YOUR WMS SELECTION TEAM: What to look for
Do you have the right team on board to select the right warehouse management solution components?
The degree of sophistication in supply chain management and optimisation technologies has advanced: supply chain solution components are now more integrated and more interoperable than ever before, dramatically expanding the opportunities to improve supply chain performance.
The scale of WMS technology deployments has grown along with the complexity of solution implementation. You need to ensure this system is supported by champions, follows best practices, and hits the ground running to get immediate benefits.
Maximise the positive impact of your WMS implementation with the right decision-makers
This is easy to say, but what are the realities of choosing a team, and then supporting them in the selection of the WMS and vendor you need for business success?
Your selection team, and how they power your WMS implementation:
The difference: selection vs project teams
Your SELECTION TEAM
Other team member considerations should include:
- Various representatives of the user community.
- Clerical staff
- QA people
- Technical leaders
- Project managers.
All can provide perspective and ensure that their needs are addressed, while providing their own experiences, skill set, and processes to address the three important areas apart from functionality requirements: usability, performance and scalability requirements, BUT by including the representatives from all the above groups, the selection committee can become very large and decision making can become difficult.
Try your best to keep your selection team compact and manageable.
This is where the project manager comes in. They will be interacting with the stakeholders before, during, and after the WMS implementation. The WMS project management plan can discuss the requirements with each group of stakeholders and can voice the suggestions, concerns and recommendations at the primary selection committee meetings.
They will essentially be acting as a representative of all the groups who are not directly represented in the selection committee.
The WMS Implementation team should get the inputs from whichever group that is not directly represented and discuss their objectives and requirements with them in detail, to find the requirements, suggestions, opinions, and concerns, and give them feedback about the decisions made giving them assurance that their interests are also protected.
This will ensure support for the system that is selected.
ON THE OTHER HAND: YOUR PROJECT TEAM
The project team includes the project manager and the group of individuals who work together on a project to achieve its objectives. It consists of the project manager, project management staff, and other team members who are maybe not directly involved with management but carry out the work related to the project.
These team members should embody the following characteristics:
If a company does not already have the necessary project management resources on staff, best practices advise that it should consider contracting or hiring the best it can afford.
What your WMS selection team should aim for:
The WMS selection checklist should mirror your WMS implementation objectives and ideal outcomes. This means an impact in operations, corporate strategy, processes, scenario-building, finance, and industry best-practices.
- The solution should allow you to improve your operations to realise optimal supply chain performance.
- Improve the quality and caliber of IT's arsenal
- Configurable technology that can be adapted to meet different scenarios that may present themselves
- Gain best-in-class technologies and benchmark them against rival offerings
- Constantly evolving technology which can meet changing industry-specific requirements
- Gain strategic tools and tactical point systems to support your corporate strategy
- Scalable solutions which can facilitate future business growth.
- Realistic and achievable ROI windows and timelines - does the solution do what you need it to do in order to turn a profit on your implementation?
- Match your industry best practices
This enables you to benchmark your own performance, solutions, and processes against the best-in-class performance of your competitors, and assess your WMS selection against the industry titans.
- Ensure your supplier can be involved from the start
These suppliers automatically see the improved structure and process the new system brings, which will help drive efficiency and motivate commitment to troubleshooting.
These checkpoints are vital to support the company's long-term business direction and objectives.
The key to a successful implementation, over the short, medium and long term, is having enough quality people, dedicating sufficient time to complete the project whilst communicating effectively internally and externally with suppliers and clients throughout the pre- and post- implementation phases.
These tactics all point to the importance of the pre-selection approach and how business operations execution plays a critical role in delivering the benefits promised by software applications and technology.
When business operations embrace and internalise the changes associated with supply chain process improvements, the effective and long-term use of sophisticated and complex software can occur.
By keeping the focus on meticulous execution, ongoing risk monitoring and a well-orchestrated implementation, driven by skilled program managers, allows you to achieve superior business benefits, delivering a positive and measurable ROI.