Testing Warehouse Hardware During a WMS Implementation

March 12, 2019 BY Melanie Roy

20190221 - computer hardware

Implementing a new warehouse management system is a demanding endeavor, but identifying and testing all software processes, conducting a mock go-live and training warehouse staff isn’t enough. Software can only be properly implemented if it’s hosted on the correct hardware. Here are three key practices to help ensure that software and hardware work seamlessly during a WMS implementation.

Validate application performance

Since you may reduce operations for a few days prior to go-live, the amount of transactional data generated at go-live may be significantly larger than usual. This could impact system performance during the cutover period. Therefore, load testing is crucial throughout the entire implementation process. Users should test system performance by generating large amounts of data such as purchase orders and sales orders simultaneously. Analyze the system’s limits and understand these limits will impact operations during peak seasonal activities. Comprehensive load testing is one of the primary keys to a successful go-live and to the sustainability of your operation.

Validate handheld performance

You should test every combination of handheld device and operating system before implementation since software can behave differently depending on the hardware model. Even if it’s a model you know well, the new WMS may not behave as your old system did. The operating system and available memory are two factors that may impact the configuration of your handheld devices. Test each process of your warehouse using all the different models of your handheld devices. This will enable you to identify possible display issues since handheld screens can vary in size.

Validate printing hardware

By the same logic, printers also need to be tested before launching a new WMS. Configurations may vary between printer models and label types. Make sure all the printers and their physical requirements such as network cables are properly installed in the warehouse and are functioning as expected.

We often focus on software configurations when implementing a new WMS, but the operations on the floor require physical hardware to execute production. A successful WMS implementation requires complete end-to-end testing with realistic data using all warehouse equipment.