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How to Choose a Warehouse Management System

Knowing how to select the best Warehouse Management System (WMS) is the first step to making an informed decision. Whether you’re the decision maker or part of the decision making team for your business, you’ll need all the right information before you create a shortlist and ultimately choose a WMS.

There are many benefits of implementing a WMS in your warehouse and we have previously explored both the advantages and disadvantages of warehouse management systems in a previous article.

4 minutes

Written by Danielle Allen

5 steps to select a warehouse management system

It can be difficult to know where to start when you’re looking to implement a new system or replace an existing one, so we’ve put together 5 steps to help you choose the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your business. 

1. Map out your WMS requirements

The first step we recommend is to spend some time mapping out your system requirements and which processes you’d like to run through your chosen WMS. If you already have a warehouse management system in place, this may be simpler as you’ll already have some processes running through software and can identify any gaps. 

Some of the things we encourage you to consider are:

  • Which processes will you run through the WMS?
  • What improvements you’d like to see with a WMS?
  • Which integrations you require a connection to?
  • Which features are a ‘must-have’ and which are a ‘would like to have’?

2. Understand the key features and benefits of each option

Once you have your requirements, you can begin looking at software options for warehouse management systems and explore the features and benefits that they offer. Start with a large list of possible software options and look into the features for each; with that information you can begin narrowing your options if they do not match all of your ‘must-have’ features. 

If you need a little help on deciding which features are important to your business, you can check out our list of the 10 key features of a WMS.

3. Research each WMS for a deeper understanding 

Once you’ve identified your top candidates that match your requirements, you should start gathering more information on each software option. Many software providers offer options such as demos of the systems or free trials to show you more of the system. 

You can also seek other people's experiences by looking at review sites, case studies or by asking the software provider to connect you with some of their customers or advocates that can give you honest feedback on their systems. 

We’d also recommend you ask the providers for detailed information on other things that could be important to you; such as what their customer support is like, how frequently they update their system (top tip – their release notes may also provide an insight), and what their future development road map looks like. 

4. Consider cost of the system vs. return on investment (ROI)

The cost of a new WMS system is going to be an important consideration in your decision making process. You’ll want to find out the initial cost per month or per annum, whether there are any set-up costs, any additional costs for training, development or custom integrations, and also think about whether there will be any cost to your business for downtime as you transfer between systems.

You will also want to look at that cost against the potential return on investment (ROI) you’ll see from implementing the system. Some typical ways you’ll see a return on investment is money saving through the reduction in errors, potential increases in revenue due to being able to scale up your operations.

For some guidance on the cost of a warehouse management system, you can check out our article, how much does a WMS cost.

5. Make your final decision

With all the information you’ve pieced together, through comparing features to requirements, speaking to users of the system and considering cost vs. ROI, you can make an informed and measured decision about which warehouse management system will work best for your business.

Should you choose Mintsoft as your WMS?

Mintsoft offers WMS software that can help you to automate and streamline your warehouse operations, take control of your processes and ultimately improve productivity. With intuitive features such as real-time stock updates, batch picking and mobile barcode scanning, you can truly optimise how you run your business and offer great customer service. We can show you more about our system in a personalised demo, with one of our product experts.

You can also check out our article exploring the 5 best WMS systems.