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The Value of a WMS Implementation Company

How often does your organization really think about its next upgrade? Will you upgrade and add automation to picking and packing? Do inventory management capabilities and visibility continue to fall short? What else is going wrong with the warehouse management system (WMS)? These questions reflect the problems supply chain leaders using legacy or “lite” technology solutions have, and once professionals make the decision to upgrade, the set budget and timelines can get out of hand. For instance, the costs of inexperience grow much higher when upgrading your existing systems. Implementing a best-of-breed WMS may result in 3x more costs due to not realizing what needs to happen—not necessarily what should happen, says a recent HighJump publication, entitled “5 Dirty Secrets of Warehouse Management Systems.” While a WMS implementation can help you achieve your goals, it is important to first take the time to consider the challenges of upgrading without expert guidance.

Challenges of Upgrading Without a WMS Implementation Company

In a best-case scenario, you will have a strong team that has experience implementing an older version of the solution. But even in that scenario, there is a steep learning curve with the new solution. Technology changes very fast, so WMS vendors are constantly revising their solutions, the messaging protocols, the security measures, the core language, the database, etc. At first glance, one might think that a WMS only impacts the users in the warehouse. But in reality, it also has impacts across the organization including accounting, purchasing, ecommerce platforms, marketing (think digital promotions), IT security, operations, human resources, and customer service. Most importantly, it’s also impacting your CUSTOMERS. Customers lose their loyalty very quickly when things don’t go perfectly; Amazon has set the bar so high that even the world’s leading brands have a great deal to fear.

Many of Veridian’s customers over the years have referred to their decision to engage as a sort of “insurance policy.” Think about the situations when you choose to, or not to, have insurance. For most, we choose to have insurance when we cannot be positive of the outcome and there is a great deal at stake.

The right WMS Implementation partner will guide you through the process, making you aware of potential pitfalls along the way. In order to do that effectively, they must have experience implementing the specific application you are implementing. This is why Veridian specializes; these systems are too complex for a generalist.

Each WMS has its unique characteristics, but here are a few challenges associated with attempting to implement or upgrade a WMS in 2020 and beyond.

  • There is a lot of work that can (and we would argue “should”) be done before kickoff of a WMS implementation or upgrade in order to maximize the time of the people responsible for system design.
  • Design can be very complex, even if you are attempting to implement a “like-for-like” solution.
  • Modifying the system can have long-term impacts that are far-reaching, so project team members should be presented with information related to upgrade paths, support costs, etc.
  • System configuration can be very manual, time-consuming, and error-prone.
  • There is an unlimited number of ways to test a complex system, and many of them are inefficient and have poor results.
  • Scope creep is difficult for IT to contain without the help of an advocate, leading to increased timelines and implementation costs.
  • Multi-system use may require advanced integration with new systems, especially cloud-based WMS platforms.
  • Lack of ability to inherit existing system configurations, resulting in higher labor costs for implementation.
  • Failure to coordinate when components of the system are ready for testing.  Inability to test systems in a safe, protected, and non-live environment.

How a WMS Implementation Company Decreases the Workload of Selection and Implementation

Working with a WMS implementation company transforms the entire process of WMS selection and implementation into a guided, expertly crafted experience. Instead of relying on what department heads claim they need, an expert consultant reviews your operation and determines what systems and functions will have the highest benefit. At the same time, a skilled team of functional and IT professionals will work to reduce the barriers to change management and integration and ensure your systems continue working disruption-free throughout the implementation process.

How to Choose an Expert

Every company will have a bias that skews toward them over all competitors. To avoid confusion, only choose a WMS implementation company that offers these advantages:

  1. Years of experience in working together with best-of-breed WMS vendors, including Manhattan Associates, HighJump, and Blue Yonder (formerly JDA).
  2. The ability to configure and accurately maintain multiple system environments based on the system design, reducing the time needed to deploy the system.
  3. The capability to efficiently test the system through automation and recognize potential problems well before the go-live date.
  4. A proven history of clients that can attest to the value of the company, beyond the direct testimonials published on their website.
  5. Proof that the company regularly attends trade shows and conferences and remains up to date with the latest technologies and advancements in the global supply chain.

Choose Veridian for Help in Your Next WMS Implementation Now

There is not a humble way to put it. Veridian has the resources, experience, and track record to help your company’s next supply chain system implementation succeed. Stop wasting time trying to determine if you should find an expert or who to use. Choose Veridian first to realize the potential for savings immediately. Learn more about the value of a WMS implementation company by contacting Veridian online today.

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