There’s been a lot of changes that have come about from the COVID-19 pandemic, the WMS software buyer behavior and the software buying process are just a few of these changes. Cadre has witnessed the necessary changes in the process and realize it may be a long time before the return to normal!
According to this blog by Prospect Path, buyers have become more hesitant about making long term commitments, but in most cases it’s not a matter of if but when as some projects have been put on hold. In certain industries demand has increased, where companies are focusing on finding new software to keep up with demand. In some cases, there may be other priorities as they are helping facilitate employees working from home and some companies working at limited capacities.
Changing How Meetings are Conducted
The WMS buying process used to include many face-to-face conference meetings and whiteboarding, but the pandemic has caused this to change due to some employees working remotely and social distancing measures delaying or complicating the process. In the past the vendor and buyer would get together to walk through the warehouse process – pick, pack, ship, and replenishments and any other details or functionality that the WMS will include. As this can be a long process and can extend out several weeks, you can’t recreate that same in person experience through a video conference or phone call. Calls tend to be shorter, need to include breaks, or you need to come up with inventive ways to keep listeners engaged. The desire to provide a solid analysis of requirements remains, but it has become more difficult to achieve in the current environment.
Some companies are using WMS technology to help keep warehouse workers safe. Some examples include adding a prompt to the WMS to ask employees if they are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) before they start work or limiting the number of users in an area to help administer social distancing measures. Or you can implement a dock scheduler that helps to manage appointments, staff, and loading bays to help eliminate problems with resource availability and overbooking; also allowing for less interaction between parties.
The good news is, according to the State of Retailing Online 2020 report, it found that 73% of retailers are investing in WMS and 64% said it was simply the cost of doing business. WMS software is an important part of the warehouse, so it is a matter of being creative and flexible throughout the buying and software implementation process.
If you are currently looking for a Warehouse Management System, we would love to help you find the right solution for your company, contact us today.