August 18, 2023 | Dann Woellert
Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned veteran of warehouse automation, there is always a level of software anxiety to overcome. Software requirements change and technology improves over the years. Yet software isn’t a tangible product like conveyor or a PLC. You can’t always touch software or take it off the shelf to show. A Warehouse Execution System (WES) should be flexible to your fit your operation. Showing and proving this in software can be difficult for the supplier, but there’s a better explanation than “take our word for it!”
NEXUS is Matthews’ newest web-based WES software package, offering ‘Operations Anywhere’ functionality and visibility that can help you meet all your process requirements.
The ‘how’ of meeting your operational needs is what creates software anxiety. Fear of the unknown and fear of chaos for new automation projects is real! The high-level of complexity of these automation projects can seem very daunting to any project implementation team.
And software anxiety is not something that yoga, meditation or even a trip to the beach or a cabin in the woods can solve.
Choosing an experienced and seasoned WES software partner and knowing and articulating what you want functionally can help you avoid chaos at implementation time. People buy product functionality and brand, but they also invest in relationships. It’s important to find a vendor that can listen to your needs and translate them into good software automation decisions in the form of a Customer Requirements Document (CRD) that leads the design of the system. Finding a reliable partner you can trust to deliver what you need and more is key. Working with ‘yes, and…’ partners like Matthews can solve immediate challenges and offer reliable resources for future applications.
How will a WES communicate with your WMS, ERP, or Order Management System? How many packages a day do you want to deliver from your facility? How many labels per minute do you need in your print-and-apply line? How many SKUs do you have in your factory inventory? As you dig into the system requirements, these and a host of other detailed questions will pop up Having these metrics drive your automation choices help tame the big scary beast system implementations can seem like.
What are three ways of alleviating software anxiety?
#1 Select an experienced automation provider
NEXUS is built on decades of experience implementing large scale factory automation projects, combining the best of our two proven WES products – Compass CORS and Pyramid Director. Over the past 29 years, we have partnered with over 175 customers. Many are enterprise-level customers with multiple operating locations. Our software has evolved with automation technology and the changing business needs in retail, 3PL, garment, medical device, food and beverage, and other industries.
#2 Carefully define your process
NEXUS project managers and software teams acknowledge there can be challenges, but we won’t let you make a bad decision. We can help you during the CRD process to define what you want functionally and how that works specifically within our NEXUS software. With our extensive experience we can help you define the business logic and algorithms that will optimize flow of product and orders through your system without creating bottlenecks
#3 Build systems to evolve with your unique operation
A WES system shouldn’t be one size fits all. We can tailor it to your current operation while allowing the flexibility to expand for peak times or expansion. Matthews will deliver a solution that works and can grow and scale with your operation. We will take you through the startup phase and we have different levels of support to ensure smooth operation going forward. We don’t install and leave. We stay until it works. Our business relationship is sunrise to sunset.
You can listen to a podcast about managing software anxiety, where Matthews’ Gary Cash and Austin Santich joined our partners The Zion Group (https://thezsg.com/) to discuss execution systems in the material handling industry. Or contact Matthews today to talk about your upcoming projects to improve distribution and fulfillment processes.
Dann Woellert, Matthews Software Product Manager, cut his professional teeth as a Process Controls Engineer in plant automation. Over the years he’s played the role of product manager in a variety of manufacturing industries. He’s a foodie, avid kayaker, and history geek.