The first step consists in making an audit of the stock processes, which is very important mainly because it gives a context to specific activities, flows, goals to be achieved; the audit is very useful also because it provides to suppliers who participate in tenders, a real vision of what the software must do (Chapter named “Report of warehouse operation” of the Logistic Technical Specification – User requirements). It mainly consists in collecting stock data (IN\OUT flows, stock, stock picking organization, loading units featires etc.), specific parameters, structures, functionalities and interfaces with company ERP. The audit of the warehouse is also very important to understand whether current processes are up to the most modern best practice; the only installation of a WMS does not guarantee the optimisation of the processes.
The second step is the definition of the best Vendor List; according to functional and technologic requirements, depending on the size of the investment and on the characteristics of the purchasing company and so on you can find companies that can better comply to a specific supply.
After this step the user requirements are drawn up, where technological, functional and performance requirements are described; these will be the object not only of the technical tabulation but will also be the basis for acceptance tests. The technical specifications are associated with the tender dossier where it will be found, among other things, the price composition to be expressed in the offer. This step is also important to draw up a correct techno-economic tabulation.
Afterwards, our analytical and professional abilities to analyse offers are deployed: the aim is to prevent that any pitfall may be hidden within the supply descriptions, exclusions or in unclear clauses. After the offer analysis and the possible information and clarification integrations for the suppliers who are not completely aligned, the techno-economic tabulation is performed. Commercial negotiation may now take place: the customer is usually in a position of strength because he can deal with uniform and appropriate offers about the services; now the price becomes one of the most important parameters and the suppliers are very well aware of this, especially when they see or understand that Simco Consulting has made a contribution.
Following up the routine we have above briefly described, we are able to make the right choice and to buy with the best cost-effectiveness.
According to a recent study the problems identified during IT projects, are due to inefficiencies when the software was chosen. The most frequent causes affect either the preliminary analysis of the processes where the software is to be implemented and the used parameters for the selection and comparison of the suppliers.
The ultimate main advantages of this method are:
- To verify the validity of the processes before installing and starting up a WMS. During the selection the audit of stock processes allows to focus on the most important aspects the WMS must feature.
- To select the right vendor list tuned on the customer specifications (and the peculiarities of stock operations).
- To draw up a Logistic Technical Specification valid both for the macro analysis of the software and as a unique reference for the issuing of the offers; in this way it is the customer himself who defines the supply so that the tender participants can be compared mainly on the price basis.
- To compare the software on the parameters and functionalities that really matter to the customer and not on the strong points that every player, during the demo, tries to emphasize.
- To validate, thanks to the competences and experiences of Simco Consulting consultants, the data provided by the players in the tender during the demo and in the technical bid.
- To promote a productive dialogue within the teamwork and with the suppliers, based on a solid working method (tested among several customers).
- To save time and costs compared to traditional procedures (demo products).
Together with a total independence from any supplier Simco Consulting has been managing tenders for the introduction of warehouse management systems (WMS) for hundred million Euro, developing competences and gaining experiences that can grant the customer they will be making a very profitable purchase from the economic point of view without any risk. Whenever Simco intervened the retainer was generously paid back by the savings and the assurances provided after the tender.
Simco Consulting has a deep knowledge of the WMS software supplier market (organized in a database managed according to the processes of their own Quality System) and can assist their customers through all the phases, from the purchase to the starting up.
Simco Consulting has been familiar with this market for 35 years and is able to:
- Include only the suppliers that can fulfil specific evaluation standards chosen with the customer and that will be taken into consideration during the phase of contracting (price, company structure, size, financial soundness, market share, technological level, subcontracting level, innovation capability, references, approvals, etc.).
- Emphasize, for each competitor, the strength and weakness points (rigidity/flexibility, punctuality/delays in the deliveries, quality and cost-effectiveness of the after-sale service and so on.
Simco Consulting can also make a contribution during the installation phase.