MATERIAL HANDLING CONSULTANTS, INC.

Chicago, Illinois  *  Atlanta, Georgia  *  Los Angeles, California  *  Dallas, Texas

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Material Handling Consultants, Inc. is a World Class industrial engineering firm which specializes in the planning, design, integration, and implementation systems for the manufacturing, transportation, and distribution industries. 

 

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WMS Implementation 

We have been asked many times why do some attempts to implement new technology fall short of their goal and what steps may be made to assure the maximum return on your WMS investment.  We have often found as operations grow and mature, old procedures and ways of doing things can become less and less efficient.  They become les efficient so gradually that they can continue to go on virtually unnoticed for an extended period of time.  

What you can do to insure the success of your capital investment? 

  • Carefully review the manner in which you operate your business 

  • Prepare your people for change

  • Prepare yourself for the changes that will be made to your operation

It is essential that you review your operational procedures to determine how you may simplify your  processes. 

You should review your  processes before you select a WMS vendor so that you may best understand what value or additional costs their optional functions may bring to your operation.

While this may appear to be a long tedious exercise, the work can be completed rather quickly.

What is the justification in utilizing this approach? 

Some investments in WMS technology have achieved paybacks in as little as 90 days . . . many in less than one year!   

Where do you start?

We can start at purchasing and work the process through receiving, inspection, and up to storage.

  • Can you simplify any procedure?

  • What could be don to eliminate errors?

  • What could be done to reduce additional handlings?

Each and every time you handle, move, count, or inspect an item, you introduce the opportunity for errors! 

Where do we look next?

Next we look at how you handle and store merchandise. 

  • Is it safe?

  • Is it neat and orderly?

  • Is it efficient?

  • Is it "just the way you have always done it?"

  • Is there a better way?  

We need to focus on the “how and why” the existing procedures are being used.

What was the desired outcome in the first place?

You can not build upon a flawed process and expect a successful outcome.   

Where else can we look?

Order Entry

  • How do you receive your orders?

  • How do you check stock?

  • How do you enter data?

  • How do you identify “sold” inventory at the point of sale?

Can we eliminate any steps? 

  • What could be done to eliminate errors and improve accuracy?

  • Are there WMS enhancements which could eliminate procedures?

With each step we eliminate, we streamline the process, reduce labor, and reduce the opportunity for error. 

Where can we look next?

Order Entry

  • How do you prepare your orders?

  • How do you organize your picking?

  • How do you check your orders? 

  • How is routing decided?

  • How are orders staged?

Can we reduce labor?

This is a significant area where the advanced capabilities of a WMS can greatly reduce the human effort ($) required to perform a given series of tasks.

We need to focus on the whole process, not just individual tasks. 

Can we . . . ?

  • batch orders?

  • eliminate order checking?

  • organize the stock more efficiently?

  • automate labeling and routing?

  • stage and ship more efficiently?

  • reduce distances?

  • mechanize?

  • modify the layout?

  • stagger start and stop times?

A WMS is a very powerful tool! 

Have you prepared to take full advantage of the storage and audit features contained within the WMS software?

Since the WMS can guide operators through a predetermined sequence of steps and can provide operators with nearly instantaneous special instructions and feedback that were not available before . . . we must “re-think” the job procedures and tasks so that we may enhance operator performance while reducing the human effort.  

We must continuously re-ask the question . . . “are we properly integrating the WMS into our operation in such a manner as to  receive the maximum benefit from our capital expenditure?”

Where else can we look?

Your People! The implementation of a WMS requires its integration into your entire operation.

True integration must address the following aspects of your whole operation, including: 

  • Facility

  • Operational Process

  • Software

  • Mechanical & Electrical Equipment 

  • Management Objectives

  • Personnel

Changes in any one of these areas affect the effectiveness the others. 

Participation 

We find more success in places where people have had the opportunity to participate in the development of the project. 

We have received valuable input and insight from people who perform the daily tasks.

We believe that creating the environment for two-way communication provides for a better understanding of what this “change” is to accomplish and . . . in the end, it is your people who are the ones who make your project successful! 

The final question? 

Are you prepared to manage through all the necessary changes required to guide your company to future growth and success?

 

 

 

 

. . . we are independent business consultants and do not represent any manufacturing, software development, distribution, or installation services providers . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

. . . we do not purchase for resale  any equipment or software . . .   

 

 

 

 

 

 

. . . our goal is to objectively represent our clients' interests . . .

 

 

Copyright © 1996-20055 Material Handling Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised:September 28, 2005