WMS Training for Success
"We can do the training as we go" and "We'll pick it up as we go along". We've heard this before many times with customers not giving staff training the importance it deserves for that important WMS system implementation. Skipping or skimping on training is definitely a recipe for failure but we do kind of understand where this comes from: the deadline for go live is looming, pressure from on high, we can save money, and so on. All these pressures can tempt you to cut corners from the important checklist of items that need completing before the big "go live" day.
Stop and think about the first day of go live with the new WMS system, do you really want chaos caused from a lack of understanding of the processes and staff not knowing how to use the system? You wouldn't drive your new car without learning how to drive and passing your driving test would you?
When you "go live" with any new system there will be issues that arise, that's real life. A lack of training and therefore understanding of how the system should work will only cloud the real issues - this will make the whole experience more difficult, frustrating and even painful!
Here are some reasons why you don't want to neglect training for your WMS Implementation:
1. The WMS Training Process Highlights Process Improvement Opportunities
How does this work? Well, preparing for the implementation with a well planned and executed training programme forces a step by step review and re-evaluation of every warehouse process from an operational perspective. It makes you question why you operate how you do, it makes you take a step back and question the reasons why you operate in this way (which are often historical - we've always done it this way!). Often, too much focus is placed on the technical aspects of the project: integration with other systems, wireless technology and equipment, servers, etc. Sometimes this deflects from the real purpose of the implementation which is business benefits through warehouse process improvements. Training can help you and the team stay focused on the real project deliverables - not the equipment, not the software but a smoother operation and improved bottom line.
Also, we've seen from long experience that everyone concentrates on learning the "bells and whistles" of the system (because its human nature to want to use the cool stuff!). The key is to get the basics right first and the more advanced features will naturally find their place over time. Yet another benefit of a well designed and structured training programme - it keeps you focused.
2. WMS Training Smooths the Transition of Project Ownership
Your WMS implementation project team will be made up of your own staff and your suppliers staff. Depending on the scope and the contract you have with your supplier, there will be a target date for external staff to exit the project when the consultancy and training days are completed. Making sure that you take full advantage of the training programme can ensure you don't suffer when the experts leave. It empowers your staff and provides the transition of project ownership to your business.
3. WMS Training Helps New Staff Become Operational More Quickly
A good initial training programme will generate confidence in the system and the existing staff. This enthusiasm is easily and naturally passed on to new starters. The training programme will also have generated useful documentation that can be called upon by existing staff when training new staff. Updating and maintaining the training documents will help protect your investment in the new WMS system and save time later.
Make the WMS Training Work for You:
- Document all questions and issues in a formal document (we use a spreadsheet) to ensure you don't miss anything.
- Nobody can remember all the details of the training programme. Make sure you have your own reference documents and notes from the training sessions relevant to the persons job.
- Appoint Super Users who can pass on knowledge and answer questions on day to day operational issues.
Really successful and smooth "go lives" are usually the result of a successful training and testing programme. If you're questioning whether training is important, it is critical! It can make the difference between project success and failure - take care and realise the importance of training.
We have a wealth of experience in implementing our WMS Systems to help clients realise the benefits of a smart Warehouse Management System. Please get in touch for a no obligation and no pressure discussion on how Dexterity WMS could help your business.