Have you been struggling to try and figure out how to write the business case for a WMS? Warehouse managers must understand how to write a successful business case for a WMS focusing on all opportunities for return on investment, maintaining a stringent structure, and a few tips for streamlining the process.
The Business Case for WMS Must Focus on All Opportunities for ROI
Before starting to write a business case for a WMS, warehouse managers should begin by identifying all known problems within warehouses and in current order fulfillment strategies and tactics. Simple things, such as making every bin location the same size, can have a disastrous effect on inventory carrying costs, limiting the ability of your company to offer a more diverse product selection, explains Michael Badwi of SC Junction.
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Which Structure Is Best for the Business Case for a WMS?
Warehouse managers are process driven and are quite adept in managing the flow of products, keeping labor productivity in check, ensuring performance optimization and more. They are not necessarily professional writers, and it is helpful to gain knowledge around creating a winning business case for a WMS. If you give a warehouse manager great suggestions and a defined structure, there is no doubt they can compose a compelling business case to invest in a modern WMS.
According to Gartner, a compelling business case should follow this 13-Section structure:
- Executive summary. Keep the executive summary to less than 75 words, the so-called “elevator pitch” for the WMS.
- Scope refers to how far the WMS implementation process needs to go, including changes to existing systems, IT investments, and more.
- Cross-functional support and resources. Cross-functional support and resources may include third-party resources to help manage the implementation processes.
- Setting a list of goals within the project will ensure shareholders and readers of the business case understand what you can accomplish.
- Business requirements. It is also essential to understand the business requirements associated with the new WMS implementation, namely specific functions or activities the new system must do in order to meet the needs of the business and warehouse operations.
- Development of financial evaluation and articulation of benefits. Warehouse managers will then move into the finances associated with implementation and its benefits.
- Impacts and responsibilities. Impacts and responsibilities are like the business requirements, but the business case must spell out which areas will be affected by a WMS implementation, including training and ongoing performance optimization.
- Project approach. Warehouse managers should also determine the appropriate project approach, like taking advantage of third-party resources and supply chain systems integrators, to streamline implementation.
- Risk review and mitigation strategies. Warehouse managers must review all risks present with the new implementation, including disruptions, and develop strategies for minimizing the impact on the business.
- Roles and responsibilities in managing risks and issues. Although part of the risk management strategy, defining the roles and responsibilities in managing risks and potential problems will further shore up stakeholder support.
- Governance of the project goes back to who will build or see it, and how team members will meet implementation timelines.
- The appendices section is a brief dictionary to define any terms or new standards that may not have already been presented to shareholders that are necessary to understand the business case.
- Sign-off sheet. The sign-off sheet is a written confirmation and approval for the implementation plans.
Start Planning Your Business Use Case Today
Some organizations see a WMS as a cost of doing business, but those that fully understand the value of a modern WMS can use it to drive competitive advantage, reduce spending, improve efficiency and productivity, and leverage the innovative resources of next-generation technology. Warehouse managers should start planning business use cases for new WMS implementations today.