The customer’s main goal is to globally implement an industry-leading warehouse management system, namely Blue Yonder. Our 3PL customer focuses on increasing distribution center efficiency, labor productivity, and agility to cope with today’s market challenges.
Next to this, Blue Yonder Warehouse Management System has proven over and over to reduce distribution cost and inventory levels, all leading to bottom-line gains for the end customer. Those results and goals are concluded from a detailed business case leading up to this global project.
The Starware implementation team consisted of three members. Namely: a project manager, a functional consultant, and a technical consultant.
Within Starware, we feel such a team should be able to do the job for small to medium-sized projects. In large projects, requirements can vary widely. That’s why we always sit down with the customer to check the best project team fit.
Firstly, our Starware team sat down with the 3PL’er and the end customer. Then we drafted up a project plan with associated effort. Our team members quickly engaged from the start. This way, we made sure we drafted a plan that was reachable for all parties.
We always work with the customer to decide which project methodology suits the implementation best (Agile, Waterfall, hybrid, etc.). The methodology choice varies depending on the requirements of the project.
After careful consideration with all parties, we decided to follow the classic waterfall methodology. It follows the following stages (1) design, (2) build, (3) test, and (4) deploy phase.
The experience gathered over many years of implementations is always very welcome and helpful when designing new solutions.
Together with all parties, we make sure the ideas turn into real-life solutions!
Build and gap analysis
Often configuration goes way much deeper than just turning on/off flags in the system. You need to see the whole picture of the implementation as much as you need to be fully aware of the design from inbound to outbound with its associated gaps.
Alongside the configuration -led by our functional consultant-, our technical consultant started to work out the details for the gaps. The design (phase 1) provided this person a list of gaps with associated and required functionality. At this time, it is his/her job to dive into the technical details of the gaps and draft specs for the developer.
Once all the specs are drafted and signed off by all parties, we will also ensure the development of these changes is delivered in line with the configuration and ready to be tested in the next phase.
Test – auditing and testing
For this project, we ensured that the key/end-users were involved right from the start of testing. This way, we could add test capacity. And more importantly: this process served as the perfect training process for the team, and that we had very early guidance and feedback from the warehouse operation teams.
Often, we see in implementations a gap between the design team and the requirements from the blue-collar workers in the warehouse. By involving them right from the start of testing, they were engaged and provided valuable feedback, all leading up to a successful deployment phase.
It is also the point that the first golden transactions are taking place to make sure all code is deployed correctly (and nothing is forgotten). Once the golden transactions are passed and the teams give the green light, the big bang go-live could take place!
Obviously, our Starware team is there at any time to support a successful go-live at any cost.
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We will be writing more and more details about our implementations, so please also be on the lookout for further updates.