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WMS platform implementation

Dawid Rój, Project Manager at Asiston, talks about the implementation of the WMS system and determines what affects its value for the company.

The WMS system supports the control and coordination of warehouse processes. It streamlines and speeds up the management of warehouse logistics in many areas.

In the previous article, Dawid Rój, Project Manager at Asiston wrote about the preparation for the implementation of the WMS system. Today we'll see what a WMS implementation looks like and the value it brings to a company.


Is the WMS platform easy to use?

Dawid Rój: It depends on the platform. One of the main benefits of Asiston WMS is the user-friendly UX. It was designed from scratch in such a way to be easy in use and user-friendly. Because of this approach, introducing a person to the new system is not as time-consuming as it was before.

The presentation of data, depending on the department in the company, has been adapted to provide the user only with the necessary data. This enables easy identification of information that can result in fulfilling the task later. An example is the release of goods by a warehouse keeper. When processing the order, the user already knows what goods to collect, how many of them does he need, and where to find them. For a warehouse keeper, such information is sufficient to properly complete his task.

The Asiston WMS system is also adapted to be used on mobile devices. This means that working with data collectors, tablets or other devices is even easier and user-friendly.

Are there any courses on the operation of the system?

Dawid Rój: When implementing a new warehouse management system or any other large IT platform, proper training can be of great importance in maximizing your return on investment.

User training can reduce errors, maximize performance, and test many of its features so that your team has time to make mistakes and develop before it impacts the financial performance of the company. Trainings are conducted both during the implementation of the WMS system and after its completion. Thanks to this, the company's employees have support when they start using the system in the final version.

Is WMS adapted to be used on mobile devices?

Dawid Rój: Of course! This is particularly important as mobile devices facilitate the performance of various everyday warehouse tasks. They function all the time, even when moving between locations, because of accessing a cellular network and Wi-Fi. This enables employees to efficiently track, collect, put away, fulfil orders or move inventory without worrying about poor Wi-Fi connection, a problem that often appears in warehouses.

The mobile support of the WMS system also enables the team to take steps to solve problems. A traditional scanner may be able to see goods that should be on the shelves, but the handy access to the mobile WMS system will help you check the expected inventory levels or the latest history to see a data gap in moving inventory or order fulfilment that should be done on a regular basis.

Pairing your mobile WMS with your existing scanners and smartphones with scanner attachments will allow you to expand your WMS inputs using existing hardware that is provided to your employees.

Mobile access via applications and web portals provides easy usage of existing technology and improve work. Especially because of the fact that WMS works on various (customer-oriented) devices with Android and iOS as well as mobile phones, tablets, and scanners from brands such as e.g. Zebra. Those devices support the team while working in a familiar environment and reduces the time needed to learn and start using it successfully with the new technology.


WMS implementation

What are the costs of implementing the system?

Dawid Rój: As we have already mentioned, the cost of implementing the WMS system ranges from a very few to several hundred thousand zlotys. The upper limit does not actually exist and depends on the expectations of the client towards the system - what functions and integrations they need. The cost is one of the main limitations while selecting possible software vendors.

How long does it take to implement the system? What does it depend on?

Dawid Rój: A standard implementation of a warehouse management system usually takes from 4 to 6 months. This time depends largely on the size of the organization, the number of warehouse facilities, the character of system integration, and the number of solution improvements (if any).

What are the various stages of system implementation? Can the company function in the regular way during the implementation process?

Dawid Rój: For WMS to be really effective, it must reflect the actual business needs of a given enterprise. It must also ensure business continuity and failure-free operation. Therefore, only a systematic and methodical approach to such a project can guarantee its success. The implementation of the WMS system should be divided into several stages.

Implementation of a warehouse management system

Phase I - requirements analysis.
The most important thing to do at the beginning is to define the implementation goals and calculate the costs. It is one of the two planning stages because of which you can pre-define the requirements, and that is related to the comprehensive determination of the WMS implementation budget.

Phase II - pre-implementation analysis.
Thanks to the analysis, we can create an advanced design of the entire system. It concerns, among others, the identification of customer requirements regarding the functioning of the warehouse. Thanks to this, we can even better adapt the flexible WMS system to the customer's requirements.

Phase III - implementation of additional interface changes to the external system.
In this phase, all additional functionalities resulting from the previous analyses are prepared. The test run of the system also takes place during this phase.

Phase IV - employee training.
After the test run, it is time to train employees to properly operate the WMS and to present them with all the possibilities.

Phase V - actual implementation of the system.
It is the main and the most difficult stage of the WMS implementation process. It can be said, that in this phase all the magic happen. Experts carry out the complicated, but repeatedly practiced process of the overall WMS implementation in the enterprise.

Can the company function normally during the implementation process?

Dawid Rój: Yes, we start implementing the system as a test version. Testing the system does not interfere with the functioning of the company. After positive approval of the tests by the client, the system is uploaded to the production version, which happens outside working hours.

Do you provide a post-implementation support? Can the client ask any questions or report problems after the implementation?

Dawid Rój: After implementation, we do not leave our customers alone. We feel responsible for the system we have implemented, which is why we provide post-implementation support. Customers can report problems under the warranty and beyond it.

Does the implementation work include only introducing the WMS system into the company's structures or is it also your task to solve problems on the client's side or to improve processes?

Dawid Rój: We solve problems as part of post-implementation support. Due to the fact that all systems are of our own, we constantly improve them.

WMS system modules

What are the system modules most often chosen by your clients?

Dawid Rój: Most often clients choose the basic modules. Also:

  • Warehouse - the module contains a list of stored products, enables efficient browsing and searching via categories. Orders for issuing and receiving goods are created.
  • Reports - the system provides information on receipts, releases, and transfers of goods. The generated document is a structured confirmation of the work performed.
  • Visualization - enables you to preview the distribution of products. The general view is a plan of the warehouse, on which the racks are marked with various colours. The detailed view consists of levels of the segment with slots and pallet places.
  • Configuration - the module allows you to manage, create, edit, or delete packages. System task can also be created.
  • Administration panel - a module responsible for adding, editing, and removing application users. The possibility to define the user's role in the application.
  • Warehouse receptions - a product receipt card is created in the module by selecting a product category, then, by scanning barcodes, it assigns appropriate goods to it. After completing the information, the file is exported to Subiekt.
  • Inventory transfers - allows you to transfer goods or materials between racks, levels, slots, and warehouse locations.
  • Warehouse releases - the module enables you to locate and scan barcodes on the ordered products. This way you can close the order. After completion, a notification appears in the Subject.
  • Helpdesk - a module responsible for receiving requests from users and controlling solutions.

After the implementation of the WMS system

Does the WMS system develop with the company? How can a WMS system be developed?

Dawid Rój: A good WMS system must develop along with the company. Today's enterprises have more and more needs, therefore the WMS should meet all expectations.

The system should be updated with new modules and be improved on a regular basis. The implementation can be staged to enable continuous updates with newly developed functions in a consistent manner, thus maintaining the efficiency of the warehouses. This allows the warehouse to introduce new processes and innovations over time.

Can the implementation of the system in a real way translate into an increase in the company's profits?

Dawid Rój: Of course! A good WMS solution will help you increase your profits as follows:

Greatly improved accuracy. Accuracy in warehouse has a huge impact on the costs. Whether it's due to mistakes happening during the time of order information introduction, misplacement of products, incorrect location or packaging of the product, or mismanaged inventory, incorrect data can seriously affect operating costs that lower profits. Having an automated data collection system that digitizes inventory management and helps pickers and packers in the warehouse. It can increase the accuracy up to 99.9%.

Higher efficiency. Increasing the efficiency of your warehouse can have a big impact on costs. Thanks to automated data collection, you no longer need to enter paper data, or re-enter information into the system. All data is refreshed in real time. This allows employees to do more productive things during their work time. Access to data is also more easily accessible so that inventory counting is done automatically, without having to close the warehouse for a few days to count products.

Better cost management. There are several factors that affect warehouse management, including data entry, picking, and packaging. Data entry is digitized, picking is easier with more efficient routes that require less time to traverse the warehouse, and packing is more accurate with scanning. All of these factors contribute to more efficient use of manpower, due to less traffic and the possibility of making mistakes.

Eliminating shortages in inventory. Avoiding deficiencies can have a big impact on your financial result. The more frequently orders are processed quickly and the fewer errors your customers experience, the more likely they are to come back. If customers feel frustrated while waiting for an order to be fulfilled, many buy it elsewhere or simply change a supplier.

To sum up: what are the biggest advantages of implementing a WMS system?

Dawid Rój: The benefits of the warehouse management system:

  • Optimized space and lower operating costs
  • Accurate visibility of inventory
  • More efficient staff
  • Easy material identification
  • Optimized Supply Chain
  • Use of additional automation technologies in the warehouse
  • Efficient shipment management for better customer service

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