Does your WMS have “Spider-Sense”?
Spider-sense! Being the comic-book geek that I am, Spiderman’s spider-sense was the first thing I thought of when we started the idea of a spider data model to address something that has bothered us. Actually, it was one of our great customers that came to us with a simple question: “Why do we have to look in about 4 different places for our production support staff to find out what is going on?“
You see, back when we first designed the MOCA and the WMS, we created a table to log transactions. Well, it was 1993 and we didn’t have a lot of options of how to do it. It worked fine for its day. But, it is largely unchanged since then even though technology has come a long way since then. And now there are a bunch of sibling tables where things like order activity, work activity, and trailer activity are kept. Frankly, it can be a bit dicey to figure out where to look for the right info.
Well, it is now 2013 and there are a lot (A LOT) of options. We love it when customers come to us with things like this – things that can produce a lot of ROI in the areas of production support and customer service. What we came up with is a very clever spider data model and non-SQL concepts that allowed us to make a single intuitive interface for seeing all interrelated and intertwined warehouse activities – bringing everything under one unified framework.
We started with a question: When operations in a WMS happen, can we capture the functional intersections that a user would want to understand? For example, if I am starting by looking at a shipment, what are the interactions and intersections I want to understand. The spider model starts to look very intriguing.
We quickly realized we had a great concept on our hands. How to turn it into a great application? That was the next, and more difficult, question. While the Spider is a great concept for pulling data relationships together, it is not something that a user needs to understand.
Our UI designers came up with some simple structures that could be represented in MOCA-based DDA. The idea was to show the relationships of WMS objects (like shipments, receipts, locations, etc) impacted by whatever it is they were searching for – and not just plop them into a huge list of non-related data.
We are in beta with this WMS Add-on right now. If you would like more information about adding more intuitive problem resolutions tools to your system, email us or give us a call at 262-264-0477. They are free to GetUsROI customers and will work with most RP WMS systems 2008.2 and later.