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News | July 12, 2023

WMS rollout reaches 6-month milestone

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services

The Defense Logistics Agency is transitioning from the Distribution Services System to the Warehouse Management System and over the last six months the agency has moved nine different Disposition Services sites to the new system.

Making use of a systematic approach, each site receives the same curated training and troubleshooting to make the transition as similar and seamless for each site as possible. Liberty Moore, a line of effort owner with the WMS team, explained that this approach creates an efficient and effective training environment; enabling staff to make use of lessons learned to improve an already successful system release.

“We work so well with the entire training and tech support teams,” said Moore. “We understand that while the processes are the same at every site, the way people learn is different – we adapt and overcome to make sure that everyone has a firm grasp of how things are supposed to work and what they need to do moving forward.”

Through this adaptability, both training and information technology staff gain valuable insight on how to better prepare warehouse staff for using WMS.

“We’re definitely seeing things get smoother,” said Moore. “The training is getting more level as everybody is getting a better understanding of how to use the system. And J6 [technical support division] is working out more of the kinks and J1 [training division] is further refining the training to ensure it is up to date and flows smoothly throughout our processes.”

Field sites are witnessing the process improvements of this global rollout – as each new location benefits from the previous installations.

“The training for our team went amazing,” said Colleena Viva a property disposal specialist from the Disposition Services site in San Joaquin. “The teachers were very knowledge. We had two different sites training – San Joaquin and Sierra – and both teams worked amazing together on the floor. We had great morale and cohesiveness to get through the training.”

 Warehouse personnel learn the new system over the course of three weeks. The first two weeks give staff in-depth classroom training followed by a week-long period of “over-the-shoulder” training. During this time, the support team ensure any issues receive immediate solutions.

Additionally, each training site has two members of the next hub present for training in order to help facilitate a smoother transition for their own site in the future. Each site hand picks individuals for this task as they are responsible for helping to get their sites up and running alongside of training personnel.

“These ‘go-ahead people’ are expected to have good communication skills,” said Moore. “They are going to be expected to be local subject matter experts. They need to be tech savvy as well – to help explain and troubleshoot what might have gone wrong when issues arise.”

Moore went on to say these ‘go-ahead’ individuals taking back positive experiences to their respective sites has proven beneficial. The positive feelings are felt by others undergoing the training as well – voicing support of the transition.

“I like the new system compared to DSS,” said Viva. “From my personal perspective I think we are looking forward to how streamlined the process will be with the live data.”

Disposition Services and Distribution will continue the rollout of WMS through the end of 2025. The next sites on deck for Disposition Services are Columbus and Tucson.