LPC was originally approached to review the layout and fit out requirement for a new DC to ensure that it could meet its service levels and HMRC compliance.
The brief was then changed requiring LPC to carry out a review of their WMS needs in two parts, to:-
- Identify the Requirements of the WMS and carry out a “GAP” analysis on the existing system, part of their ERP system. Then, if the existing system proved to be a poor “Fit” to:
- Benchmark the existing system against standalone WMS available on the market and identify the benefits and costs to implement one of them.
With a view as to how the new warehouse would be required to operate, a functionality matrix was constructed identifying over 200 functional elements.
These varied from essential elements, rated as “A” via “B”, those that are operationally beneficial though “C”, nice to have, to “D” not needed.
The latter were included so as to potentially discount potential modules that may be offered.
The existing system proved to be unable to provide, even with modifications, a suitable level of functionality for the efficient running of the warehouse.
An RFI was then issued to six known system suppliers to identify whether they provided as standard the functions shown in the Functionality Matrix that was issued and whether they could provide any with development or if they would not be able to provide them at all.
All could provide a better system than the existing ERP warehouse module and two provided an integral Bond function while the others had ”bolt on” modules.
Budget costs were requested in the responses for purchased and leased systems that are server based and also “Cloud” based. The implementation costs were summarised as year 1 and year 2 and overall 5 year costs.
Our recommendations included:
- Start ITT Procurement process in January for a new WMS, or to develop, whichever is decided, the current system with the new Host in either case
- Go live in new warehouse with existing system as planned in February, thus avoiding a “Big Bang” new site and new system occurring simultaneously.
- In parallel with procurement of new WMS (or development existing WMS) develop “Host” functions, as far as necessary dependent on which WMS is to be used (existing or standalone)
- Testing / implementation of both Host and WMS
- Go live with new RF system in July / August.
There would then still plenty of time before the Peak season to iron out any issues, should they occur.