You’re planning to automate your warehouse, but how to choose the right warehouse management system (WMS) to go between the automation and ERP? There are many options as the automation suppliers offer their own WMSs and there are also companies selling WMSs separately.
One of the major factors in the total efficiency of a warehouse is that the various processes of the warehouse function together seamlessly and the combining of material flows from different warehouse areas is controlled, faultless and efficient. Additionally, there is an increasing amount of refining work done in warehouses.
Analyze the steps of your warehouse:
When large acquisitions are made, it is wise to look beyond the present into the future. What does your automation look like in five years? Do you see yourself needing other warehouse automation solutions in addition to the first automation, such as AGVs or stacker cranes?
If you choose a separate WMS, you won’t be bound to a specific supplier and the possibilities they offer. This way, you can choose the best alternative for your warehouse also in the future. If your strategy is to commit to a single automation supplier, then the WMS offered by the supplier is a good solution.
Even though a large portion of Finnish companies operate internationally, production and logistics is done in Finnish. Often problem situations are complicated and it is good to receive support in your own language.
Business is continually changing meaning that the chosen systems have to evolve too. In this case, it is easy when the service provider is in the same country and speaks the same language as you.
Choose a partner and system that are continuously evolving. This guarantees the lifespan of the system.
When new acquisitions are being considered, it would be best if the automation and WMS acquisitions were not done at the same time. WMS requires that the master data is in order (e.g., product information, purchase and sales orders) and teaches the staff to work under system management. After this, automation implementation is much easier. When the acquisition order is this, it is also easier to control risks.