Looking back on the implementation, Shay says that the only thing he might have done differently was to put greater emphasis on standardizing and documenting the company's processes before deploying the system. As it was, it took nearly two years for Ware-Pak to fully set its procedures in stone, and Shay believes that the company could have made that much more progress had it done the documentation beforehand. Beyond that, Ware-Pak's president suggests that executives at other companies preparing to go through similar implementations maintain an open mind about new ways to leverage their system. "They'll be so amazed at how much more control they'll have over the organization when they finish that it'll be worth any difficulties they go through during the implementation," Shay concludes.
- Anticipate change: Understand where a new system will require the company to change or standardize processes. Document the new processes before beginning the implementation.
- Upgrade personnel: Put a training plan in place early to ensure smooth adoption of new technologies, and understand that not everyone will be able to make the transition — expect some turnover.
- Don't rest on laurels: Be prepared to take advantage of the expanded capabilities of a newly installed solution to offer innovative services to customers, and work with the solution provider to develop new functionality to keep ahead of competitors who have access to many of the same technologies.
Founded in 1963, Ware-Pak, based in University Park, Ill., provides third-party fulfillment services to the publishing industry, offering customized packaging, mail order and e-commerce order fulfillment, catalogue and book distribution services, as well as assembly, storage and returns processing. The company has experience handling CD, book, catalogue and wholesale distribution for a variety of publishers and their retail customers, including major big-box retailers. Ware-Pak handles more than $170 million in sales on behalf of its customers annually.
Companies Mentioned in This Article