Cloud-Based or Locally Installed: The WMS applications featured in this review are entirely cloud-based or are installed, hosted, and managed locally. In some cases, the software developer for specific WMS applications offers both options. Based on your company’s needs, choose which will be most beneficial.
“Whether to choose cloud-based or locally installed warehouse management software depends on the specific needs and preferences of a business,” says Kiran Mehra, co-founder and president of Goldspot Pens. “Cloud-based solutions offer advantages, such as accessibility from anywhere, automatic updates, and scalability. Locally installed systems provide greater control and security. It’s important to evaluate a business’s infrastructure, budget, and desired level of control before making this decision.”
Scalability and Flexibility: Choose software that can accommodate your current warehouse size and operations, but that offers room for future growth and customization.
“Choosing a WMS is a big decision, the kind of thing you want to get right the first time,” says Kenny William, senior director at Parts Town, which sells restaurant equipment parts. “You want your WMS to grow with your company for many years to come. You need to choose the right software to grow and change with your business and at the same time, find a reliable partner in the WMS vendor you work with.”
He adds that WMS software is essential for scaling. “If a company wants to grow and actually keep track of every unit, some kind of specialized WMS or inventory management software is needed.”
Integration Capabilities: Ensure the software can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, such as e-commerce platforms, accounting software, CMS, and shipping carriers you work with.
Inventory Tracking Methods: Look for support for various inventory tracking methods, including batch, serial, lot tracking, and RFID, to suit your specific tracking needs.
“One key feature to consider when choosing warehouse management software is real-time inventory tracking, as it allows for accurate stock monitoring, reducing the risk of stockouts or overstock situations,” says Ilan Nass, Chief Revenue Officer at the digital marketing agency Taktical.
Order Fulfillment Features: Prioritize software that streamlines order picking, packing, and shipping processes, catering to different order types and volumes.
Automation and Workflow Tools: Consider software with automation features like barcode scanning, automatic replenishment, and rule-based workflows to optimize efficiency.
Reporting and Analytics: Choose a platform that offers robust reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights into inventory levels, order history, and overall warehouse performance.
User-Friendly Interface: Opt for user-friendly software with an intuitive interface and a customizable dashboard. It should offer easy navigation for your warehouse staff.
Mobile Accessibility: Select software that provides a mobile app or responsive web design for real-time access and management while on the move.
Customer Support and Training: Evaluate the level of customer support offered, including availability of phone, email, and live chat support, as well as training options and online-based support resources.
Total Cost of Ownership: Calculate the total cost of ownership, considering upfront costs, subscription fees, additional modules, and potential return on investment.