January 13, 2016

JDA upgrades WMS for omnichannel performance

New release offers customized interfaces for different warehouse jobs.

By Ben Ames

JDA Software Group Inc. today released an upgrade to its warehouse management system (WMS) platform, adding enhancements it said would help users cope with the challenges of omnichannel fulfillment operations.

The changes include improved mobility networking; customizable dashboards for different job descriptions; and a configuration manager for better ease of use, whether the client is a manufacturer, retailer, distributor, or third-party logistics provider (3PL), JDA said.

The latest version of "JDA Warehouse Management" extends the strategy by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based JDA to leverage its WMS software to support its "Intelligent Fulfillment" initiative. That process is connected to JDA's recent partnership with Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp., integrating JDA Warehouse Management with IBM Commerce's "Order Management" solution. The two firms made their first joint release in that partnership in August 2015.

JDA decided to focus on creating a more streamlined, simplified user interface for its WMS in an effort to respond to the challenges of today's omnichannel warehouse operations, Fabrizio Brasca, vice president for solution strategy and intelligent fulfillment at JDA, said in an interview.

"A WMS is functionally rich, with lots of customization and personalization capabilities," Brasca said. Those features are powerful, but they can demand a lot of setup time for each user to configure. JDA's new configuration manager addresses that challenge by cutting configuration time by 15 to 20 percent, Brasca said.

Another feature of the new release is a renewed focus on the specific challenges of omnichannel operations, where DCs must maintain high rates of throughput while preserving their ability to scale between handling pallets and single products, Brasca said.

"As opposed to a traditional manufacturing environment with pallets, you're now talking about each-picks and intraday turnaround of orders. And not every facility is automated," he said.

The new release addresses that problem by offering users a wider variety of user experiences than just the traditional managerial or supervisory view, which typically displays vast amounts of data on multiple dashboards. Instead, the WMS allows users to choose from about a dozen "persona-based" roles, encompassing a wide range of jobs such as replenishment, warehousing, transportation, click-and-collect, returns processing, or single-item parcel enablement, the company said.

Each of these tasks has a unique workflow, so users who pick the appropriate persona can concentrate only on the business processes relevant to their own function, JDA said.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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