Published September 26, 2023
Warehouse implementations require a major investment of time, money and resources. Since underperforming warehouse operations can lead to everything from bottlenecks to unnecessary downtime and increased costs, it is important to ensure your new systems are on track to achieving their expected goals and producing the promised results.
While the last thing you may want to do after a long and expensive project is spend more time and money, leveraging the expertise of a qualified solutions integrator to conduct a post-implementation audit can quickly identify potential problem areas, allowing your organization to take corrective actions quickly.
Why Implementations Fail to Achieve Their Expected Results
Implementations can go wrong for a number of reasons, including:
- Lack of strategic planning. Flexibility and scalability are key in achieving resilient supply chain operations. In order to succeed, solutions must be designed and implemented with your overall business strategy in mind, including your current operations as well as future growth plans.
- Starting with a point solution. In addition to omitting the strategic planning process, companies that implement new equipment and processes in silos—either by individual function or with a single use case—are more susceptible to diminished performance.
- Inaccurate or insufficient data. Even when planning from a strategic, holistic perspective, implementations can only succeed if they have quality, detailed data. Validating the completeness and accuracy of data prior to launch will enable you to properly track performance and receive the maximum value of the solution.
- Limited employee training and participation. Another reason implementations fail to reach their expected results is due to a lack of employee involvement and training. Involving your operations teams early in the process and providing proper training prior to go-live are critical to ensure success.
- Integration issues with existing systems and software solutions. Since logistics operations require the use of multiple types of equipment and software systems, it is important to confirm compatibility and proper configuration with existing platforms and ensure all solutions are capable of meeting your current and future business requirements.
Steps for Conducting a Post-Implementation Audit
Whether you have introduced a new piece of material handling equipment or completed an entire turnkey warehouse solution, performing a post-implementation audit can identify opportunities to increase capacity, performance and cost savings. Prior to conducting the audit, it is important to enlist an unbiased third-party partner that is highly experienced in the supply chain industry, warehouse operations and systems integration. While equipment vendors will focus on the specific systems they offer, an agnostic solutions consultant can provide an objective opinion about what works best for your entire operation and unique needs. As part of the audit process, a supply chain consultant will:
- Collect all relevant operational and historical data for analysis.
- Visit your site to evaluate your current operations, systems, processes and product flow.
- Meet with key executives, management and staff members to discuss current opportunities and clearly define objectives and requirements.
- Utilize the information gathered and best practices to identify any gaps and potential improvement opportunities within your current operations.
- Identify and evaluate alternative approaches, equipment, layout and/or processes that meet the stated objectives and operational requirements.
- Compile all findings and recommendations into a report detailing the corrective actions that need to be taken as well as the benefits, any additional investment that is required and the timeline and approach to complete the recommendations.
While a post-implementation audit is necessary to ensure any new systems and processes are operating at optimal levels, it is also important to conduct periodic warehouse assessments to ensure your operations are capable of meeting constantly evolving demands. With nearly 50 years of experience designing, implementing and supporting customized, data-driven, end-to-end supply chain solutions for our clients, Tompkins Solutions can help you get the most out of your logistics operations. Contact us today to learn more about our audit process and how we can help you increase efficiency, reduce costs and ensure long-term business success.