Whatever your industry, you know that a process overhaul is likely to create change throughout your organisation, whether you’ve anticipated it or not. Since we know our systems and understand the far-reaching impact of updating your warehouse management systems, we’re taking the guesswork out of it.
From start to finish, here is the ten-step guide for managing this organisational change to successfully implement a WMS in your business:
In the current sales climate, all industries are feeling the push to upgrade their WMS and processes to ensure a cleaner and quicker delivery of product to client.
Knowing your motivation and goals clear during the process will ensure that your Warehouse Management System is implemented in a way that delivers on your objectives.
What do you ultimately want to achieve? You can establish this with a simple SWOT analysis on your industry vs your organisation.
Planning ahead is key to achieving the outcomes you need from your WMS. Do you have the correct processes, structures and teams in place?
For your business:
For your industry:
For your workforce:
Implementing a system that will disrupt your business can end up disrupting your workforce, too.
To make sure the disruption is positive, you should know the difference between CHANGE MANAGEMENT and TRAINING.
Encouraging collaboration and company-wide interaction during the planning, approvals, implementation, and review stages will smooth the final training process.
Which departments within your organisation are going to be affected by the new Warehouse Management System?
This question is a simple one which becomes incredibly complex once you take the knock-on effects of the new system into account. Ensure you start off with the big picture in mind.
Remember: all the affected departments must understand and accept the changes to their everyday operations. Ensure that they are ready for training and implementation by following step 3.
Changes to the original project scope will come out in the wash. During the implementation process, you have the opportunity to do a deeper analysis of your business needs and goals and amend the system design to accommodate your new requirements.
Because these elements may shift the goalposts, you’ll need to be hyper-aware of any new hurdles or challenges you’ve uncovered in the process.
Just like the path to success, the change management process is not perfectly linear. Accommodating and anticipating the challenges that your workforce will encounter with the new WMS is key to helping them adapt.
Consider all of your involved departments and their goals in your change management strategy:
While many businesses don’t account for it, a new process, system, or procedure will drive significant culture changes within the company. Being aware of these changes and the responses they elicit is critical:
Your goal is to deliver your products and services quicker, in a simpler way, with fewer hitches. Keep this in mind when you notify your customers of your new systems, processes, or requirements that impact their journey.
This is where your full organisation must be working at its optimum: Every touch point that a customer encounters needs to drive your new operating processes and ensure that no customer is left behind.
Let’s get technical: The integrations available to you on your WMS will vary, and the impact it will have on your business is different for every organisation. Ensure that you a full understanding of the integrations required:
The obvious integrations that are give to you in the project scope, which you may either need to implement or update to sync with your WMS.
Unexpected integrations that may demand a last-minute update, upgrade, install or implementation.
Find out more about integration, timelines, and what to expect from a WMS implementation: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO IMPLEMENT A WMS?
As you may now see, the unpredictable elements within the implementation process may cause you to grossly underestimate the project’s cost to company. Before you approve the initial project scope, ensure that you know what could come out of the woodwork, specific to your business:
You may need to adjust your ROI projections or find a way to account for these extra costs so that you reduce your surprises and keep the costs under control.
See the full change management breakdown in our Quintessential Change Management for WMS Implementation Checklist: