The Top Five Reasons Your WMS Implementation Keeps Failing

June 27th 2013 16:20:20 PM

Warehouse management systems (WMS) are notorious for being difficult to implement. While many warehouses have experienced great success during the implementation process, many more have resulted in failure. This can be more than frustrating to companies who have dedicated extensive time and money into the project. Why do so many warehouse management system implementations fail, and how can you ensure a seamless WMS implementation?

We assist many companies with warehouse management system implementations every year, so we have seen and experienced the problems firsthand. Just like with any other software implementation, a warehouse management system implementation requires extensive knowledge, time and resources.  Companies have to be committed to the system’s success and have a well thought-out implementation plan.

Before we begin pointing out the reasons your WMS implementation may have failed, you need to understand what constitutes failure. A failed warehouse management system implementation occurs when a company runs massively over the set budget or does not meet the initial objectives of the WMS implementation. The purpose of implementing a warehouse management system is to accurately keep track of products in the warehouse and where they are located. If your implementation does not accomplish this, then you are looking at a failed WMS project.

We have compiled a list of the top five reasons warehouse management systems implementations fail and how you can work to overcome these obstacles.

1. You Have Not Created a Formal Implementation Process
If you have not sat down and written out a formal implementation process, you are risking a failed implementation. Companies who just “wing it” and expect to figure it out along the way have much higher results of failure than companies who plan out the implementation process as best as they can. If you do not know how to go about implementing a warehouse management system, seek expert help. Trust us, you will save a substantial amount of time and money in the long run.

2. You Have Unrealistic Deadlines
When you are implementing a warehouse management system, make sure to set realistic and achievable deadlines. Companies often underestimate the time it will take to switch over to an automated system and end up going over budget.

3. You are Not Involving the Right People
Make sure that all of the people who will be impacted by the WMS implementation are involved in the project. By not involving the right people from the beginning, you risk confusion, territorial arguments, and lack of ownership from various departments. As a result, your project will lack the support needed to create a successful implementation effort.

4.You Have False or Unrealistic Expectations
Many warehouse management system implementations fail due to companies trying to achieve too much at one time. If you are trying to achieve too many outcomes or have set unrealistic expectations, you need to take a step back and prioritize. You cannot fix everything with the initial implementation, so choose the top two or three most desirable outcomes and focus on accomplishing those. If you have too many areas to improve, your implementation will fail. Lack of centralized focus will only spread your attention too far.

5.Your Users are Not Being Trained Effectively
The biggest reason warehouse management system implementations fail is because WMS users are not trained properly. If you are going to invest the money to implement the system right, you need to invest the money to train the users of the system. Untrained software users often create more problems that will take longer to resolve. Save time and money now by training them from the beginning.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Do you have anything else to add regarding failed warehouse management system implementations? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

If you need any help implementing your warehouse management system, give us a call today at (330) 645-9959. We will be happy to assist you in getting your warehouse management system up and running so you can start improving your efficiency today.


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