JDA WLM Special Interest Group – Rebooted

Ever thought about joining a JDA SIG, or Special Interest Group, such as the JDA WLM? We sat down with Jim Chamberlain and Richard Johnson to talk about the group’s leadership and how it got re-booted in 2015.

Who’s Leading the JDA WLM Special Interest Group?

Richard Johnson is Product Director at JDA Software. Richard received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Physics at Carrol University. He started as a programmer with McHugh Freeman, which became RedPrairie, and now is JDA, right out of college 20 years ago. He started his career working in Consulting Services developing customizations to the base WMS application and implementing the software at customer sites around the globe. He transitioned from Consulting to Product Management over 3 years ago and has been focused on improvements to the JDA Warehouse Management product suites which includes the Warehouse Labor Management application. He has worked to push new innovations into the labor product and modernize the user experience.

Jim Chamberlain is Senior Director of Engineering at DSC Logistics. Jim got his degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and optimization has been his focus ever since. With over 28 years of supply chain experience, Jim has been at DSC Logistics in the Engineering department for 22 years, starting as Senior Engineer and gradually growing to his current position. The most enjoyable part for Jim is the innovation. Looking at new technologies, systems and processes that can impact the entire network. He’s always got one foot in running the business, one foot in changing the business.

DSC Logistics is a 3PL that started as a single facility in the south side of Chicago in 1960 and has grown to over 50 locations. The company stays in touch with their employees in many ways, including something they call Founders Day. Every year key executives go to all of the facilities and share stories, challenges and successes for the year and serve lunch or dinner to all employees. Ann Drake, CEO, sees Founders Day as a way to get everyone on the same page and also get newer employees up to speed on where the company has come from and where they’re headed, as well as a chance to say thank you for the hard work in person.

How did you first get involved in the JDA WLM Special Interest Group?

(Chamberlain): Steve Simmerman approached me in September of 2015. He was trying to get the WLM SIG started up and wondered if I would be interested in being the chair. DSC had been to many RedPrairie Redshifts, had presented a lot and were always open to site tours and references for prospective clients. JDA saw DSC as leaders in Labor Management. You bet I was interested; I’ve always been very passionate about labor software and its benefits. It’s very applicable across all businesses; we’ve been using the software for 13 years at DSC.

(Johnson): When I transitioned into my Product Director role one, I was asked to lead the product roadmap for Labor Management. At the time our Warehouse Management SIG group was well defined but Labor Management didn’t have a SIG group presence. I was working to create an innovative roadmap for the future of Labor Management and one of the best inputs into this process is customer feedback. So with the help of Steve Simmerman, Jim Chamberlain and Sandi Wozniak, our WMS SIG Manager, we started up the WLM SIG. It’s a great vehicle to educate our customers on where we intend to take the product and solicit valuable feedback as we define what that roadmap looks like.

How did you get to the role you have now in the JDA WLM Special Interest Group?

(Chamberlain): Those things worked together for me, since the JDA WLM SIG was just getting re-booted. I joined the SIG and became the chair at the same time.

(Johnson): As the product manager for WLM, being WLM SIG Manager was a logical role for me to not only keep our customer base current with our roadmap direction but also take direct input about where we wanted to take the WLM product.

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on the JDA WLM Special Interest Group (SIG). Parts 2 and 3 talk more about the benefits and accomplishments of the JDA WLM Special Interest Group.