Defining key success criteria to measure project success for Warehouse management system implementations

Genade, Marius (2012-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


The storage and distribution of goods in warehouses have been around for centuries. Information systems and technology have enabled business to run various different functions, like accounting, successfully. Companies soon realised the additional benefits technology can bring to their operations. Increase in product throughput and increase in product range are some of the examples that add additional complexity to the warehousing and distribution functions. In order to cater for the additional complexity, to gain improved customer service levels and gain a strategic advantage in delivering the right product, in the right place at the right time, companies are implementing warehouse management systems (WMS). However, the WMS implementations are complex and involve various different stakeholders. Failed WMS implementations can negatively affect the operations. There are many risks associated with the WMS implementations and many companies have had to issue profit warnings in the past due to failed implementations. Various viewpoints on project success exist but this research report has aimed to provide a framework of key success criteria which organisations can use to evaluate the success of their implementation. Since WMS are generally rolled-out across various sites within a specific supply chain, measuring and evaluating the success of the first project can guide the project team to achieve more project success in the future, eliminating the risks associated with failed implementations. This study clearly defines the difference between project success, project management success, critical success factors and key success criteria. Literature on the topic is limited and therefore this study looked at various sources like peer-reviewed literature, popular literature and case studies. The findings of the report indicate that there is a list of ten different key success criteria which organisations can focus on in order to measure and improve their project success. Taking ownership, change management, managing stakeholder expectations, communication, training and testing are some of the key success criteria that were identified. This study concludes by presenting a framework which organisations can use to measure the success of their WMS implementation.

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