5 Common WMS Mistakes


Warehouse Management Systems have drastically altered the way warehouses operate.

Thanks to the developments seen within tracking technology, such as RFID, and better software functionality, many warehouses can now benefit through the implementation of a Warehouse Management System (WMS). The benefits of the system offer efficiency and accuracy; stock counts are instantaneous and orders can be dispatched with a reduced chance of human error due to increased automation. However, Warehouse Management Systems will not do all the work for you, and require certain measures and implementation methods in order to be fully successful.

Here are some common mistakes that investors in the technology make, which hinders the productivity of their new, expensive WMS.

  1. Insufficient Planning and Preparation: Rushing into WMS implementation without a comprehensive plan often leads to various issues. Inadequate assessment of business needs, lack of stakeholder involvement, or failure to anticipate challenges can result in a poorly executed implementation.
  2. Inadequate Training and Change Management: Neglecting thorough training for employees who will use the WMS can be detrimental. Resistance to change or inadequate understanding of the system’s functionalities can lead to errors, inefficiencies, and underutilization of the WMS capabilities.
  3. Poor Data Quality and Integration: Inaccurate or incomplete data can severely impact the WMS’s effectiveness. If data from various systems (ERP, inventory management, etc.) isn’t integrated properly or is of poor quality, it can cause errors in inventory management, order fulfilment, and reporting.
  4. Overlooking Customization and Adaptation: Implementing a WMS without tailoring it to the specific needs and workflows of your warehouse operations can lead to inefficiencies. Failing to customize or adapt the system to suit unique processes might hinder productivity and lead to suboptimal results.
  5. Lack of Post-Implementation Evaluation and Optimization: Once the WMS is operational, not continuously monitoring, evaluating, and optimizing its performance can lead to missed opportunities for improvement. Failing to address issues, adapt to changing business needs, or optimize the system’s configuration over time can limit its long-term effectiveness.

Avoiding these mistakes requires thorough planning, robust training programs, attention to data quality and integration, customization where needed, and a commitment to continuous improvement and optimization post-implementation.

The two common themes that link the majority of WMS related mistakes are:

      • not enough time invested
      • not enough money invested

It is inevitable that the implementation phase will be time consuming, and it always will be. Therefore, proper planning is key to rectifying this issue. Make sure everyone knows how to use the system, and also that you have left sufficient time to iron out any flaws the system may have.

In addition to the costs of implementing such a system, it makes more sense to spend for the services you need, rather than scrimping. Adequate training on how to use any new software should always be given. It may rack up short term costs, but it guarantees efficiency in the long term, which is one of the major reasons why people implement WMS in the first place.

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