Logistics Hub Providers: 3 Tips for Selecting a WMS

When shopping for a car, your overall goal is to find a vehicle that fits your needs and preferences.  If you have kids you’ll want something with a lot of room like an SUV or a minivan.  If you travel a lot, a car with great fuel economy is a must.  If you carry a lot of materials or find yourself “off-road” often enough, you’ll be shopping for a truck.  Beyond that there are other niceties that are great, but may not be necessary.  On board WiFi, air conditioned seats, and more can all add value to your vehicle, but they also add to the price tag.  A warehouse management system can do the same thing.

In an economy that has more competition than ever before, where you are selling to more informed consumers with more options, streamlining your supply chain is a critical objective.  Whether your goal is to lower price points, expedite shipping, or to simply make your daily operations more efficient, a warehouse management system can achieve all of these goals.  However just like when you kick the tires at a dealership, you need to know what you need.  Here are three tips to help you implement or upgrade your WMS.

1.) E-Commerce Management: E-commerce shoppers and merchants are making up an exponentially larger part of the market each year.  At the end of 2015, over $350 billion were spent online.  This is a huge opportunity for both B2B & B2C e-commerce companies and their corresponding supply chains.  Implementing a warehouse management system that can understand, organize, and communicate the velocity and inventory demands of an e-commerce outlet can ease the frustration and streamline the complex nature of these orders.

2.) Analytics: Information is everything.  The more you have of it, the better decisions you’ll be able to make.  However, even with all of the information in the world, if it isn’t presented in the right way, at the right time, it may not be that useful.  With all of the data that your WMS captures, one of the most useful ways to leverage it is to set internal standards.  These internal standards can justify new tech and equipment investments, and furthermore, can identify an ROI based on performance against these benchmarks.

3.) Mobility: Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized many activities in our everyday lives; the same is true for actions taken within the warehouse.  From mobile devices to cloud based applications, the ability to capture and send data from virtually anywhere is streamlining supply chains.  Your WMS should provide and support these devices as well.  Whether it’s an Android or iOS app on a phone, or software on a tablet, your WMS should be able to communicate with these platforms.

As technology continues to change the way our businesses operate, as well as how consumers shop, it will become more important to have resources that can react to these developments.  Within the four walls of the warehouse, the WMS is a vital tool.  For over 75 years Barrett Distribution Centers has helped businesses create customized supply chain solutions.  With a focus on technology and visibility, Barrett can meet transportation, fulfillment, warehousing, and logistics needs from coast-to-coast.