In the previous blog we talked about a phased approach to implementing Warehouse Functionality in NAV/BC. There can be valid reasons your business needs to rip off the Band-Aid and go from paper to Advanced Warehousing.
Reasons may include the following:
- There is a need to process multiple documents
- High Value inventory that requires better visibility
- High rate of mispicks and inventory discrepancies
- Need to separate receiving and shipping from put-away and picking
- Receivers and Pickers spending too much time looking for product
Ways to improve chances of success:
- Set a realistic timeline – this is not a 30 day project. This is at least a 180 day to 270 day project. Avoid the common mistake of creating an unattainable timeline and not accounting for learning curve and training. There is a lot of functionality to implement and people have to still do their day jobs.
- Recognize that this is a BIG project – this may seem like the same point as above, but it is not. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “Let’s turn on Advanced Warehousing – it’s just checking a couple of check boxes.” There is a lot more involved when you start talking about turning on Directed Pick and Put Away. For example – defining zones, bins, bin types, bin templates, bin contents, put away rules… You get the point.
- Understand the physical changes required to support more advanced functionality – How good is your Wi-Fi coverage in the warehouse? Are your bins and items identified with bar codes? Do you have a clear receiving and shipping bin? How much time needs allocated to set all of this stuff up? Order the labels? Get the right equipment?
- Dedicate time for Warehouse to train hands-on in the floor – Schedule time each week for users to spend time on the floor executing tests for the new system. The hands-on piece is critical to get users familiar with the guns and transactions.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a Change Management – People need to understand how a change will affect them. There is the perception especially in a warehouse that automation will lead to a reduced workforce. The reality may be different but people need to have a clear understanding of the change.
Remember - deciding to go all in with Advanced Warehousing is a bigger project than most people realize. There are a lot of moving pieces to be taken into consideration, but it can be done successfully. In our next blog we’ll talk about how to evaluate the level of warehousing you need.