SIDEBAR: Deluxe testing and training

In anticipation of a move into RFID, Deluxe Media Services reviewed its processes even before it brought Manhattan Associates into the project.

Asked why it selected Manhattan, Bob Thompson, Deluxe’s vice president of supply chain services, says they were one of two finalists.

“Manhattan had the most active involvement in EPCglobal and a willingness to go forward with that organization,” he says. “They were also a very recognizable name for us in supply-chain management and have a good track record of success.”

Manhattan also provided documentation and training.

“That was critical,” says Deluxe’s director of engineering Jeff Nelson. “Going into this project, we got a lot of people involved upfront, from account directors to operations to information technology to engineering. Together, we defined what the process would be.”

That included reducing the amount of screens and on-screen “buttons” associated with the software for the RFID commissioning process. “We want a temporary worker to be able to come in and follow clear-cut procedures,” Nelson notes. They also moved from mouse-prompted input to using two $150 touchscreen panels for simplification.

Manhattan also conducted a spectrum analysis to detect any radio frequency problem points. Nelson says some RF used in loss-prevention in the DC’s northeast corner was noted. Due to the distance from the RFID operations, it was not a threat.

Prior to going live, Manhattan also conducted what Nelson calls “day in the life” testing that got the operators involved and yielded helpful feedback.

Deluxe was pleased by Manhattan’s approach.

“Manhattan personnel will roll up their sleeves and work closely with you throughout the implementation,” says Nelson. “Overall, our rollout has gone pretty well.”

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