Warehouse Management Systems
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is software that controls the processes of the warehouse, enabling and tracking the movement of inventory into, within and out of the distribution centre. They are deployed to drive efficiencies within the operation, plan and prioritise workloads and maintain accurate stock. Our service ranges from the evaluation to the specification, testing, and implementation of the WMS.
It is important to use a warehouse management system that is appropriate for your business. They are categorised in tiers; with tier 1 solutions aimed at large, complex operations and enterprise clients and tier 3 solutions used for smaller businesses with simpler requirements.
The key deliverables of a WMS project depend on the specific requirements of each project but could include a report that identifies the potential improvements to the current processes or performing independent Gap Analysis versus the latest functionality offered on the market. The deliverable might also take the form of a requirements document to be shared as part of a competitive tender process and extend to the management of the selection process and award to a WMS provider. Our expertise can also extend to the project management, testing, implementation, and go-live support.
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Typical Project Approach
We develop a strong working understanding of your warehouse operations with a site(s) visit. A kick-off workshop and interviews with key stakeholders, including IT help to further our knowledge of the project requirements and WMS landscape and IT infrastructure. A high-level process review with a WMS super user completes our familiarisation.
We conduct a detailed walk through the end-to-end warehouse processes with super users and members of the warehouse team to understand of the As-Is flows. At this stage, we take the opportunity to also document the requirements as we go through this process along with all the interfaces with other systems. This also includes understanding the flow of information through the IT architecture.
The current processes and operational requirements are compared to the functionality available across the Warehouse Management System marketplace to understand where the existing process and system functionality does not meet the operational requirements. We then document the gaps or non-standard processes and requirements, which inform the To-Be flows.
Current processes are updated to include the new steps to meet the operational requirements. We start with standardised processes as far as possible while considering requirements and trying to bridge the identified gaps to optimise flows. The agreed ‘To-Be’ processes might be deployed within the current system, and if not, they form the basis of a selection process for new WMS software.
A tender process is initiated for a new or upgraded WMS software. The agreed requirements and process flows can be documented in the form of a Functional Specification or RFQ which can contribute to a tender based selection process. A shortlist of appropriate solution providers is provided with a comprehensive RFQ pack. Vendor solution proposals are submitted and reviewed to select a preferred vendor based on a blend of financial and non-financial criteria.
BoxLogic can support through the next steps with project management, implementation, and go-live support.
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