Ever thought about joining a JDA Special Interest Group (SIG), such as the JDA Warehouse Labor Management SIG? We sat down with Jim Chamberlain and Richard Johnson to discover why you might want to consider finding some time to become an active part of the group. This is the final part of a three part series.

What are some of the JDA Warehouse Labor Management SIG accomplishments to-date?

(Chamberlain): The JDA WLM SIG is still a fledgling group. It did participate in its first in-person SIG summit in Indianapolis. We felt it went really well for a first time and that there was a good amount of networking, roundtables, and presentations. It will only get better.

We voted on a new enhancement that will be developed in 2018 – tracking and recording performance by hour. This came from a quarterly SIG meeting where, as a group, we were able to vote on product direction. This enhancement can be useful in trying to measure the performance of temps during peak season and when evaluating shift structures and their impact on worker performance throughout the shift. Sometimes employees will do 8, 10 or twelve hour shifts. This feature allows you to look at the data and understand, for example, once you get past 10 hours on a shift, are people less productive so you can then make appropriate business decisions.

In terms of the JDA Warehouse Labor Management software, there are so many great enhancements to the newest versions:

  • Mobile supervisor – Enables personnel to utilize the system without leaving the floor
  • Dashboards – These are getting to be a bigger and bigger part of WLM usage. It really allows you to drill in to the data and improve employee performance.
  • Observation scheduling and tracking – You can do a better job of covering all your people for observations; targeting the right people and the right functions.

(Johnson): A key accomplishment for us is that in the short period of time our SIG group has been established, we have just shy of 300 members and we add an average of 3-5 new members a week. The larger we build our member base the more opportunity for networking and working as a community to address business requirements; we’ll build a better product and knowledgebase about what can already be done in the base product.

Tell us about the goals for the JDA Warehouse Labor Management SIG for 2018 and beyond.

(Chamberlain): There are three main goals for the JDA WLM SIG:

  • Education
  • Product Advancement
  • Sharing

Mobility will continue to be a focus of the JDA WLM product, keeping the frontline supervisors on the floor engaging with associates; staying where the action is and making an impact at all times.

For 2018 and beyond, I’d like to further the education on cloud-based software. It’s interesting and can benefit all users, allowing them to always operate on the newest release without the hassle of upgrading. Upgrades can be disruptive; being on the cloud enables the latest and greatest software without the pain and suffering of getting there. WLM is not often as customized as WMS, so it’s a lot more ideal as a cloud product.

This year at JDA FOCUS, we’re going to try to solicit feedback before FOCUS on what the user community wants as topics at the roundtables, to have more user group say in what is going to be discussed. This will also will allow facilitators and members to better prepare. We’ll also be aiming for the same kind of increased interaction and roundtables for the Fall Summit.

(Johnson): 2018 needs to be the year we amplify our involvement in the SIG and to Jim’s point – get a lot more interaction. It is still a rather shy group so we need to break out and get the ideas and solutions flowing. We need to take our drive of improving logistics productivity to the next level and the best way is for direct customer involvement through the SIG community.

Jim and Richard welcome any further questions readers may have. Contact them via the information below – or better yet, join the JDA Warehouse Labor Management SIG and meet them in person!

Jim Chamberlain, Senior Director of Engineering, DSC Logistics

Richard Johnson, Product Director, JDA Software