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News | Nov. 19, 2022

WMS development nears the finish line

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

As 2022 comes to an end, the Defense Logistics Agency is preparing to roll out a new operating standard across the agency.

Disposition Services sites will begin using the Warehouse Management System in early 2023 and the first test of the system is currently taking place at the Disposition Services headquarters.

Members of Disposition Services from around the world arrived at the Training and Operations Simulation Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, to participate in the first test run of WMS

“We’re deploying WMS in a live environment at the TOSC and we’re going to be able to test it and make sure it operates in a controlled environment,” said Gerry Charlton, the WMS program manager as he discussed the simulated field site set up to receive property. “We’re really going to truly push [the system] to find any more additional defects.”

Disposition Services crafted this test run to determine what works properly and what causes negative issues. Using the data collected from this weeklong TOSC operation, the agency can determine the next steps necessary as the development of this system nears completion.

“We scripted 107-line items for receipt for the week,” said Mike Rogers, a WMS team lead. “These items will give us the test data that we need to make sure the system functions in all the ways that we need it to function. It gives us a chance to identify any problems and try to get them resolved as soon as possible.”

Those working to identify potential problems within the system are from sites across the worldwide enterprise as the agency enters into the last few months of testing.

“We’re taking a true ‘agency approach’ to get more people involved and cover the workload,” said Rogers. “We brought people in representing different areas of the field. These people have a huge amount of expertise, and they know what this project needs.”

Disposition Services San Antonio is the first site scheduled to put WMS online in early 2023. Through the next few months Charlton and the rest of the team testing WMS are working towards creating a final product that is user friendly with very few deficiencies within the software.

“We want to look at how we can optimize [the ways] we receive property,” said Charlton. "Develop those [standard operating procedures] so that when we get to San Antonio, we develop quality training and quality SOPs with software that is stable.”

WMS will begin rolling out to individual Disposition Services and Distribution sites over the next three years with the final site currently scheduled to go live in September of 2025.