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5 Fundamental Practices to Make the Implementation of Warehouse Technology Pay off Big Time

Warehouse management has traditionally functioned through enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Over time, new warehouse management system (WMS) solutions came to the forefront of warehouse management, and the systems were built within existing ERP systems. However, the use of modern, cloud-based technology led to the development of cloud-based WMS, and more warehouses are turning to these systems to maximize profits. Implementation of warehouse technology also represents a major risk, and in 2006, reported John Edwards of Inbound Logistics, warehouses were spending between $250,000 and $750,000 to license and implement new warehouse technology.
Newer statistics are difficult to pin down due to increased use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) WMS platforms. As a result, initial costs may be lower, but warehouse managers still need to make the implementation of warehouse technology pay off big time by following these fundamental practices.

1. Simplify as Much as Possible Before, During and After Implementation of Warehouse Technology

In the age of customization, it is easy to overcomplicate the implementation of warehouse technology. Today’s systems come with thousands of bells and whistles, and the level of integration and customization is almost immeasurable. In addition, the process of implementing new warehouse technology has also grown overcomplicated. Warehouse managers should look to simplify as much as possible prior to implementing new systems. This also includes reducing the list of must-have features when selecting and implementing new systems, which will be explained in further detail in an upcoming white paper, “The Key Steps to Selecting the Best Warehouse Management System.”

2. Align Business Goals to Warehouse Technology Features

Warehouse managers should also seek to align business goals to warehouse technology features. Even companies seeking to completely overhaul existing operations and focus on the way the business appears to consumers, “coming in from your customer base,” should still keep business goals and strategy in mind. This helps to reduce extraneous spending and implement the warehouse technology crucial to improving your operation today.

3. Automate Asset and Order Tracking

Warehouse managers may also struggle to let go of the traditional, manual processes for an asset in order tracking. To take advantage of the capabilities of modern warehouse technology, it is important warehouse managers and other involved parties understand automation is essential to maximizing investment in warehouse technology. This may also include automated picking procedures, as explained by the Manufacturing Transformation Blog, which may result in changes to picking personnel, training and other best practices.

4. Thoroughly Test Warehouse Technology

The most robust system can still be susceptible to failure or problems when integrating with ERP and legacy systems. Warehouse managers implementing new warehouse technology should thoroughly test the system with an accredited testing platform, such as Veridian TestLead.

5. Collaborate

Forcing the implementation of warehouse technology to pay large dividends is simple; everyone in your department, your warehouse and your company needs to work together. Make sure vendors understand how their responsibilities and workflows will change when implementing a new system, and conduct training as necessary to ensure proper use of such systems.

Leverage the Expertise of Industry Experts to Help With Implementation of Warehouse Technology

The implementation of warehouse technology can be hard, and it is one of the biggest risks your company will face. While these fundamental practices can help make it pay off, your company should consider working with industry experts and outside partners, such as Veridian, to help manage the process. Contact Veridian to learn more.