Rapid Rollout Plan for Manhattan’s WMS – ITOrizon Inc.

Currently, there is no proven rapid implementation strategy for Enterprise Warehouse Management Solutions. Complexity quadruples based on the MDM, ERP, EOM, WCS, MHE, and interface architecture, and presents unique challenges for each probable combination.

In the case of Manhattan, there are not many system integrators whom understand the product in-depth, and can implement quickly and efficiently.

ITOrizon has a long history of designing and implementing Manhattan SCM solutions, and we agree with Gartner on their WMS magic quadrant assessment.

We’ve come up with 10 steps for a rapid implementation strategy.

Step 1. Building a thorough BRD for selected vendors

Based on your strategic objectives and KPIs the RFP has been completed. A granular BRD is like a contract, and helps assure that design goes in the right direction, and accounts for every vendor’s industry expertise.

Step 2. Pre-designing the operations flow, inventory segmentation, slotting, warehouse automation, and ERP/EOM/TMS/MDM Integration

Pre-design the operations flow to draw the line precisely for your WMS, WCS, MHE, TMS, ERP, EOM, and MDM vendors. We want to govern the systems based on your requirements, rather than on their capabilities and limitations on core functionality, integration architecture, budget, timeline, and resources.

Step 3. Presenting pre-design to Manhattan and all your MHE vendors, and getting final design

ITOrizon recommends having pre-design sessions with all software vendors, to get everyone on board with a single vision, and a consolidated design.

ITOrizon wants Manhattan to be the owner of the WMS design, to make sure, as a software vendor, they are not blindsided. They will provide the final design, considering your current objectives, and future roadmap.

Step 4. Exploring base and alternate solutions to avoid enhancements in Phase 1

Customers should religiously explore base solutions and base alternatives, keeping enhancements to ZERO. We have learned that taking this route helps you go live fast and gives time to adapt and focus on continuous improvements later.

Simplicity is the key.

Step 5. Enabling WMOS test automation for full continuous regression testing

It is ITOrizon’s consistent observation that customers slip on both regression testing and manual testing, and force themselves not to take builds from Manhattan, because they are afraid of breaking things. We recommend taking builds and fixes and investing in Test Automation for managing the effort, to ensure timeliness and consistency of builds.

Post Implementation Strategy

Step 6. Building integration automation

Integration is where customers struggle because it’s very difficult to automate integration. We recommend setting up integration tests across multiple applications. This approach has enabled our customers to roll out process improvements across systems in an agile way (even every two weeks), as part of their development sprints.

Step 7. Building VPT framework

For industries such as retail, you don’t want systems to fail during peak times or high stages of customer demand. Retail is where rapid implementation is vital because of the repeated promotions, peak seasons, market disruptions, and seasonal needs. These factors will continuously throw curve balls, delaying projects and subsequently doubling and tripling costs. Build ongoing performance testing into your process.

Step 8. Implementing enhancements and process improvements in an agile way

Once you have gone live with no enhancements, evaluate each process on a repeat basis, and assess where your KPIs can improve, and where you can remove bottlenecks. Every two weeks, roll out new improvements through automation.

Step 9. Implementing LMS

This is where you can track not only productivity, but also labor standards. ITOrizon recommends LMS to be put in place once the floor is satisfactorily operationalized with a WM go live. This is also an essential step in continuous improvement.

Step 10. Implementing SCI

Monitor your supply chain performance in real-time through dashboard monitoring and data warehousing. Make strategic decisions through these powerful analytical tools that give visible impacts on the company’s BI ecosystem, and the supply chain business processes themselves.

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