How’s Your WMS Handling the Holidays?

Date: November 18, 2016


The intensity of the holiday season will put your Warehouse Management System to the test. From the sheer volume of orders, to the shifting customer demands, the spike in return issues and never-ending delivery challenges, it’s as if the season was designed to expose every flaw in your warehousing software.

At 3PL Central, we can assure you that you are not alone. To help you navigate this holiday season, we have assembled our own “naughty” list of the Top Seven Ways a WMS Can Fail during the Holidays. We invite you to check it twice – and let us know which problems are affecting your ability to provide the level of service your customers need during this most crucial time of year.

Our Top Seven WMS Failures include:

1. Your WMS is overwhelmed by the flood of e-Commerce orders.

Such failures are disastrous, bringing down your system at the peak of production. These failures can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
• Your system’s inability to implement load balancing
• Your WMS’s inability to scale quickly
• Your in-house server’s inability to produce the required processing power.

2. Your WMS cannot provide accurate, real-time information, 24/7 on-demand.

This failure is particularly damaging to your customers’ e-Commerce sales, as they will no longer be able to tell shoppers if a product is in-stock. This leads to lost sales, frustrated shoppers, and angry warehouse customers.

3. Your WMS is experiencing broken connections with your customers’ ERPs.

If your WMS is not connecting to your customers via EDI (or another communications technology) – then the results could be disastrous. The demands of the holiday season can easily overwhelm any manual or analog system, causing a chain reaction of errors that will resonate throughout the entire fulfillment chain.

4. Your WMS cannot print your customers’ branding materials automatically.

Your retail customers’ brand image is everything to them. Warehouse management software that cannot generate custom-branded packing slips, instructions, and materials could lead to your customers’ worst nightmare, a poorly packaged final product.

5. Your WMS is poorly integrated with your delivery partners.

U.S. delivery companies handled more than 1.5 billion packages during the 2015 holiday season. Any WMS that cannot track packages in route, provide accurate delivery information, or monitor returned items is practically begging for trouble.

6. Your WMS is having trouble handling customer returns.

A decided challenge any time of year, returned items during the holidays can be a nightmare. To handle these, your WMS must have the capability to track physical returns, process replacement orders – and properly charge-back both customers and clients.

7. Your WMS is leading to poor or non-existing customer service.

If your WMS cannot provide real-time order, delivery and return information to your clients’ customer service reps, then those reps can’t do their jobs. Without great service, it will only be a matter of time before your clients start looking for a new warehouse who can provide what they need, when they need it.

Take a survey!

Are you having any or all of these issues with your WMS? Select all of these that apply. Check back in December to see our results.



Talk To 3PL Central about Solutions

While the bad news is that the holiday season will be back again next year, the good news is that there are now real solutions for all of the holiday issues your WMS has been experiencing. To learn more about how our products can help, contact us, request a free demo – or try our product risk-free in your warehouse for 30 days.

We’ll be happy to show you how we can take your warehouse performance from naughty to nice.


3PL Central

Written by 3PL Central

3PL Central was founded in 2006 by John Watkins and Nancy Rohman while running their own 3PL warehouse. When they were unable to find an adequate warehouse management system (WMS) to manage their own inventory and operations, they built the first cloud-based WMS solutions designed for 3PLs. Powerful, flexible, scalable, and specifically designed to help 3PLs and warehouses grow to the next level, our WMS solutions now serve more than 750 customers around the world.