A discussion about how warehouses can smoothly adopt and integrate new technology with existing legacy systems, with Scott Arnold, vice president of sales and marketing with Data Capture Solutions, and Mikhail Ishkhanov, senior director of product strategy and sales enablement with SOTI.
Warehouses today are wrestling with three big challenges, Arnold says: Finding the right people in an economy where labor is scarce, adopting the appropriate technology, and addressing supply chain issues so that product is readily available for delivery.
In addition, Ishkhanov says, warehouses need to ensure that the technology stack is operating as required, providing the facility with adequate support and maximum system uptime.
A technology refresh, while yielding big benefits to the warehouse, can also be highly disruptive to day-to-day operations. Arnold says the organization needs to make sure that it has budgeted properly for the systems it plans to acquire, and that it’s providing adequate training to the staff that will be running them, often at multiple locations. Ishkhanov says it’s important to understand how the new tools will work with legacy technology.
To avoid disruptions arising from the adoption of new technologies, warehouses should have in place a technology center in which it can ensure that the new systems are working as planned, within the planned procurement timeframe. “You don’t always get everything when you ordered it,” Ishkhanov says. “You need to make sure that the technology has been tested and aligns with your rollout schedule.”
It's equally important, he adds, to have internal “champions” on the scene — early adopters who have been trained on the new systems and can provide feedback on their real-world application.
“Our primary focus is on understanding timelines and budget considerations,” Arnold says, adding that a new-technology rollout across multiple distribution centers should be done in phases, with the plan for extended implementation factored into the budget.
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