What Is a Warehouse Management System Configuration Tool & Why Is It a Must-Have When Working With WMOS?
A warehouse management system (WMS) configuration utility enables the migration of existing configuration across the various components of your supply chain ecosystem. Existing configuration in one warehouse may be applied to new or planned warehouses or distribution centers. It reduces the amount of manual data entry necessary to achieve optimum warehouse efficiency and simplifies configuration management. IT and Operations leadership teams need to understand why it is critical to have the right tool when working with a modern, robust WMS such as Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management for Open Systems (WMOS).
A Warehouse Management System Configuration Tool Should Make Initial Implementation Easier
The primary reason a warehouse management system configuration tool is essential when using WMOS goes back to the time and costs associated with the initial system implementation. By reducing the number of hours required in configuring the system, it reduces project time by weeks through allowing a tool to replicate the configuration entry process. For example, setting up all the unique task paths to move product through a facility can take weeks to complete if done manually. Using the right tool, that time can be reduced to minutes.
It Helps Synchronize Your System Environments
An effective configuration utility enables synchronization across system environments. According to Veridian Co-Founder, Jason Rosing, typical warehouses have between two and four environments. Common system environments include production, development, quality assurance (QA), and training. Traditionally, companies could use a full data refresh of one environment and apply it to a new environment. However, this leads to a lack of control over transactional data, and confusion among data elements such as items, inventory, customer orders, and pricing lists which may not exist across other limited-access systems. A configuration tool minimizes the downtime by applying an existing configuration to other environments without altering transactional and master data from the original system. It is key to simplifying promotion of new systems in different environments.
Failure to Use a Configuration Tool Increases Risk of Data Errors
Some project teams may elect to enter all data manually, forgoing the use of a configuration tool. However, even meticulous system configurators are at risk of making data entry errors when manually creating thousands of similar configuration records. New configuration may work perfectly in a QA environment, but fail when implemented in production if the configuration elements were not created identically. These production problems will only become evident once the change is implemented and may lead to a rollback of code and configuration, additional downtime, and a loss of confidence in IT processes.
Not Using a Configuration Tool May Lead to Rolling Back Changes
The problems from not using a WMS configuration tool are not limited to data issues. The complexities of manually configuring systems and multiple environments may lead companies to rollback changes or abandon a purchased system in favor of an easier-to-implement system. With the continuous unveiling of new platforms and supply chain systems, the need to quickly move data from one environment to another is essential. Using a configuration tool, complex configuration elements can be quickly promoted to new environments without conducting an error-prone manual process.
Use the Right Warehouse Management System Configuration Tool to Improve Processes
A WMS configuration tool shortens implementation timelines for new warehouse and supply chain systems, reduces project risks, and decreases total cost of ownership. The right warehouse management configuration tool can dramatically reduce the hours needed to set up and optimize systems across multiple environments and facilities, saving your company time and money. For help with configuration management through a purpose-built WMS configuration tool, contact Veridian online today.