Three things to look for in warehouse management software
Make sure you are choosing the very best in warehouse...
Scalability is essential for all modern companies. The market waits for neither individual nor institution. When change comes, readiness is vital. The ability to cope with sudden spikes in demand while still delivering the same/better quality of service is what can mark your business out from others in a wide range of highly competitive fields.
This is why you need the very best business software solutions. The ones that can and will support your company’s efforts to stay scalable at all times. When looking to find those kinds of application suites, here is a selection of key aspects to look for:
No two businesses are the same, even if they work in the same geographic region, in the same sector of the marketplace, and are comparable in size and turnover. Even if all those things are the same, the way markets move mean they may well not be the same for long. The best businesses are the ones who can adapt and adjust as the situation demands. This is something you need to demand of your business software solutions too.
Be sceptical if a software solution is specifically designed for ‘small businesses’. Ask yourself if you plan to be a small business in the long-term. Are you going to be able to satisfy your customers with an off-the-peg application suite option? How much change can this software deal with?
When choosing a business software solution, you can tell its scalability by its adaptability. You want to avoid a situation where you find yourself working around your software. Make sure that when you chose a business software solution, it can be adapted around you and your processes with ease.
An adaptive business software solution should be able to integrate with the widest possible range of couriers, just in case needs change and you require a different approach to shipping. Adaptive systems can work with a wide variety of online marketplace platforms or one that can be adjusted simply to suit any emerging ecommerce services. Adaptive systems work just as effectively with dozens of variants as they do hundreds or even thousands. When the time comes that you need to automate or replace old ways of doing things, you should not need to replace your old business software solution. You should be able to expand or alter what you already have.
The most scalable business software solutions will be the ones that let more parts of the business co-ordinate. Getting different departments of a business to co-ordinate is relatively easy in a single office or a single building. It becomes much harder when greater distance separates divisions, or when certain sectors become more specialised and specific. When your business software solutions are scalable, they can keep all these different parts connected and fully co-ordinated.
Co-ordination means that everyone is aware of everything they need. Shared information and shared processes are the norm at every stage. Co-ordination minimises repetitive tasks, and one department’s work can benefit all the others in the way intended. No missed messages, no lost connections, no misunderstood meanings.
When you see growth, you will see strain put on the systems that connect and co-ordinate the various different aspects of your company’s operations. You may find that you need to have more elaborate pick rules to ensure efficiency, and these will need to be co-ordinated with orders coming in thicker and faster than you previously experienced. You may discover a need to update your stock data much more quickly, lost customers order and get disappointed when stock reports on different online marketplaces don’t automatically sync up. You may find that when you need more orders sent out, different couriers will require different information, and that must be co-ordinated quickly else delivery delays will ensue. A system that can stay co-ordinated is more than just a programme. It is a solution. When looking for the best business software solutions, make sure co-ordination capacity is at the top of your requirement list.
The underutilisation of mobile devices in business continues to confound experts. Despite the presence of more varied methods to do a wider selection of processes remotely, companies still work around the central office model. Sudden scaling of your company’s demand may mean you need that outlook. You could need to be fully aware of your KPIs in Carlise when your office is in Canterbury. Make sure your business software solutions have mechanisms for mobile operations if you want to stay scalable.
COVID-19 has made remote working an entrenched reality, but mobile operations go far beyond that. The more work your team can do from varying locations, the faster you can scale your response to any number of changes in market conditions. Mobile mechanisms mean everything from warehouse-based scanning devices to smartphone readable KPI dashboards. However it needs to work for you and your business, you can be sure that in 2021 and beyond, mobile operations will be a key component of your business’s future. Make sure that whatever business software solutions you choose have mobile features built-in, front and centre.
As your business scales, you may find yourself needing new equipment, different systems, and more advanced technology. Your business software solutions should not just be able to cope with that. They should be ready and able to work with whatever processes your business needs to move forward.
This goes beyond merely being able to jury rig a janky network of spaghetti code and obsolete protocols into something vaguely functional. You need a business software solution specifically designed to have the capacity to integrate new inputs and new technology. Very few sectors are expected to see no new software or hardware move their way in the next few decades. Whether that is new payment systems, different delivery apparatus, or automation technology. Your business software needs to be ready to take advantage of whatever comes next.
In most businesses, the need for technological change can come from one of two directions. The necessity to increase operational efficiency and speed to meet rising demand, or the need for extra speed and efficiency to meet competitive challenges offered by rivals. In both cases, you need a business software solution that can integrate new technology quickly. Given the essential nature of new technology to future scaling, this is something to be expected and planned for, not a surprise you should be suddenly responding to. Make sure your business software solution is suited to new technology, so that you’re ready to scale.
As your business scales, you need to know where the stresses and struggles are being felt as and when they happen. The faster your business software solution supplies you with feedback, the quicker your management can respond, adapt, and advance. That means you need business software with an array of active and responsive alerts. Something that understands your KPIs and what you want to know about them.
As we have said before, no two businesses are identical. When people think of KPIs, there are a certain ‘standard’ set that come with most business software. But few businesses are just looking to be ‘standard’ players in their scene. The best business software is tailored to your specific needs, so your alerts and KPI tracking should be the same. Maybe for your sector, your inventory management needs to throw up a warning when you are at 25% of full capacity, not 10%. Perhaps for your sector, tracking order patterns by total weight more than number of items is more important. Maybe you need your business software to inform you when the number of orders in a specific day/week/month reach a certain value/size/combination of products.
As your business scales, you will need more and better information from your business software solution about what is happening in your company. Make sure you can adjust your alerts to be active enough to meet your needs as you grow.
Any good business software solution should be as robust and reliable as possible, but as the old saying goes – pobody’s nerfect. As your business scales you need to be confident that your business software has the kind of support network in place to deal with any and all of the potential problems that might arise.
A support framework that can deal with everyday bugs and gremlins is one thing. That is the baseline standard for what you should expect from any and all business software options in 2021. The true test of a superior business software solution is one whose support network is pre-emptive, and responds to your plans to scale as you set them out. When you call or email your software provider’s support team, you want to know that they understand your situation specifically. You want them to go beyond following a script, and actually have them recognize your company, your situation, and be ready with the right solution.
When your company is scaling, you want to be sure that your business software solution has the support in place to make it work. Don’t settle for a reactive and script-reliant provider. Choose business software solutions with support that is as pro-active and tailored to your needs as the software itself.
When the market changes, make sure your business is ready. To learn why OrderWise can offer you the ideal business software solutions for scalability, talk to one of our customer success management team. Learn how we offer applications that adapt to your needs, all the capacity for co-ordination you could ever need, and the means to make mobile-based software really work for you.
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