Even the best DC order fulfillment systems need to be managed carefully and kept up to date. This is important for several reasons, one of which is the fact that many providers eventually stop supporting technology that is outdated. While some might offer incentives to encourage shippers to modernize their technology, savvy DC managers will be motivated to do so anyway because those who insist on hanging on to the older systems can find their entire operations suffering.
One auto parts distributor that had trouble justifying the costs of updating different aging control devices learned this lesson the hard way. They felt that since everything was working, there was no need for action. Eventually, an IT person working for them panicked upon discovering that their DC system controls and software had become obsolete and were not supported. Much of their control equipment, such as PLCs, PCs, and bar code scanners, were not being serviced by the OEMs any more. Moreover, they were no longer able to get critical parts for repairs, leaving many of their devices unfixable.
Once things reach this point, it’s easy to see how even a small system failure might have a devastating effect on your ability to process orders and ship them to customers.
Make A Plan And Stick To It
The best thing that DC managers can do is to come up with a plan for upgrading and bringing in new features. By scheduling regular intervals for reviewing equipment, systems, and controls, the best times for upgrades can be identified. Many companies find that is a much more cost-effective way of upgrading.
While incremental upgrades are a sound business plan, business managers need to resist the temptation to obtain unnecessary features that are more “nice to have” than absolute essentials.
This blog post was based off an article from Supply Chain Digest. View the original here.