How do you determine if the time is right for a new WMS? With a focused approach you can determine the right time and the parameters needed for success. At Bricz, we have successfully utilized a five step approach to evaluate upgrades for customers.
Master Systems Landscape
- Are you a retailer that intends to consolidate inventory for a streamlined Omni-channel experience? If so, evaluate vendors that offer an integrated supply chain platform solution.
- Does your organization intend to add extensive automation to distribution centers? In such a case, review vendors that offer native integration capability for advanced AS/RS, Conveyor systems, etc.
- Is there a significant change in the composition of your network or to your overall distribution model? With clarity on the future state of your network, it may be time to upgrade to a WMS solution that will better service your vision.
- Have you invested in advanced analytics, identified process improvements and standardization for your global distribution? There is no better time for a systems upgrade than with clear business cases for efficiency and cost savings. Let your systems catch up with the process opportunities.
- Do you need to improve the inventory visibility and tracking in your distribution center and across your supply chain? Best of the breed distribution solutions offer advanced visibility with the ability to take action. Review and determine if these solutions are right for you.
- Is your organization focused on improving overall customer experience? It may be time to investigate solutions that support buy online, buy online & pick up in store, Last mile delivery.
Establish Strategic Options
- Choose a new WMS provider if the product roadmap of your current vendor does not align with your future state vision.
- Upgrade your current WMS to advanced versions with the same vendor when there is a match. You’ve probably built niche skill set in house to support the WMS and all that knowledge is readily transferable to your upgraded version.
- Assess feasibility to augment your WMS with extensible bolt on solutions if your future state need is siloed outside of your current WM and you are satisfied with your WMS core functions.
- Develop a WMS in house for your specific needs. Software development is probably not your core business focus and is only worth evaluating when your distribution needs are so unique that there are no providers who meet your requirements out of the box.
Review Technology Considerations
- Establish your technology roadmap, identify burning platforms and pre-requisite 3rdparty solutions that will get to end of life.
- Involve enterprise architects to assess current and future state architecture to ensure enterprise alignment of your supply chain systems.
- Investigate and document the flexibility of the WMS system for in-house extensions.
- Consider if you have the right technology skill set required for your upgrade.
- Understand the ability to automate repetitive tasks, particularly if your network involves multiple distribution centers.
Understand Maintenance & TCO
- 1. Is your WMS heavily customized? You probably added requirements piece-meal. With an upgrade with your existing vendor, the vendor will be able to recommend a more efficient path.
- If you are beyond your support and maintenance lifecycle and debating between in-house maintenance and a WMS upgrade, be sure to consider your overall support costs and lost efficiency opportunities with an up to date WMS.
- Consider soft benefits of keeping your team motivated with the opportunity to learn something new – with more of the same, you end up losing key talent thereby adding cost.
- If you do not have a labor management solution, consider implementing a solution to derive recurring cost savings.
Champion Business Case