Six Issues With Custom-Built Warehouse Management Systems
Every company is unique, which is why many businesses consider creating a custom warehouse management system (WMS). That way, the company can use a platform that has everything needed and incorporates all facets of the business’ supply chain.
In-house solutions may create issues that the company wouldn’t experience with a solution from a third-party provider’s robust warehouse management system. Here are six reasons why a custom-built WMS solution may not be the best option.
1. Integration With ERP
In most cases, a WMS cannot be built on its own without an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. These two systems must be integrated to work correctly and increase productivity.
For companies that want a WMS but do not have an ERP, they will likely have to install the ERP system before the WMS. This can delay the timeline by months or even years depending on the complexity of the ERP system. If there is already an ERP system, the WMS must integrate with it to function properly. If the company did not custom-build the ERP system, it may be challenging to get the WMS to work with it.
Adopting ERP and WMS solutions from the same software provider means that the systems will work together right away. Your company will start benefitting from the systems soon after implementation.
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2. IT Department Skills and Expertise
When your company chooses to do WMS in-house, it will be up to your IT technicians to make it happen. They will have to create the software and its updates and maintain the system throughout usage. The success of this process depends on the capabilities of your IT team. If they do not have the skills and experience necessary to operate a WMS, it may be more of a challenge than a help for your business.
When using a third-party WMS provider, you can trust its experienced support team to make implementing WMS a smooth transition.
3. Disruption to Workflow
Your company will want to keep operations running while implementing your WMS system. A software provider has the experience to keep your business running while the new system is put in place. Since a provider usually installs the system in phases, your staff will be able to familiarize themselves with each component.
If a custom WMS solution is implemented all at once, it can bring work to a halt if something in the system does not sync or is faulty. Your employees may also have to face a learning curve for the new system, which may decrease productivity.
4. Ease of Scalability
One of the purposes of using a WMS is to grow your business. As your company scales in size, your WMS needs to keep up. With an in-house solution, you may need to do frequent updates or build a new system entirely, which can create considerable expenses for your company.
Third-party WMS providers include scalability in their programs. Through upgrades and modules, it is typically an easy process to add new functionalities to the inventory management software.
5. Lack of Competitive Insight
To create a custom WMS, your IT team will base it upon your company’s needs and processes. While this may work for your company now, it could become outdated in comparison to your competitors’ systems. With the rapid change in technology, your system may fall behind.
A WMS provider is knowledgeable about WMS software for a variety of industries. When using a proven WMS, your company will be in touch with industry practices and standards.
6. Budget Limits
Companies that are considering creating their own WMS need to examine their budget. The creation, implementation and maintenance of an in-house solution can cause expenses to add up. If the system does not work the first time and your IT team must make something new, this process could get costly.
Your company will know the cost of WMS software upfront when working with a software provider. This cost is often cheaper, because the system has already been proven to work in other businesses. When considering cost, it may make more sense to get your WMS from a third party.
Get Your WMS From FDM4
With over 40 years of industry experience, FDM4 has innovative WMS software for the apparel and non-apparel industries. Thousands of warehouses around the globe use our solutions. Partner with us by using our warehouse management system solution, and watch your business increase its productivity and revenue.
Contact us today to get started!