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The Best Practices for Deploying a WMS

By david.yarbrough | August 03, 2015 | Blog

Many times when you hear a story, it’s about how something went wrong. The same holds true for stories about deploying warehouse management systems. You can find articles about full-system failures to adoption nightmares and everything in between. Developing your new WMS does not have to be quite so drama filled. A few tips to use during the different stages of the deployment can go a long way to making sure everything runs smoothly.

Plan it Out

When approaching any major change, having a plan is necessary. When dealing with the deployment of a new warehouse management system, be sure to plan everything well ahead of time with great detail. Performing a process audit can be a useful first step to take. This will show you exactly what processes and functions the new system will affect. Document these different areas so that you know what will require the most work.

Taking the time to do this may seem tedious, but it will show you exactly how the new system will improve what you currently have. Additionally, it provides you with a document that can be passed among employees so that they know, and can prepare, for what will be different.

Be Realistic

Deployments of new warehouse management systems do not happen overnight, nor do they go off without problems. Take a look at how long the deployment will actually take you, and then add some time for dealing with complications that you did not expect. It is better to expect a long deployment time than to think it will go quickly and end up scrambling when it does not.

When creating your timeline, including time for system failures is a must. Better be safe than sorry. Throughout the process you should keep the mindset that failures may happen and you should be able to deal with them. A proper timeline will allow for extra testing, and could even result in finishing ahead of schedule.

Put it Through Tests

During your deployment, testing should be done early, often, and thoroughly. The easiest way to prevent an error for when you go live is to test every part of the new system. Also, do not stop testing if you receive positive results the first time. Testing the same aspect multiple times will ensure effectiveness when it matters. Be sure to record all tests, whether successful or not.

All About Training

If testing is the most effective way to prevent failures, than training employees is a very close runner up. Training should be done through the entire deployment process and should not be put off until the end. Furthermore, expecting to only train managers and having the information trickle down to other employees is not enough. Create a training program that includes all workers that will be using the new system to ensure proper teaching.

Following these steps will help your deployment be stress free and successful.