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WMS Installations
Purchasing a warehouse management system may be only the tip of the iceberg for many companies. It is not the purchase itself that poses most of the difficulties in getting a new system up and running - it is the installation and implementation phase that takes time and can cause grief if not properly planned for prior to purchase.

The first difficulty is that there are numerous warehouse management systems on the market and these include a wide range of variables. There is no such thing as standard or a standard interface. Neither is there a standard in existing legacy systems or enterprise resource planning systems that the new warehouse management system will have to be integrated with. It has been said that the primary problems associated with integrating a warehouse management system with an ERP system or with a legacy system are associated with a collision of business processes, not with technology.

Companies can take some steps toward making the whole implementation process easier on everyone concerned. The first step is to develop a short list of prospective vendors and discuss implementation strategies with them. Interface analysis, mapping of databases and employee training are just a few of the implementation strategies that need to be discussed up front. Necessary modifications to existing systems need to be talked about and planned for by company management.

Experts advise that customers get help in implementing a warehouse management system - either from the vendor that sold it to them or from an outside consultant. Vendors and consultants are focused solely on getting the system up and running and have implemented the same types of systems numerous times before. On the other hand, the customer likely has never implemented such a system and needs to concentrate on running a business at the same time. The vendor or consultant can provide services that streamline the process and make it happen as quickly as possible. A detailed list of requirements can help the customer understand the process thoroughly and make decisions along the way.

Vendors say that it is easier to integrate a warehouse management system with a ERP system than it is with many legacy systems. The ERP system, which has been previously implemented, leads the customer to knowing how to prepare for an enterprise process including team selection and all of the other decisions and problems that can arise in such a situation.

The most important consideration, however, should not be whether the warehouse management system integrates readily with a existing ERP system and that should not be the chief criteria used in selecting a WMS system. Seamless integration is not the most important issue. Whether or not the warehouse management system meets all of the customers needs and contains all of the features necessary for expediting business are the primary considerations.



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