In this week’s Logistics Insights podcast, some thoughts on getting WMS demos right.
Software demonstrations are a critical step in selecting a Warehouse Management System or any other logistics software package, such as a Transportation Management System.
How else are you going to determine the fit of various packages to your operational requirements?
Yet despite its criticality, it is surprising how often companies don’t really think through the many elements needed to get the demo process right – which in the end means selecting the solution that is right for you both short and long term.
Here are a couple of points. First, when consultants are involved in the process, as is frequently the case, too often we see demo “scripts” that appear to have been taken off the shelf from previous client engagements – and not adequately tailored to a specific client and their requirements.
There’s nothing wrong with starting with a template, and many areas in a typical demo are similar across companies.
But we’ve seen too many where the scripts haven’t really been vetted and tailored for a given company and their needs – and have been left completely in the consultant's hands.
The result: Some demo items that aren’t germane to a company’s real requirements, and missing elements that really are important.
The real message here: don’t completely outsource the demo script development to the consultant. Have the selection team take a thorough look at the script to make sure it reflects what you need – and doesn’t include largely irrelevant requirements.
Point 2: Too often - and we would argue actually in the majority of cases – demo scripts focus too much on the unimportant or commodity capabilities, and not enough on functionality that is key to driving new processes and software investment ROI.
For every WMS project, there are maybe 6 or 8 or 10 capabilities that are difference-makers in terms of achieving the “to be” state, and delivering the results promised in the business case.
These critical capabilities need extra demo time for a very thorough vetting, even if that means having less time for other areas that involve functionality that will be useful, but is not essential for success.
And yes, this does take some work to determine those key areas – but going back to the business case should provide some valuable insight.
Warehouse Management demos are a majorly critical step for selecting the right WMS partner for your company. Put in the effort to ensure you do it right.