Wms in Russia: implementation problems

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Ivan Mironov

Group 2274


Warehouse management system is a control system providing automation and optimization of all processes of warehousing work of the profile enterprise. In a general sense under WMS is understood the hardware-software complex allowing effectively to operate by placing and moving of the goods in a warehouse. Besides, this abbreviation means as well technology of performance of warehouse operations, including work with bar codes and radio-frequency identifiers (RFID).

Now in Russia the high attention to the purchase and introduction of WMS is observed. It is connected with that WMS introduction gives a strong competitive advantage to the enterprise. WMS introduction at the enterprise helps to reach such purposes as increasing in speed of a set of the goods, getting of the exact information on the goods location in a warehouse and optimization of using of the warehouse areas.

In our country some tens successful projects of introduction executed in basic for the distribution centers of large retail networks or distributive warehouses of large commercial and industrial groups are known. It is leaders in the branch and as a whole the highly effective enterprises. Some tens in scales of such country as Russia, is, naturally, not so many. In the domestic market already now there is a fierce struggle for the client. Small domestic firms-developers, and large home producers are involved in it software, and large foreign founders specialized also software.

For the reason that systems have appeared recently in the Russian market, the enterprises face problems at introduction. The first and serious enough problem consists in that that the customer of system can't accurately make the demands to a bought product. From all potential clients only about 30 % independently can to formulate accurately the requirements and to make representation about those results which are reached at the expense of system introduction. It involves unnecessary expenses for the excessive functions of getting system. The second problem of introduction at the Russian enterprises is ignoring of a stage of optimization of existing business processes prior to the beginning of the project introduction. It is said that if the enterprise before system introduction had problems, so after introduction of its problem will be squared. Software and equipment purchase is only small part of introduction. Managers of the company should understand that the main accent needs to be made on localization and system tuning under concrete needs of the enterprise. Besides, the technology of input of the tool in operation is very important also. It is very often broken in Russia.

As cost of systems and services in their introduction high enough, it is necessary to approach to a question of a choice of the supplier of the decision what in the Russian market it is enough carefully. Signing of the contract with the highly professional consulting company will allow to avoid critical idle times for business at introduction and to insure itself from serious financial losses.

Problems can arise not only for the reason that the customer, for example, has wanted to economy. The supplier of system not always is the owner of a code. Developers of systems not always go on change of a code for the concrete customer. They can be understood: different versions for different clients are expenses for support of these different versions, therefore they prefer to take out all difference in options if it is possible and if isn't present – that refuse. Quite often requirements shown to change of standard functionality are dictated by the business process different from standard business expert. It is necessary to analyze accurately the reasons of deviations and to estimate correctness of the put forward requirements of changes. Otherwise incorrectly made decisions threaten with necessity to introduce a corrective amendment already after system start in operation. It demands considerably the big efforts.

In the conclusion of all told it would be desirable to tell that performance of simple rules, such as the detailed analysis of the market of sellers of WMS, research of own requirements for certain functions of WMS and also accurate following to rules of introduction of systems allows to avoid not only financial expenses, but also to get very strong competitive advantage much more before competitors.


1. James Stock, Douglas Lambert, Strategic Logistics Management Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 4 edition (December 28, 2000), 896 pages

2. Edward Frazelle, World-Class Warehousing and Material Handling, Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 18, 2001), 280 pages

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