As a small business, your warehouse is one of the most crucial parts of your business. As a small business your bottom line is always, well, on the line. So, it is important to make sure that every single component of your warehouse is running efficiently. One late order and you could risk a cancellation or the end of a client relationship, which could be devastating for your business. In addition, your investment in a warehouse management system won’t be a small one. Also, it will be a huge undertaking to make sure that everything is in working condition and that you have the right hands on deck to make sure your warehouse management system is running cost-effectively. Here are 5 tips for selecting a warehouse management system for your small business.
- Do the math. Before you invest in a warehouse management system it is important to do a cost benefit analysis. Chances are that you know you need a warehouse management system – or else why would you be building one – but it is crucial to devise a budget and to be stringent not to go over it. This will allow your small business to get the most bang for its buck – not only on equipment, but also on software too.
- Save money on used items. Your small business doesn’t have millions and millions of dollars to spend on brand new equipment and it doesn’t really need that capital either. A small business can easily find used equipment for a fraction of the cost. Buying used vertical storage carousels and second hand pellets can end up saving your business thousands upon thousands of dollars. Your warehouse might have a hodge-podge look to it, but at least you are saving money.
- Inventory control. It is also important to make sure you minimize the risk of losing inventory or not having enough inventory. In this case it is critical that when you are looking for a warehouse management system that you either implement a policy or find a software that can allow your business to reduce the risk of not having a particular item in stock. This can have a serious effect on your business, because if a customer gets a partial order it can really cut into your profit margin as a result of cancellations and returns.
- Involve your team. The people working on the warehouse floor should be included in all the dealings of your small business’ warehouse management system. This is because they might have incredibly valuable input when it comes to what system they might like the best or have the most familiarity with.
- Longevity. Longevity is the key word when it comes to implementing a warehouse management system. When it comes to choosing a supplier for equipment, you want to know that they will be around for the long haul – just in case you need to upgrade your system when your business grows or changes. The same goes with your software – what if there is a crash – it is comforting to know that you can always get someone on the phone to solve any major problems.