It may seem obvious, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway: make sure you don’t overlook overall user experience when buying a new warehouse management system.

Modern warehousing requires decisions to be made within the blink of an eye. You need to be fast on your feet, and you need a WMS that can keep up and help inform every decision you make. If the data in your warehouse management system’s reports is lagging six hours behind the current time, that’s going to lead to a very poor user experience. The same idea remains true if your reports take a long time to be compiled. You need that data now, not fifteen mouse clicks and ten minutes from now.

Does The WMS Quickly and Easily Do Everything You Need it To?

As a decision maker, you need instant access to your data and analytics to ensure smart decisions are being made for your business. Make sure your WMS supports that, not hinders it.

As we’ll touch on later in this article, the ability for your WMS to work on a smartphone is a major differentiation factor when making a purchasing decision. It’s also key to look for alternative user interfaces in each WMS because you never know what you might find to make your life easier.

The WMS could have voice functionality, allowing data to be entered via voice instead of a typical mouse/keyboard. Your WMS should also support a wide variety of data input methods to track inventory or products, RF, RFID, Graphical RF and everything else you use should be able to zip right into your system without any fuss.

Your system needs the flexibility to allow you to view and manage your entire supply-chain. It doesn’t matter whether you’re particularly tech-savvy or not, your WMS needs to have everything to allow you to quickly and easily help you make informed decisions.

Will The WMS Work on Mobile Devices?

It’s critical that you ensure seamless functionality for your WMS on smartphones and tablets.

It’s 2013. There’s no reason a modern system should not be 100% optimized for mobile devices. Being able to access your data at any time of day from any device will help greatly help your real-time decision support. Real-time alerts right to your tablet or phone can help ensure you can correct any errors that may pop up during your daily operations.

If a critical call comes through while you’re making a quick run to the bank or post office, you should be able to have the full power of your WMS right there on your phone. Quickly open it up, view the latest inventory data, and make your informed decision.

Is the WMS Interface Modern?

If the WMS you are evaluating still looks like it was designed way back in the 90s, then chances are the technology behind the interface isn’t up to current standards either. Your WMS needs to be able to display more than just naked text or code. It needs to show pictures, videos, and interactive data on the fly to keep you more informed. More than just looks though, the design needs to actually be functional. Users of any level of computer-savvy should be able to easily use the system for decision making.

Considering user experience when selecting a WMS will lead to a smarter and more efficient decision making and tracking. It’s vital that your WMS works with you to help you make the most informed decisions possible every second of every day.