Five sure bets for Kansas City businesses shopping for new technology in an age of over-choice. This episode – Smart Warehouse.
The emotional angst that comes with purchasing new technology for personal use is something most individuals have experienced at one time or another. Imagine, then, the stress and difficulty of making similar investment decisions for an entire company.
The process represents a significant investment in both time and capital for both small to medium-sized businesses and corporate giants. It is a complex process, navigating the research, acquisition, transition and success tracking phases of a smart technology investment.
Several area companies have travelled the path successfully and bring unique perspectives for making it work for others in all industries.
Like Trabon’s strategy, Smart Warehouse, based in Lenexa, Kan., must continue to invest in people and technology to stay on the cutting edge. The company relies on smart technology for its internal operations. Its clients also subscribe to proprietary customizable warehouse and order management software (SWIMS) for effective supply chain solutions. Smart Warehousing Founder and CEO Carl Wasinger says the company’s growth fuels its investment in new technology. Last year, for example, Smart Warehousing growth exceeded 40 percent, and the company is on track to reach double-digit growth again this year.
“Early on, it was hard to make decisions about new technology due to limited resources. Now, we have more resources to devote to our client customer requests,” Wasinger says. “Our job is to create a more efficient integration between the client and our company systems.”
Smart Warehousing has more than 600 clients worldwide with more than 20,000 users who can access a full, customizable menu of its warehousing and distribution services. Each time the company invests in new technology, it combines Internet research with an assessment of the information/needs of a client. Sometimes the learning curve results in downtime, Wasinger says. Smart Warehousing discovered a very valuable research resource for finding new technology, the video-sharing website YouTube.
“YouTube has been wonderful. It gives us enough data to take the vision we had in our heads and add to it what we need and help us make some decisions,” Wasinger says. When developing its own software technology for clients, Wasinger says it has to be user-friendly to make a difference, integrating complex systems, such as ecommerce platforms.
“Make sure people who use your technology understand it. Our system was born in a warehouse. Our clients have a special language and the trick is to turn it into a common language at the warehouse floor,” Wasinger says.