better, faster processing leads some leaders to assume implementation now, before the holiday season, will be beneficial. Rather than blindly starting the process, supply chain leaders need to know a few things before deciding whether to implement a new system or wait until after the holidays, says Supply Chain Junction.  This includes understanding the timeline and business objectives.

Indications Suggesting It’s Time to Implement a New WMS

Chance favors the prepared, and in supply chain management, preparation is key to success when implementing a new system. Unfortunately, part of the problem lies in a failure to recognize the signs that it is time for a new WMS. As explained by Modern Materials Handling, some leading symptoms indicating that the time has arrived include:

  • Faster-than-anticipated corporate growth.
  • Inability to keep up with changing demands, such as omnichannel.
  • The system has not seen a comprehensive update in years.
  • Additional modifications are needed continuously to accommodate changing requirements.
  • Employees prefer manual processes/records.
  • Increasing customer acquisition and retention costs.
  • Inability to predict forecasts beyond generic terms.
  • Manual inventory counts are standard in your company.
  • A growing number of backorders.
  • Workers cannot access real-time inventory data across channels.

Peak Season Preparation May Benefit From New Systems

Peak season preparation does include pre-emptive steps to secure better systems. However, it is vital to think about the full timeline between planning and implementation. As noted by Supply Chain Junction[KA1] , the average implementation timeline can be up to eight months. Even facilities operating with newer, more modern systems may still require several months of planning and testing.

At the same time, the advancement of technology, including cloud-based computing and automated system configuration and testing tools, can smooth the rollout. In other words, a robust partnership with the right supply chain systems integrator or servicer could theoretically aid in implementation even this late in the season.

Realistic Considerations for Planning to Implement a New System Before Peak
Season Begins

To ensure a disruption-free season, take a few considerations before jumping on the ship to implement a new WMS. These considerations include:

  • How will new implementations affect current operations, especially with demand already rising to meet peak season fulfillment?
  • How will a new implementation affect the allocation of resources, including labor?
  • Does your staff have the time to complete training and still meet demand?
  • What about testing? How will testing be conducted, and if problems arise, can testing continue without disrupting existing operations?
  • What’s the reward for the 2019 peak season?

As companies seek to expand their networks, it comes as no surprise that WMS demand is increasing. Unfortunately, a hasty rollout will lead to errors. Furthermore, failure to train staff could lead to higher turnover rates, and even with the best-laid plans, two months is simply too short for completing a successful launch that adds to profitability for the upcoming season.

Work With an Expert in Supply Chain Systems to Achieve Real Peak Season

While it may be too late to take steps for a 2019 WMS implementation, it is the ideal time to start benchmarking and prepping for 2020. You already have a process in place for this year, and while new systems may enhance operations, it remains unlikely that a new implementation will indeed provide stark ROI. So, Veridian recommends beginning the consultation and planning phase now, as well as moving forward with system selection and implementation after peak season passes. Streamline your approach when it’s time to implement a new WMS by choosing the right supply chain systems partner. Request a consultation with Veridian to get started.

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