In our company, The RIC Group, our Supply Chain Solution is now in its fourth generation, and we've been successfully implementing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) for over two decades. Implementing a WMS can significantly enhance efficiency and labour optimization, ensuring a business's ability to scale.
So, why do many businesses continue with the status quo? Surprisingly, the discussions I had with potential clients 20 years ago are strikingly similar to those I have today when visiting new prospects. The majority of these prospects are still relying on paper-based processes, and their warehouse operations remain entirely manual. It's a common scenario, regardless of a business's size or revenue.
The question often asked by these prospects is, 'What exactly are we getting here?'
Change can be a daunting prospect, especially in the world of business. The status quo represents a comfortable and safe zone, leading business owners to ask, 'Why fix something that isn't broken?' I frequently hear, 'We know our current processes are inefficient, but they get the job done.' When selling software, there's often a fear of loss, where prospects worry about technical performance or the monetary investment required.
In my view, the status quo is essentially 'cost-to-delay.' Sticking to outdated processes incurs hidden costs, leading to decreased productivity, missed opportunities, and errors. The status quo negatively impacts efficiency, effectiveness, and overall productivity, hindering a business's growth potential.
Recently, I revisited a couple of our customers who were initially hesitant to implement a WMS. However, as we began to implement the Warehouse Management Solution, they quickly embraced the disruption when they witnessed immediate return on investment and the removal of inefficiencies.
One of our customers shared that it used to take them three days to ship an order, but now they manage same-day shipments thanks to the scalable process provided by the WMS. Moreover, the volume of orders has naturally increased because customers now trust that their orders will arrive promptly. For this customer using our last-mile delivery, the moment orders are picked, consignment labels are generated and applied to the pallets, eliminating the inefficiency of waiting for freight labels, manual data entry, and ERP updates. This alone saved the customer two hours of labour each day, equating to 20 hours per week and close to 1,000 hours per year.
Both customers reported that, over the last 15 years, the most significant return on their investment in technology was the Warehouse Management Solution. The efficiency gains alone justified the investment within the first year. They emphasized that this return on investment far exceeded what they experienced with ERP system upgrades, often considered the more phased approach to IT projects.
I encourage businesses not to focus on what they are 'buying,' but rather to embrace disruption. Failing to do so essentially results in buying into a 'cost-to-delay' scenario.
Contact Paul on his email to talk further.