Place for LMS First?
There are some, however, who question that conventional wisdom.
“I would be quick to point out that with today's LMS solutions you can and should consider implementing the LMS first,” says John Seidl, a Principal at Kurt Salmon Associates and its new GoalPost Labor Management group. “The LMS can function well in a legacy or manual environment and will generate the hard savings needed to further justify the WMS. This approach has only become possible in the last 3 or 4 years but in one that every company should consider - a self-funding approach with direct benefits right up front. I would also suggest you consider implementing slotting, supply chain event management and TMS before the WMS as well.”
Those sentiments were supported by Jeffrey Boudreau, a partner at XCD Performance Consulting, who told SCDigest that the conventional approach often misses opportunity.
There seems to be pervasive assumptions labor management should be considered only after every possible supply chain improvement has been pursued. It is the “icing on the cake” after network design, automation, and WMS benefits run their course, Boudreau wrote.
“Quite the contrary, I find leading companies use labor management in strategic ways at every possible opportunity: Such as to extend facility output before new capacity comes on line; or as part of a broad distribution network strategy to reduce the number of facilities in a network, their size and capital requirements,” he added.
The common theme among both sides of the coin is that LMS can deliver a lot of value to distribution operations. Either approach can and has delivered strong results. We’d suggest distribution managers keep their options open.
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