Skip to content

How to Reduce Time to Implement a Warehouse Management System in 4 Steps

Making the decision to implement a warehouse management system can be among the most cost-effective means to improve warehouse operations. A modern warehouse management system can bring disparate systems together, leverage data from internal and external resources, and stimulate growth in the saturated e-commerce market, allowing businesses to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, the road to warehouse management system implementation is not always clear, and it is filled with risk. To improve implementation, Warehouse Managers need to understand the key factors affecting implementation timelines, how a thorough business review streamlines implementation, and a few other practices that will increase ROI.

Poor Patience and Lack of Understanding Increase Time to Implement a Warehouse Management System

Lack of experience or understanding of business goals are two of the most common reasons for delays in WMS implementation. Warehouse Managers may face the additional burden of pressure from C-Suite executives needing to see results. This contributes to rushed implementation, which increases the risk to the entire venture.

Thorough Review of Warehouse Practices and Needs Streamline Implementation

As explained by Deborah Catalano Ruriani of Inbound Logistics, a thorough business review should be the first step in selecting and implementing a WMS. The thorough business review is a stepping stone to the additional steps that allow for a faster implementation. Throughout the business review, team members from all departments should voice their needs and limitations with existing, legacy and ERP systems. Although this step is often associated with the development of a change management team, it should be included in the business review. Furthermore, Warehouse Managers should consider business goals in conducting the business review. Such action allows Warehouse Managers to consider the future planned growth of the organization and select an appropriate WMS.

Time-Saving Tips for Speeding System Implementation

There are many ways to reduce the time needed for WMS implementation, says Curt Barry of MultiChannel Merchant. Unneeded order management system (OMS), ERP, and WMS modification can take hundreds of hours to complete, and at modest programming rates, such as $150 per hour, a menial 120 hours of programming could contribute to an increased cost of $27,000. Depending on the size of your organization, the costs can add up substantially. Instead of trying to micromanage the process, Warehouse Managers should follow these four time-saving tips:

  1. Review Needs, Risks, and Overall Timeline Expectations. This tip began with a thorough business review, but it must also include consideration of all business needs and risks. Risks should include threats and opportunities, like migrating existing systems to the cloud instead of modifying systems unnecessarily. In addition, this should include beginning to create a clear timetable for implementation.
  2. Build a Change Management Team, and Let Them Handle Most Work. The change management team will take over the WMS implementation process, as well as its management, upon completion of the business review. However, the change management team should also conduct a secondary business review. This provides an extra opportunity to identify other needs or features that were not originally recognized in the initial business review. The change management team should meet regularly, discuss issues, and act as a board of directors for the implementation of a new WMS.
  3. Streamline Data Migration, Configuration, and Testing Through Integration. Moving existing systems to a new WMS is an immensely complex process, and it may involve proprietary information and personal information of tens of thousands of customers, suppliers, and financiers. The smallest mistake during data migration to a new system could result in severe financial setbacks, not to mention harming the image of the company. This process should be streamlined through automated data migration, simplistic configuration, and system testing, says Tom Gresham of Inbound Logistics.
  4. Correct Issues, and Consider Outsourced Services to Streamline Implementation. Any issues identified during implementation should be addressed as soon as possible. In addition, systems should be integrated to work as a single unit. In the world of omnichannel supply chains, this is the most critical aspect of any new implementation, and as a result, outsourcing integration, as well as implementation, may be necessary.

Supercharge WMS Implementation to Get It Right the First Time

Successful WMS implementation can range from a period of weeks to months to achieve a successful implementation. This includes all steps in preparation for selecting a system and meeting with vendors. By following the aforementioned tips, Warehouse Managers can streamline WMS implementation and ensure the new system meets their requirements. For information on additional steps to pursue in selecting and implementing a WMS, submit your questions to Veridian online today.

Veridian can help you realize your supply chain success. Fill out the contact information below in order to schedule a consultation call with one of our supply chain professionals.