By Lowry Solutions | October 6, 2014

Creating a successful and well-thought-out Warehouse Management System (WMS) Request for Proposal (RFP) doesn’t have to be tedious or intimidating.  A warehouse management system request for proposal requires a few different components, and understanding what is needed is the first step in the right direction.  It is important that you do ask the right questions, determine the correct budget, and allow yourself enough time to thoroughly get to know your vendors and what they can offer. Identifying the right questions should involve an extensive and comprehensive knowledge of what your company needs in regards to the warehouse management system.

1. Identify benchmarks and objectives

The first thing you should tackle is your company’s benchmarks and objectives for the project. What is it that you need to accomplish? Benchmarks and objectives are the most effective when they are tangible. Are you looking to decrease production time by ten percent? Maybe you want to decrease up to seventy percent of processing errors within six months after your new warehouse management system is implemented. Be specific – when you have a tangible goal or objective, you can track your progress and more accurately discover what kind of solution will best fit your company’s needs.

2. Gather input from all parts of your operation

This step is vital to making sure that your WMS RFP is comprehensive. Every department in your company plays a vital role and, most likely, has issues that tend to come up that can be solved through a WMS solution. If you involve your whole team in the WMS RFP creation process, you will come up with a warehouse management system solution that provides the functionality and resources that your team needs company-wide.

3. Provide budget and timeline guidance

Implementing a new warehouse management system company-wide can be costly. Determine your budget and make sure to leave yourself some wiggle room to offer a higher bid if necessary.

The vendor selection process also takes time. Consider this when creating your WMS RFP. Allow yourself extra time for the occasions when vendors provide thought-provoking feedback that causes you to rethink a portion of your warehouse management system solution. If you schedule this time into your WMS RFP, vendors will know what to expect and you will show that you know what you are doing. This is crucial for building successful relationships with vendors whom you may want to utilize in the future.

4. Avoid “yes” and “no” questions

Too often, companies looking to implement a new warehouse management system provide their vendors with a list of “yes” and “no” questions. Polar questions are fine every now and then, but ultimately won’t allow you get to know your vendor enough to ensure that they are capable of providing your company with a WMS solution that meets all of your company’s needs.  If your vendor can’t meet all of your company’s needs, you won’t be able to meet the benchmarks and objectives that you have defined.

Instead of polar questioning, allow vendors the space and time to write out thorough answers. You will get a better sense of who your vendor is, what they are capable of, what solutions they recommend, and what it will take to complete the project for you.

Following these four tips for writing out a WMS RFP will save your company time, money and pain during the WMS RFP process. Your company will be striving toward your defined benchmarks and objectives in no time.


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