If you receive errors when attempting to view this white paper, please install the latest version of Adobe Reader.
"The HighJump TM
Warehouse Advantage WMS offers advanced warehouse management functionality to manage even the most complex distribution environments. This powerful WMS helps to ensure fast, accurate fulfillment through directed, optimized workflow, utilizing the most advanced wireless and bar code technologies, including RFID." Source: HighJump Software
Top Four Tips to Rapidly Implement and Generate ROI from a Warehouse Management System
Warehouse Management System
is also known as : WMS Project Team
, Supply Chain Management Software
, Warehouse Inventory Management Systems
, Generating ROI from a Warehouse Management System
, WMS Software
Warehouse Management System Software, Advanced Warehouse Management Functionality, Warehouse Management System Implementation Team, WMS Implementation, Implementing ROI from a Warehouse Management System, Warehousing, Implementation of a Warehouse Management System, Warehouse Preparation, Warehouse Management System Solution, Training Warehouse Resources, WMS Goal, Data Warehouse Management, Return on Investment for Warehouse Management, ROI of WMS, WMS Sufficient Staffing Capacity, Warehouse Management Staff Productivity, Business Inventory Software, Barcode Inventory Software, WMS Specialist, Inventory Control Software, Advantages Disadvantages Warehouse Management System, Best Warehouse Management System, WMS Rate of Return.
Congratulations! You got your business case approved and now you're beginning to consider the actual implementation of a warehouse management system (WMS) . While you probably encountered challenges in getting to this point, the next steps will be even more difficult if you are not adequately prepared. The following tips will help ensure your implementation moves along at a rapid pace toward a successful go-live – and quick return on investment.
1. Staff a Winning Team
This is the most fundamental requirement. Failure to have the appropriate and sufficient staffing capacity and resources will put your WMS implementation in jeopardy. Make sure the project team has diverse skill sets, as the size of the team and roles required will vary based on the overall scope of the project.
Critical roles in your implementation team:
Project Sponsor – just as the project sponsor was critical to getting the project approved, this person will be vital during the implementation itself. He or she will be responsible for:
- Securing and keeping qualified resources on the team for the life of the project
- Shielding the team from distractions - political or otherwise
- Defining and communicating the goals of the project to everyone in the company
Project Manager – this person is critical to ensuring that weekly and daily activities consistently move the team closer to the go-live date by taking the following actions:
- Driving issue resolution
- Holding project team members (internal and external) accountable for deliverables
- Communicating project status
Operations – as the ultimate end-users of the system, this group has several key responsibilities, including:
- Testing the application
- Training warehouse resources
- Completing the physical preparation of the warehouse (racking, labeling, printers, etc.)
IT – this group handles the technical components of the project, including:
- Setting up hardware and software
- Developing appropriate interfaces
- Establishing back-up and recovery procedures
Asking your team to run a smooth project while trying to learn a new system is a recipe for disaster.
It is important that each person involved completes training tailored to his or her project responsibilities.
2. Train the Team
Once your team is assembled, there will be an inclination to kick off the project right away. However, training is an important prerequisite. In many cases, the team will not have experience with the warehouse management system being implemented. Asking your team to run a smooth project while trying to learn a new system is a recipe for disaster. It is important that each person completes training tailored to his or her project responsibilities.
Unlike in the past, when vendors forced customers to attend training in person (which was expensive and took them away from their daily activities), most vendors now offer convenient online training.
3. Create a Strong Issue Resolution Process
Crossing your fingers and hoping for minimal issues is probably not the most effective strategy. Instead, put a procedure in place to quickly detail the action plan for issue resolution. When a problem arises, key items that need to be determined are:
- Owner – who will drive it to closure?
- Date needed – based on project plan dependencies, when does it need to be resolved to stay on schedule?
- Resources needed – what does the owner need to resolve the issue (this could be people, access to information/systems, etc.)? This helps project managers understand what is needed and how it could impact the project.
If an issue puts a project at risk or passes the committed close date, a predefined escalation procedure must be utilized. While no one likes issues brought to superiors, it is important to have senior members involved when necessary to determine the quickest way to resolve the issue. Also, team members should know the escalation process to eliminate surprises. The issues list should be available online for all to view at any time so the current status of open issues is fully understood.
No matter how detailed the RFP or system specification, it is impossible to know everything about a project before starting.
Flexibility is key.
4. Develop a Strong Change Control Process
Just like issue resolution, a strong change control process is also a necessary pre-requisite for a successful project. No matter how detailed the RFP or system specification, it is impossible to know everything about a project before starting. A solid change control process helps navigate new requirements by:
- Controlling risk – assess the risk/reward of making the change
- Increasing communication/visibility – help everyone understand and support the change
- Documenting changes to the statement of work – keep a system of record for yourself and for the software vendor so everyone has the same expectations
Not having this process in place can result in ever-changing project scope and project delays.
Every day your WMS is not live is another day you cannot realize the value embedded in your business case. While your project will have its challenges, these tips should help you successfully navigate the rough points you encounter along the way.
About HighJump Software
Forward-thinking companies entrust HighJump Software to power their supply chains. HighJump Software simplifies the art and business of creating, selling and moving products across global networks. HighJump Software helps more than 1,300 customers worldwide drive growth and manage change.