Three ways to accelerate and de-risk Global EWM Deployments

Oct 01, 2019

In an ever more challenging and demanding market, time and cost pressures are constantly under scrutiny when discussing EWM global deployments. The term ‘accelerated’ and ‘EWM’ to some, are words that don’t necessarily sit comfortably together. There is also an ever growing demand to de-risk EWM implementations and ensure that system adoption is  realised as efficiently as possible. But it’s not all about speed of delivery, managing change is a critical element of this process. You must consider how you engage employees early and ensure that they become proficient with the new technology and new processes fast?

We’ve explored a number of options, based on our experience of global deployments, to find out what the best methods are for changing perception of EWM and for optimising the implementation process.

Why you need early engagement to accelerate and de-risk

Any early engagement with business units. especially within global implementations with a large number of warehouse locations, can deliver significant benefits and value. Clear communication of what any proposed solution may look like or how it may operate is an absolute must and is the first part of a successful implementation. From a deployment team perspective having a much clearer picture of the businesses, their current processes, legal requirements and challenges allows any subsequent workshops to be delivered in a more efficient manner. It can also allow any early design or design principles to be established and in some cases prototyped ready for business demo’s. So what are some of the methods we have utilised to make this happen?

1. Questionnaires

Within delaware’s FAST EWM we have developed a suite of ready to go questionnaires regarding all aspects of warehouse operations from inbound processes through to labelling requirements. These are delivered in an easy to use format for the business users and allow initial investigations and analysis to be performed with the minimal of effort. The images below represent a couple of examples of these templates and the valuable insight which they provide.

Three ways to accelerate and de-risk Global EWM Deployments

Three ways to accelerate and de-risk Global EWM Deployments

Three ways to accelerate and de-risk Global EWM Deployments

2. EWM Videos

In addition we also have developed a number of videos that help demonstrate the core EWM processes that the business would be expected to use which serve two main purposes:

  • Early sight of the EWM solution and its look and feel 
  • A level of background to help support the submission of the questionnaires thus improving the quality of the feedback

Both of the two aspects help significantly when future workshops are being conducted as the business will already have an understanding of EWM, the deployment team have built a picture of the operation and a common ‘language’ can begin to be formed very early in the process.

Below is a screenshot of an example of a basic EWM video, showing an overview of key processes, that can be expanded to include voice-overs, supplementary information to support the users, business diagrams or operational pictures.

Three ways to accelerate and de-risk Global EWM Deployments

3. The Model Warehouse concept

A physical representation of a warehouse is a powerful tool that we have used within several of our deployments. System adoption for many can be a huge challenge and even with what would be regarded as good quality training it can be difficult to bring the system and operational aspects together. That is where the Model Warehouse concept offers great value, not only helping affirm the system requirements through better testing, but linking it closely with the day to day operational user support and training.

With the expectation from our customers, this approach is a key element, to accelerate the delivery of global EWM deployments while reducing the overall implementation risk and total delivery cost.

What does the future hold

Why stop here? Questionnaires and videos are very much the current ways of working today. By enabling the business users to visualise and model their processes in a virtual warehouse showing how it operates and interacts with an EWM system, conveyors and robots very early in the journey, will bring a complex warehouse solution to life. The benefits of such a concept would hold no boundaries, reducing the risk through easier adoption of the proposed solution, clear understanding of how EWM would support the business and more importantly validation of the proposed design.  

These are a few of the tools and techniques that are helping us accelerate EWM deployments, minimise the business risk and improve the adoption of EWM systems. Find out more about how a templated approach to EWM can accelerate deployments and minimise risk – download the FAST EWM solution overview here.

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