As a business you would like to select a WMS because you want to implement efficiencies in the warehouse and lower item handling costs. Once you have decided to look at WMS vendors there are variables you will need to consider.
Firstly if the WMS is a real time WMS and needs to query the ERP database then you will need WIFI implemented through the warehouse. Commercial access points would be recommend to use and it is best to have a heat map completed to know if there are any weak or dead spots in the warehouse where there will be no connectivity. When a real time WMS is scanning bin location barcodes or product barcodes the WMS is making an entry back to the database which could be on premise or on cloud.
If you would like to implement a WMS then you will need to define the bin and rack locations in the ERP or WMS. A lot of the time clients will have the Pick Face Location in an extra field kept in the ERP, as when they print a picking slip the items will be to pick will be displayed in bin location order. However, when implementing a multi bin WMS all bin locations will need to be kept in the ERP or WMS depending whether your ERP has the feature of multi bin.
Once you have setup all the bin locations, you will need to get them barcoded. With a WMS solution for multi bin, the operator is constantly scanning bin locations. The user could be scanning the bin locations during bin transfers, or during the picking process or during a stocktake. It is very important to start considering what height the barcodes should be and the position of the operator who will be scanning the barcodes. Will the operator be walking or will they be driving a forklift? You will need to make sure the operator can easily scan the bin location barcodes during the processes of picking, bin transfers, stocktaking e.t.c.
For a lot of customers, not all products will be barcoded. To ensure the efficiency of a WMS, customers will need to consider how to have these products barcoded. Some users will place a barcode on the pick face for the product if they are using static pick face bin locations. Other customers will barcode these items when they come in through the Goods Receiving process.
Lastly, when implementing a WMS you will want to implement a WMS that is going to last you over time. Like an ERP solution, it is very difficult to change WMS solutions once you have implemented. With the ever changing landscape of technology, implementing a WMS which takes advantages of the latest technology should be a big consideration. You will need the choice of having your WMS implemented on cloud servers, being able to use any device with any operating system and ensuring your WMS can take advantage of IOT and being loosely coupled. This will allow users to take advantages of products such as Power BI, freight integration and other API's.
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