The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of WMS implementation.

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Upgrading or implementing a WMS is not a ‘wake up one morning and just decide to do it’ kind of thing. It’s a big deal, and the choices that you make while you’re going through the process can either propel your business to even greater heights or drag down its potential for years to come. 

It’s a significant decision that holds many different opportunities and pitfalls. Sort of like a snakes and ladders board game.  

This how your decisions can affect your business – the good, the bad and the ugly. And we offer you our thoughts respectfully… as a candid guide to WMS implementations. 

The Good – the benefits of an advanced WMS 

Deploying a sophisticated WMS like Dispatcher WMS brings with it a whole heap of benefits. Systems like this will help you to enhance your operational efficiency. They’ll help you optimise your inventory, streamline your operations, and exponentially increase your adaptability to future business changes and growth. 

An advanced WMS becomes the backbone of a streamlined supply chain, and it’s able to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems – allowing you to have a bird’s eye view of your operations, and giving you the ability to make real-time, data-driven decisions. 

Through tangible case studies, businesses that have implemented Dispatcher WMS have typically seen the following results: 

  • Fulfilment cost reductions of 10-50% 
  • Inventory storage & handling cost reductions of 10-35% 
  • Throughput increases of 10-40% 
  • Inventory visibility & accuracy of nearly 100% 
  • Inventory reductions of 5-25% 
  • Dock-to-Stock time reductions of 25-50% 

The Bad – cutting corners can cost you more. 

On the flip side, opting for a cheaper, less functional WMS can initially seem to be more appealing, due to apparent cost savings.  

However, systems like these typically lack the ability to scale or adapt. We are often approached by businesses who initially implemented a WMS-lite, but who have started to struggle, constrained by the limits of the WMS they (often quite recently) implemented. 

  • Typically, if they want to expand, they need to come back to the market and buy a bigger and better WMS.  
  • The WMS now costs more than it did when they initially considered it, because of inflation.  
  • They have to go through the implementation process (with all the operational impact that entails) again. 
  • And they’ve held themselves back in the meantime. 

They’ve been trapped because they implemented a cage that constrained them rather than a platform that would have allowed them to scale their operations, adapt to market changes, and expand with them at the toggle of a function access. 

What was initially a cost-saving measure rapidly became a bottleneck, unable to accommodate the business growth they wanted, or the market demands that evolved along the way.  

We’ve talked a lot about volatility in the supply chain, and systems like these stop far short of allowing their users to adapt to what’s going on in the world around them. 

We understand that sometimes cost is insurmountable. However, we have seen time and time again that thinking short-term – when it comes to savings – can stifle a business’s ability to innovate and respond to what’s going on around it.  

And that this inevitably leads to a loss of competitive edge. 

The Ugly – dealing with misinformation and overpromises. 

We know that Dispatcher WMS isn’t the only WMS available on the market.  

We also know that the WMS market is rife with overpromises and sometimes actual misinformation. 

Some WMS providers do business by undercutting prices and promising features and services that are still under development. Sometimes those features appear, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they are heavier on the bug side than the feature side. 

There are myths too – about systems like Dispatcher WMS being too complex. These myths typically stem from a lack of experience or understanding of such systems. Or possibly from competitors who are trying to sell you something that doesn’t do as much.  

Either way, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Dispatcher WMS, for example, has function accesses to control every aspect of it. That’s why it’s a solution that can grow and scale with your business.  

But you don’t need to use all of them – that’s what they’re there for – to match what you need to what the system can do. They’re there to help you achieve your goals. And you don’t need to worry about dealing with them – because we’ll configure Dispatcher WMS for you during the installation project – that’s why we’re here. 

And then, if you want to change things later to expand your business operations, you can either do it yourself (having learned how the system works by using it) or you can ask someone like us to help. 

Long-term strategy 

If we can offer one piece of (totally unsolicited) advice, it would be to focus on the long-term strategic value of what a WMS offers you, rather than its up-front costs.  

Find something that aligns with your long-term goals. And find a deployment team who will take the time to precisely understand what you want now, and where you eventually want to be, business-wise. 

Find someone who will help you understand what your chosen WMS could do for you. And find someone who will do that without overpromising and without using obscure jargon to muddy the waters. 

There’s a huge synergy to be had between the right WMS, the right deployment team and the potential that’s currently hidden within your business. It’s worth taking the time and making the right investment to unlock it. 

As ever, if you have questions, or you’d like to chat, you can always contact us on 

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