a Warehouse Management System
Expounding the Selection
Process Steps & Useful Tips
Large software projects need tedious attention. Follow the
rules for software evaluation and do your due diligence thoroughly.
You can short cut the process and waste months & significant
money. Our software selection process maximizes functionality
in the RFI/RFP scoring process and minimizes expenses in travel
& personnel time. Therefore, steps 1 and 2 are very critical.
Step By Step Process Explained
Understand WMS differences and common missing
functions. Use the book "Selecting Warehouse Software from WMS and ERP Providers"!
Tap into consultants as needed.
- BUILD RFI or RFP
Based on WMS knowledge and company practices, build a well thought
out RFI and send it to all applicable WMS vendors.
One may leverage IDII
Advance WMS RFI or consultants to expedite this step.
- GATHER RESULTS
Enter RFI results into scorecard
spreadsheet. Challenge vendors on unusual responses
to make fair "apples to apples" comparison.
Now have a valuable (1) functionality comparison and
(2) and cost comparison.
- DETERMINE FINALISTS
Eliminate all WMS solutions that do NOT have "must have" functionality.
Others may be eliminated on company specific
requirements. Call finalists for on-site demonstrations
- DEMO'S & SITE
Arrange demonstration of WMS solution with your products. Indicate
important areas that must be demonstrated. AFTER demonstration,
go to 2 or 3 warehouses that are using the WMS. Insist on warehouses
that are similar in operation, volumes, and size to your operation.
Major costs incurred in this step for
travel, expenses, and time spent
- RECALCULATE FINAL
Make sure all computer hardware, software, maintenance fees,
support, installation, and other costs are updated in the cost
Have vendors redo cost proposals if necessary.
Discuss with team who is #1 and #2 WMS choices. Make written
offer to #1. Fall back to #2 choice if necessary.
- SIGN CONTRACTS - START
With all large computer installations, it takes dedicated staff
and a key individual to drive it to successful implementation.
It is a wise idea to do a pilot project,
so that the expected and agreed upon procedures can be
modeled & changed repetitively before "going live" with
the full warehouse.
Tips: WMS Software Will Work Best If You
by Philip Obal, Industrial
Data & Information Inc.
- Full commitment from upper management on
the WMS Project.
- A separate computer server to run the WMS software.
- A warehouse site survey by Radio Frequency
(RF) Vendor of choice
- Cubed and weighed all products for
proper "bin locator" operation.
- Bar-coded every bin and/or product for
verification of product movement.
- Openness to recommendations made by
software vendors & consultants.
- The involvement & commitment of key
warehouse & IS people.
- A technical computer weirdo type that
knows WMS …. a "sharp shooter!"
- Test, test, and test before going live.
This white paper
is based upon information from the author's book "Selecting Warehouse Software from WMS and ERP Providers". The Advanced
WMS RFI with ScoreCard contains vital items needed
for a diligent software selection project.
About the Author
Philip Obal is President of Industrial Data
& Information Inc, a research-consulting firm that assists
companies in searching, evaluating, and implementing software
for their business. He has designed software for over 25 years
and is author of multiple publications.