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Warehouse Management System Testing: How Do You Want to Test Your WMS?

In the digital supply chain, time management and time-to-go-live are everything. Few warehouse processes are more affected by this concept than implementing and maintaining a warehouse management system. Fortunately, testing of the application through automation is a way to reduce testing cost while at the same time improve the overall test coverage, explains Infosys.

The Problem: Warehouse Managers Forego Testing in Favor of Faster Implementation

Time-to-implementation can make or break ROI. Faster implementation is associated with a faster time to ROI. Unfortunately, spending too long on implementation and improper budgeting for warehouse management system testing or implementation can decimate the project budget.

Under-budgeting is responsible for multiple cases of system projects being shelved or delayed unnecessarily. Warehouse Managers are advised to allocate 75% of total budget to services used, not system purchase price, reports Christopher Trunk via Material Handling & Logistics News. In addition, Warehouse Managers should multiply the project services’ cost by three to ensure a safety net.

This risk is complicated by the fact most retailer’s lack a low-volume, off-peak time to test and implement new systems, says Brian Barry of MultiChannel Merchant. Any hurdle could result in severe setbacks, so establishing a realistic budget and creating a buffer is essential to success. Of course, an even better solution is automating processes.

The Solution: Thorough, Automated Testing Reduces Disruptions Upon Going Live and Post Implementation

When done well, automated testing can supplement manual testing efforts and aid in reducing the cost of testing before implementation and long after when incremental code changes are delivered. Automated testing platforms involve building out test scripts that align to your primary business processes. In an application like Veridian’s TestLead, each step within the application for a specific process is clearly defined with the corresponding expected validation or expected result that is verified when the step is completed. Results from completed tests clearly show passed and failed steps and allow for quick troubleshooting to resolve issues.

Prior to go live, automated testing can be used to execute common test scenarios as system configuration is altered to prepare for its final state. Post implementation, automated testing and script execution at a regression level may be leveraged every time code updates are delivered as a part of system correction and maintenance.

The Reward: Use Best Practices for Warehouse Management System Testing to Reduce Risk and Enhance ROI

Automation in application testing serves as an excellent way to ensure the system is ready to handle the needs of your supply chain, but Warehouse Managers need more than just automation to be successful. They should follow these steps in performing tests to ensure all factors are considered and maximize investment in new systems:

  1. Conduct more than one test.
  2. Use similar and different scripts for testing, mirroring errors that may occur.
  3. Automate script creation and execution where possible, especially in common business scenarios.
  4. Validate results through repetitive testing.
  5. Retest the system after all configuration and application code changes.
  6. Reduce testing costs by considering working with a third-party system test provider.
  7. Test both perfect and exception condition scenarios.
  8. Review test results and make changes, as necessary.
  9. Report test results to upper-level management, and adjust implementation timeline as needed.

Consider Partnering with a Third-Party to Boost System Testing

Although off-the-shelf (OTS) WMS solutions exist, the unique needs of warehouses may differ, and configuration and testing only get more complicated in the age of e-commerce. Instead of focusing on the costs associated with system configuration and testing, Warehouse Managers should use an automated system for all warehouse management system testing. In addition, the expertise of an outside entity, like Veridian, can be leveraged to reduce risk and improve system testing as well.

Veridian can help you realize your supply chain success. Fill out the contact information below in order to schedule a consultation call with one of our supply chain professionals.