There are many reasons why systems may need upgrading. Sometimes it can be a software patch to repair a specific function but often it is because systems are continually improved and better functions are added. Consafe Logistics' policy is to perform customer updates as regularly as is required and with only a short stop in production processes and warehousing routines to give customers the best possible service.
Upgrades enable Consafe Logistics to develop specific improvements to individual systems then supply them as standard functions. They improve basic functionality and user friendliness. Astro WMS was recently upgraded to enable multiple picking when previously only single picking was possible. Another upgrade for the food industry enables companies to trace production batches making sure customers always receive fresh produce.
Carlsberg recently consolidated all its work processes onto one server, enabling everyone to use a standard system. This upgrade was performed in just a few hours over a weekend and the only people who noticed were the staff who were directly involved in implementation.
"Upgrading Astro has never gone as well as this before", says Lars Stjärnman business process consultant at Carlsberg. "We now set harder requirements on Consafe Logistics. We expect our computers to look like our test environments within a couple of hours. Consafe Logistics is completely responsibile for upgrading new functionality when we have tested it, and they do this very well".
Continually improving quality
Upgrades are part of Consafe Logistics' drive to offer optimum quality in all their projects. There are often two upgrades per year. The routine for upgrades consists of a combination of a series of utility programs for packing, unpacking and installing, together with procedures on how these are performed in the quality assurance chain. Consafe logistics ensures a minimum of disruption by first performing internal tests. The new software is then tested on the customers' test environments. After a couple of weeks when all testing and training have been performed the production machine is upgraded, usually during a weekend. Release implementation usually involves a stop time of less than a couple of hours. Upgrading routines are part of Consafe's total design responsibility that customers expect. It places great demands on quality throughout the process and eliminates quick fixes.
Major competitive advantage
"Our customers tell us that our upgrading routines are a clear competitive advantage. Several of our customers tried to upgrade their bespoke systems themselves only to realize very quickly that this would take them a considerable amount of time, effort and expense", Msays Mikael Öwall, Chief Architect Astro WMS. "Not long ago one of our engineers upgraded 24 sites in parallel in just four hours. What can often take our competitors months to perform with the resultant costs on time, cost and system performance we perform in a matter of hours as a natural part of an installation lifecycle".
Read more at www.carlsberg.com