Pour la version française de ce texte, suivez ce lien.
Your company is implementing a new ERP system and/or WMS. To ensure that the solution’s launch is successful and generates ROI from day one, your implementation partner insists on scheduling tests throughout the process.
Testing the solution thoroughly before Go-Live is essential to its successful implementation. It entails identifying and running all the system’s applications and functionalities. In most cases, especially with systems that have the power to transform how you operate, testing should also include a simulated launch.
These tests are necessary to the evaluation of the software’s performance and capacity to support your activities. They also go a long way towards helping end-users become familiar with the solution before it goes live.
To read more about the importance of user-acceptance testing, click here.
It is however not enough to test the software’s performance. The fact is that your new software can only help your organisation as far as the hardware on which it runs allows it. That is why a good implementation partner will also want to test your hardware’s performance.
Here are three best practices for the success of your new system in your operation.
Assess the New System’s Capacity
In preparation for the launch, especially in the days leading to Go-Live, your organisation will want to reduce its activities. As a result, you should expect a larger than normal amount of transactional data to be generated right after the solution is launched. This will likely impact system performance during the cutover period.
Will your new system have the capacity to handle that?
Surges in transactional data, such as those caused by seasonal peaks, will test your system’s capacity. That is why load testing is a crucial part of the implementation process.
Load testing involves generating large amounts of data, such as purchase and sales orders, all at once. This is done to determine the system’s capacity to process data and its limitations. These tests also allow users to understand how the system’s capacity will affect operations when data surges occur – e.g., during seasonal peaks.
This makes comprehensive load testing one of the primary keys to a successful launch and to the sustainability of your operation.
Evaluate the Performance of Handheld Devices
Maybe your company is implementing a new WMS that is being implemented on old handheld devices your employees have been using for years. Or maybe you are implementing your current ERP system on newly purchased handheld devices.
Read more about leveraging an ERP system on handheld devices here.
Whatever the case may be, it is essential that you test every combination of handheld device and operating system before Go Live.
As with any other piece of hardware, handheld devices might perform differently when running new software. Even if your organisation is accustomed to a specific model, you could find that it does not handle the new WMS as well as it did the old one.
Chief among the things you must assess is how the operating system and available memory affect the configuration of your handheld devices. This requires putting your devices to the test in each and every task that they are meant to support in your warehouse. By doing so, you can evaluate the devices’ performance and identify potential display issues – handheld screens vary in size, which can affect the display of information.
An advantage to testing your handheld devices pre-launch is that it helps determine their optimal configuration so that they may efficiently support all your activities from day one. It also serves as a great opportunity to train employees to use them.
Validate printing hardware
Often forgotten, yet essential to your organisation’s capacity to operate, printers also need to be tested before Go Live.
Configurations vary between printer models and label types. You therefore must make sure that all printers are properly installed and adequately configured to produce the required documents. You must also verify that their physical requirements, such as network cables, are adequately met. Finally, you should test the printers by actually producing an instance of every document type required for the proper operation of your company.
In a Nutshell
When a company implements new systems, the focus will naturally be on software configurations. Nevertheless, one should never forget that operations on the floor rely on hardware, and that all devices do not support a given software in the same fashion. That is why the successful implementation of a new ERP system or WMS requires complete end-to-end hardware testing that leverages realistic amounts of data and assesses the performance of all warehouse equipment.