A warehouse management system (WMS) is a set of computer software programs designed to automate the flow of material throughout the entire warehouse premises. It will direct and control all movement of inventory within the warehouse. This paper outlines a seven-step process that a business can use to choose the best WMS for its operation. The first step is to learn by understanding the differences and common missing functions in different WMSs. It is wise to use WMS research that is available, tapping into consultants as needed. Based on WMS knowledge and company practices, it is then necessary to build a well thought out request for information (RFI)/request for proposal (RFP) and send it to all WMS vendors. Standard RFIs are available. Once received, RFI results should be entered into a spreadsheet. Vendors can be challenged on unusual responses in order to make a fair functionality and cost comparison. At this point, all WMS solutions that do not have "must have" functionality should be eliminated. Others may be eliminated on company specific requirements. Finalists should be scheduled for on-site demonstrations. After the demonstration, it is advisable to visit two or three warehouses that are using the WMS and are similar in operation, volumes, and size to your operation. Final costs are then recalculated, and vendors can be invited to redo cost proposals if necessary. A written offer should be made to the first choice, with a fallback to the second choice, if necessary. The final step involves signing contracts and starting the installation process.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Council of Logistics Management

    2805 Butterfield Road, Suite 200
    Oak Brook, IL  United States  60523
  • Authors:
    • Howard, R
    • Obal, P
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1999


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 431-442

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00788927
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 13 2000 12:00AM