How Good WMS Training Enables Long-Term Performance in Software Adoption
Supply chain technology projects, such as a new WMS implementation, are typically only as successful as the level of user proficiency achieved in the period just beyond go-live. How well your users accept the new WMS, grasp its innerworkings and adjust to it moving into the first few weeks of exposure will determine your payback on the investment. It will also greatly impact your long-term productivity as new users transition onto the system. So, what are the secrets to really good WMS training?
Set a Positive Tone
To ensure best results, it is important to set a positive tone up-front among your user community. You don’t want them to feel intimidated or pressured by the change. You want to establish a comfort level early in the process.
This can be achieved by exposing core users to the program in a relaxed setting, such as a pre-shift meeting or casual lunch-and-learn. Here, a system walk-through can familiarize your users with all the bells and whistles of the new technology, without putting them in a position of having to perform. It makes learning easier if they can see what the software is all about before they sit in front of a WMS training screen.
Involve IT Early
It helps to get your IT department on board early. New software should always be co-configured with IT involvement as a matter of best practice. You don’t need a red-carpet event to do this. Bake it into the implementation process, allowing IT to gain hands-on experience early and often, while the system implementer is there to help sort out issues and provide guidance. When users enter the picture, the IT team will be prepared to lend an assist one step ahead of your provider’s support desk.
Take a Phased Approach
In terms of actual training, a phased approach is recommended, as opposed to full-on immersion. This establishes user comfort levels and builds on a solid foundation. Initial training should focus on normal system operation – the “happy path,” if you will. Then address exception-handling training as such matters arise.
Trying to train everybody on everything will only result in frustration.
Ensure Proper Documentation
Really good WMS training will work to empower users, build confidence and help them gain a comfort level with the program. Having quality training documentation is a must-have for moving forward after the training. As users rotate on and off the system, quality documentation ensures consistency in future training. It also forms the bedrock for a sustainable training program long after “day one” has come and gone.