Avoiding WMS Myth-stakes

If you’ve been searching for a warehouse management system (WMS), you may find it helpful to avoid getting caught up in the “big myths” about such systems. These myths were compiled by Rene Jones, president and COO of Burbank, CA-based AHN Corporation. Jones says that it’s essential to separate fact from fiction, whether speaking with a software vendor, a system user, or even your own people.

Myth #1 — Huge Staff Reductions. Many WMS vendors will claim their systems can reduce staff by as much as 30% in the first year. Jones says any staff reductions are usually unrelated to the WMS itself.

Myth #2 — Quick and Easy Implementation. Claims that the system will be up and running in six months should be taken with a grain of salt; most companies have problems that need to be addressed before the go-live date, and proper implementation is rarely done in less than a year, says Jones.

Myth #3 — Fast and Big ROI. Jones says claims of return on investment in 18 to 36 months are a myth. Most companies, he notes, don’t even know what the full cost of the system, including implementation, integration and consultants, actually is — so they can’t possibly calculate when they will recoup that investment.

Myth #4 — You Need All the Bells and Whistles. Jones says be careful when you evaluate a system based on features and functionality that sound wonderful. If you look at them carefully, you’ll probably find that most are things you don’t really need; anything other than “just the basics” will probably incur additional costs as well.

Next week, we’ll present Jones’ tips on how to assess current warehouse processes in order to find the best WMS to fit your needs.

In addition to being president & COO of AHN Corporation (a warehouse management solutions provider to small and medium-sized businesses), Rene Jones is the founder of Total Logistics Solutions Inc. He can be reached at (818) 353-2962 or via e-mail at rene.jones@ahninc.com.

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