Implementing a WMS? Then you’ll need these guys on your team!
Implementing a warehouse management system? You’ll need these superheroes on your team to ensure everything goes smoothly!
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a huge investment for your business. You’ll want to get the most out of your system as quickly as possible because of the costs and time invested throughout the selection, implementation and daily operational processes. The best way to ensure that your implementation runs smoothly is to have the right team in place from the very start.
While we know that the worlds of Marvel and implementing a warehouse management system don’t usually mix, we’re using our creative license to bring together the ultimate list of warehouse superheros that you need on your team.
Building your WMS implementation team (the roles & skills you need for success)
Once you’ve decided you are going to implement a WMS, you need to ensure you have the best team in place to ensure success and meet your business case objectives... the best WMS in the entire world can’t deliver the results you want without the support of a strong, skilled, dedicated and passionate team.
The essential team you need to successfully implement a WMS to enjoy its full benefits include:
Executive Sponsors (CIO, COO, VP/Director of Operations and VP/Director of Logistics)
Warehouse Manager (when applicable for the solution being implemented)
Just like Professor X (Charles Xavier), your Executive Sponsors provides executive leadership and strategic vision to the team. Like the fearless, cerebral leader of the X-Men, the Executive Sponsors need to define, monitor and approve attainment of project goals and objectives. Their role includes approving “executive level” WMS implementation schedules, as well as reviewing and approving the preparedness of the team as well as post project assessments. Also in their scope is the reviewing and approving on budgets, project scope and timeline changes.
Just like Black Panther, your project manager is king of the WMS implementation process. Project managers are the glue that holds your team together, giving them the support they need to keep the implementation running smoothly while communicating with the Executive Sponsors.
Project managers are keen strategists and are a pivotal part of any WMS implementation project. They have some key roles, including managing the implementation issues list, resolving business issues, liasing with the WMS provider and proactively monitoring all the responsibilities of all the players.
Like Black Panther, project managers need to be agile and able to juggle many responsibilities! Identify, define and prioritising implementation issues; assign accountability; communicating issues to all appropriate parties; drive issues to closure as well as resolving business issues related to budgeting, licensing, invoice
reconciliation/payment, maintenance, scope management and timelines. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, they also need to proactively monitor the team’s responsibilities to ensure the appropriate involvement of operations throughout the project.
Want to see what world class warehouse efficiency looks like in action? Download the Tarsus Distribution case study to see how Tarsus (in partnership with Supply Chain Junction) used Manhattan SCALE to increase their warehouse efficiency by 60%.
Just like Thor, our favourite Asgardian God of Thunder, business leaders are important figures in WMS implementation. They need to communicate business requirements, sign off on business process design, ensure business data validation and provide leadership during training and go-live. They also play a key role in assisting with change management with the rest of the team. Team members will look to leaders in the business and follow their lead in adopting new technology.
Just like the Flash, solution champions need to be lightning fast and on the ball. Their role includes testing programmes as soon they’re delivered, serving as the day to day point of contact for all warehouse management system implementation-related issues, as well as lead unit, system and volume testing, amongst other responsibilities.
Just like Bruce Wayne (a.k.a Batman), an integration leader needs to be highly observant and have a nose for technology. They are key to the integration process and need to develop and/or test interface programs between host system(s) and their WMS, develop and test required conversion programs, and plan and execute a strategy to keep systems synchronised.
Just like the Invisible Woman (member of the Fantastic Four), system administrators are a protective force field for your WMS. They are detail oriented, deadline driven and organised. They’re the behind the scenes magic you need for successful WMS implementation. They manage software installation and project preparation, identify appropriate media, load software, establish remote access, assign passwords with proper authority amongst many other key administrative functions.
Just like Iron Man, the Hardware Leader is a tech genius with some pivotal tasks that have a big impact on the WMS implementation project. They need to complete system sizing documents, incorporating growth projections, determine corporate system architecture and networking communications strategy as well as assisting with facility preparation: implementing all peripheral hardware, including configuration of workstation IDs.
Just like Mr Fantastic, warehouse managers are tech savvy, adaptable and have advanced problem-solving skills. They need to represent the operations group throughout the project, participate during functional and detail design to validate that system configuration decisions meet operational needs, develop standard operating procedures, and confirm facility and warehouse preparedness during the Preparedness Assessment, amongst many other key roles.
As the leader from the front, the person responsible for change management is like Captain America that guides the process by setting a great example. This is a vital role in the WMS implementation process and it should be managed and run by a training and change professional and preferably not someone from IT or HR. Training and change is a specialised skill that requires accreditation and experienced resourcing. The training and change function should run in parallel with the vendor project to ensure alignment of vision and mission on the project.
A well optimised warehouse requires a great team as outlined above but you also need to have a set of processes and in place that will assist you to optimise your warehouse. Your warehouse and its ability to successfully execute orders is the key to delighting your customers, each and every time.