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How to Implement an E-commerce Warehouse Management System in 28 Days

E-commerce Warehouse Management System

When you are selecting an e-commerce warehouse management system (WMS), you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the vendor’s implementation process before signing a contract. Without a doubt, implementation is the most challenging — and most risky — phase of a WMS project life cycle. Anyone in the industry has either heard or can share a WMS implementation story that was behind schedule or massively over budget … and sometimes both cases were true.

The good news is Tecsys has an e-commerce warehouse management system that is designed to go from initial scoping interview to live in 28 days. When customers hear that timeframe, we are always asked, “How is that possible?”

Let me review the steps and processes Tecsys uses to implement our Omni™ WMS in 28 days.

E-commerce Warehouse Management System Implementation Plan

At Tecsys, we break the implementation into four phases. Each phase is seven business days and has a checkpoint at the end to ensure the project is on track. The phase must be successfully completed before moving to the next phase.

Phase 1: Understand Your Business and the Project Scope

At the start of an implementation project, it is very important to Tecsys to learn about your business and work together with you on defining how the system will support your warehouse management. Below are the steps we follow in phase one:

  • Tecsys will review your current operation and walk through how you run your warehouse operation and how you visualize your ultimate solution.
  • To provide context and some initial learning, Tecsys will present an end-to-end e-commerce WMS solution and review each of the core components of the Omni™ WMS. We will also provide an implementation project overview so you understand what the system looks like and how Tecsys is going to run the implementation.
  • Once everyone on the team understands how the implementation will run, Tecsys will assign roles and responsibilities for each step of the implementation project.
  • Toward the end of the seven business days, Tecsys will perform a detailed process mapping and system configuration review. This is the point where we walk through every process in the warehouse that will be performed and ensure each is clearly understood and will be effective. Any specific configurations or processes are documented.
  • Phase one is marked complete when both parties have agreed upon a documented list of standard operating procedures (SOP) for the warehouse and an implementation plan with preliminary dates and names assigned to each task.

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Phase 2: Build the System Data, Configuration and Interfaces

Using all the information we collected in phase one, Tecsys builds the e-commerce warehouse management system while you or your systems’ integrator builds the ERP integration. Here are the steps for phase two:

  • The cloud solution is deployed and Tecsys builds the master data tables, items, product catalog, warehouse zones, locations, etc. We also create an initial load of the data into the WMS.
  • Tecsys also builds the core e-commerce warehouse management system configuration using the SOPs defined in phase one.
  • Once your systems integrator or IT team has built the standard interfaces, Tecsys runs an automated cycle of interface testing and data validation.
  • With the master data tables, core configuration and interfaces in place, Tecsys can run the first cycle of end-to-end system testing. At this time, we process all the core warehouse transactions and ensure the data cycles effectively throughout the system and all processes work properly.
  • Phase two is marked complete when both parties have agreed that the data is all cycling properly and the master tables are properly loaded.

Phase 3: Test the System and Processes, Train Key Staff

By now the e-commerce warehouse management system is built and the data is in place. Next step is to test and train the key warehouse subject matter experts (SME). Below are the steps in phase three:

  • Tecsys completes a pilot of the e-commerce WMS with all the key transactions defined in the warehouse — following all the steps through with the warehouse SME and internal project team — to ensure that everything will work as planned and there are no issues with data or processes.
  • The key experts and SME training continues and Tecsys reviews their ability to run the WMS independently.
  • During the training and validation process Tecsys is also performing end-to-end system testing for the processes and data loaded.
  • Toward the end of phase three is finalizing the details of go-live planning. Both parties agree to when and how the go-live occurs, who will be running which aspects of the go-live and what are the key elements needed for a successful go-live.
  • Phase three is marked complete when both parties approve the go-live plan.

Phase 4: Roll Out and Train Remaining Staff

The actual e-commerce WMS go-live is the final phase of the implementation plan and it’s where everything comes together. Below are the steps involved in phase four:

  1. All end users are trained by the internal SMEs and cycles of live-simulated transactions are processed. Once everyone is prepared, the system is reset to clean and is ready to go-live.
  2. The entire team performs an inventory count. After completion the system is cutover into live mode.
  3. Tecsys helps the on-site SME with go-live support to ensure the system is live and the users are productive and working effectively with the WMS.

Preparation Is the Key to Success

My recommendation is to be prepared before you begin phase one of this implementation plan. All the hard work you put in beforehand will truly help make the implementation as smooth as possible for your business.

The key benefit of rapid implementation is it reduces risk and drives time-to-value. Tecsys has had many successful go-lives of our Omni™ WMS when following this 28-day implementation plan. It is a proven process that we are committed to at Tecsys. Omni™ WMS is designed to get you live on a full-featured e-commerce warehouse management system fast so you can reduce your costs and begin your ROI faster.

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