This month, the tenth and final GSF Distribution Center completed their Warehouse Management System (WMS) transformation. The project, internally referred to as “T3” for “Transformation to Traceability” was based on an upgraded JD Edwards WMS platform with an integrated voice order select application. The T3 project has been in execution phase since Q2 of 2015, and has successfully been implemented on schedule
The new WMS in place for all of GSF DCs will offer a live inventory and virtual warehouse environment through the use of Radio Frequency (RF) technology, supported by JD Edwards system integrated voice order select applications. Through this technology, GSF’s customers will now be ensured effective food safety traceability compliance, subsequent brand protection, and enhanced warehouse effectiveness for inventory and labor management.
While the T3 project took 24 months to complete, the history of the project dates back to 2012, when the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) legislation was passed, defining industrywide parameters for food traceability from source of raw material to point of consumption. To prepare for the FMSA act (which was targeted for 2017 FDA enforcement) GSF began designing and building a comprehensive WMS platform to achieve the desired traceability requirements for both compliance and customer objectives. The deployments across the ten DCs were split into two phases to manage the significant change environment and balancing equipment installation, system testing, training, and minimizing any business disruption.
To accomplish the deployments for WMS across ten DCs over the planned 2 years, GSF developed three, seven-person Business Deployment Teams who were drafted from multiple positions within the GSF Logistics Divisions. These Business Deployment Teams, working under the direction of a Business Project Director, and coordinating with a dedicated group of IT Field Resource personnel, spent seven to ten weeks for each Phase I and Phase II deployment per facility.
“In my 35 years with GSF, the T3 project has been the most demanding, comprehensive and gratifying project that I’ve had the opportunity to manage,” said Jim Brooks, Director, WMS Transformation for GSF. “This was a collaborative effort that included supply chain, and other distribution companies within the system, all with the common goal to provide a system-wide, consistent product traceability solution to our valued customer.”