Many companies see the go-live of a system like a Blue Yonder (JDA) Warehouse Management System (WMS) as the finish line; after all, it’s the culmination of many months (or sometimes years) of hard work usually under the guidance of a project team consisting of experienced WMS implementers. But what happens when those implementers are gone — and you’re left to continue running the system that needs to support your evolving business?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Companies that extract the most value out of a WMS typically have an internal team of super users (often from operations and IT) responsible for performing these 6 key functions after launch:
1. Support users on the warehouse floor to drive adoption
Out of the gates, the most successful organizations start evaluating system usage and removing potential roadblocks to ensure a smooth transition. Determining why certain product won’t allocate for an outbound order, uncovering issues with printing paperwork for a dispatched shipment or why the system won’t direct product to its home location – by addressing these issues head on leaders can continue to build trust and momentum alongside the team.
2. Read trace files and troubleshoot complex issues
There will be glitches and bumps in the road, some more complex than others. For highly complex issues or system errors, the best way to find the root cause of your issue is to read a system trace file. If systems are customized, you may be required to review the custom code in order to properly trouble shoot your issues.
3. Develop custom paperwork or labels
Many WMS applications provide tools to develop your own custom labels (such as customer specific shipping labels) and custom paperwork (such as custom packing slips). Developing these labels and paperwork typically requires both knowledge of the tools that are provided with a WMS, as well as specific knowledge of SQL scripting and the WMS database table structures.
4. Create custom dashboards
Custom dashboards can provide the exact visibility you need into your operation. These dashboards offer an easy-to-read, real-time interface of the Key Performance Indicators for your specific processes and allow teams to make informed, data-driven decisions quickly.
5. Configure new and existing workflows to meet evolving business needs
In today’s dynamic business world, your systems must be adaptable. Teams should regularly evaluate a WMS against business requirements and configure the system to meet those needs. This could include anything from configuring new picking strategies or a new value-added service, to updating your product storage configuration. Having a strong knowledge of the system configuration allows companies to unlock the most value out of their WMS.
6. Install patches to the WMS
Anytime you run a system like a WMS it’s inevitable there will be patches generated by the WMS provider to fix known system issues. Understanding how to install those patches and having a process for validating them is crucial to ensure system stability.
Small and mid-sized companies with significant resource constraints may lack the depth of technical expertise to address the mounting tasks after a WMS go-live. Even teams with the most advanced super users can struggle to find the bandwidth to perform these functions. Bandwidth – or lack thereof – should not disqualify any company from running a system so integral to immediate and long-term business success.
Strategic partnerships with WMS consulting providers, like Accelogix, can give many companies the flexibility to scale their teams on demand and supplement them with experts on these mission-critical systems. By leveraging these partnerships companies can avoid hiring additional overhead when there may not be a full time need and redeploy valuable resources back into the operation, maximizing their investment in a WMS.
At Accelogix, we believe your WMS should work for you. Check out our entire suite of WMS services at accelogix.com, or feel free to reach out to us at 877-231-0880.