Submitted on Thu, 2014-10-30
By Jim Laverty

The 6th part in our ongoing series on how to best budget for and purchase new technology within your supply chain.

How to Get Your Warehouse Management System Approved

A warehouse management system will have a huge impact on the daily operations within your warehouse, and in turn, the job security of most warehouse managers. Bring in the right system and you’ll look like a genius and advance your career immeasurably. Keep the status quo and you risk never being noticed for anything positive. Do the systems you have in place to manage your supply chain help or hurt you?

Follow these four simple rules below and you should have no problem at all getting approval for the WMS of your dreams:

1. Know Your Organization’s Goals

The leadership within your organization has a vision for the company, and the better you can fit a WMS into that vision, the higher chance you have for budget approval. You’re competing for dollars with a number of other proposals within your organization, so you need to be able to show why your proposal will help them achieve those goals better than anything else will.

 

2. Do Your Research

Once you have a firm understanding of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses to determine what your WMS needs to be able to do, dive headfirst into the WMS industry. There are hundreds of different warehouse management systems out there right now, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Compare and contrast the systems you’ve researched to find the one that best achieves your business goals.

When you’re presenting your budget for approval, you’re going to receive hard questions about why you chose this system over the rest. Why did you choose cloud-based over on premise? Why is one systems billing features better than another system? Which system can more easily scale with your organization’s growth? Make sure you’ve fully researched the systems so that you can clearly explain why your choice is the best one for your organization.

 

3. Fully Communicate Costs and ROI

Whether or not your budget is approved pretty much always comes down to whether or not you can fully justify the costs. Focus on these three key metrics to get your leadership to buy into your vision.

Total Cost of Ownership for the WMS — go beyond the sticker price and fully explain. Be sure to read our previous post to learn more about some of the extra costs you may be forgetting to add to your new cloud-based WMS budget. Demonstrate that you’ve fully gauged the impact of the WMS on your organization to receive more buy in.

The Cost of Not Changing Your WMS — how much money does your organization lose every year due to fines or lost inventory from having an inaccurate way of measuring inventory levels in your warehouse? If you’re a 3PL, how much are you under billing certain clients because you can’t accurately track the amount of storage space they take up at any given moment? The cost of not changing your WMS can often be more than the cost of a brand new WMS itself. Before you’ve even done anything with it, the saved costs from accuracy gains you can attribute to the new WMS can quickly justify its cost.

The ROI of the New WMS — ultimately, this figure is the most important part of any major software purchase. How long is it going to take before the benefits of the system begin to outweigh its costs? Show why the WMS you’ve picked will quickly make its purchase price back and then some. From better labor management to better inventory management and everything in between in your warehouse, show why the WMS will be a revenue driver for your organization.

 

4. Cater Your Message to Your Audience

Now that you know which WMS you want to recommend for purchase, you have to be able to present it in a compellingly way your board of directors will lap right up. If you know your CEO is interested in labor management, be sure to highlight all of the savings you can achieve in labor costs with a new WMS. With your intimate understanding of your organization’s goals from the first step in the WMS selection process, you should have a great idea of where leadership wants the company to go and how the WMS you’ve selected is perfect for achieving their goals.


Learn more about how irms|WM’s supply chain solutions will fit in your budget and help boost revenue and business growth by answering a few easy questions in our WMS Quick Quote form today.


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