Okay, call me a dinosaur. Yes, I’ve been around for a while. But being one of the software developers that arguably defined the some of the best ways to write systems for WMS and automation interface layers, I think there is something I need to say. (Editor’s note: Fralick was a pioneer in development of a WMS that was based on a Service Oriented Architecture, which is now becoming the industry standard approach.)
There is a lot of Warehouse Management System (WMS) business out there right now, and there have been a number of people breaking off of the WMS companies or partnering with them. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of good people out there, but there are also quite a few that are – well, "not so much."
You know the drill – some people who leave a software company are the very best (there are few of these), but more often they just seen an opportunity (whether their skills warrant it or not). There seems to be such a scramble for bodies that I fear people don’t know what they are getting or what they are paying for.
So, here’s the deal. There is a generally a focus on rates. I even heae people at trade meetings bragging about how “I got this guy for $90/hr and he can do everything”.
Be careful here: rates are not often a good reflection of actual cost.
Say one of these Newbee WMS “experts" sells you some work (even to do just reports or queries) at say $65/hr. Nice rate, right? Well. "not so much" if they take 3 times longer than someone charging even $150. Five times longer between the best and the laggards is not uncommon.
Look, you can find guys and gals out there all day for under $50/hr. But is the effective cost of your job less? Not likely. The only instance where this sort of thing makes sense is when you’d be training them on product data structures, your requirements, etc.
But, here is the little secret – this is what some of these guys are doing – selling you these cheap resources, and have you train them. They’ll spend 3-5 times longer on the first several jobs than they should and by the time you get them all trained up – whoosh – they are gone on another job. At your expense.
More on this in my next post.