If your warehouse management system is outdated, no longer up to the task, or simply nonexistent in digital form, it’s time to look for something new. There are a number of different warehouse management systems out there, but not all of these systems are created equally.
In fact, some of them, while outstanding systems in their own right, may actually be horrible for your warehouse and your needs. If you’re going to implement a new warehouse management system, here are a few tips that can make the process a little easier.
Make a List of Your Needs
Before implementing a new system, you want to make certain that the system has everything you need. Make a list of your must-haves and a list of your would-likes. If a system doesn’t match up with all of your needs, don’t get it. You’ll only get frustrated in the end.
Look for Compatibility
Just like you wouldn’t buy a new pallet rack that wasn’t compatible with your space in regards to heights and width, you wouldn’t buy a new system that wasn’t compatible with your old. Make certain that whatever new management system you decide to buy will fully import your old data.
Otherwise, you may find that you have to rebuild some of your product database or that some of your history is gone forever. While losing historical data may not be the worst thing ever, it is useful to have for charting trends and predicting patterns in shipping needs.
Back Up Your Data
When you begin to implement your new system, don’t import the only copy of your old database. If something goes wrong, that information could become corrupt or lost forever. Make sure you have a backup version somewhere. If possible, export your data to a new file and then import that file into your new system. That way, you can always fire up the old system to access your data in the event of a disaster.
Keep the Old System Around
In fact, you should probably keep your old warehouse management system around for at least a few months. This gives you time to figure out your new system and make sure it really does do everything that you need it to do. If you have a huge amount of data, it may also take this long to notice that something is missing or has been corrupted. Having the old system on hand just in case can be a lifesaver.
Have a Training Schedule in Place
You don’t want to have your new system in place only to realize that no one actually knows how to use it. You want to have some kind of schedule set so that the people who need to be able to use the system can be trained on it as soon as possible. The quicker training is done, the quicker you can make use of your new system as efficiently as possible. Make arrangements with the company installing your system to provide training if possible.