For Complex, Custom Installations
System Design Overview
A multiple step process ensures steady progress from the planning stages to going live, and beyond.
For clients who have unique needs or are planning larger of more complex installations, system design services will guide you through the process. We use a standard methodology as outlined below to tackle larger projects in an orderly and well documented manner.
System Design Details
The first step to building a good system design is to get a close look at current operations and examine what is currently working well and what is deficient. Alongside this examination we will look at your future goals, new feature or process needs, and outline a plan for years to come. This part of the design process is called the Site Analysis and will be conducted at your facility by one or more of our engineers. During this step we encourage input from all stakeholders in your facility as this is a joint application design process.
After the on-site portion of the Site Analysis is complete, our engineers will take all the notes, photos, samples documents, and other information gathered and draw up a system design to address your needs. The design will be outlined in a Site Analysis booklet that outlines in detail every process, screen mockups for every data entry screen or function, and process functions. The engineers will utilize the existing HELM functions within configurable limits when possible, and outline custom code if needed.
Upon the completion of the Site Analysis document, a joint review of the proposed design is performed. During this pass suggestions and questions from our engineers are address, as well as getting confirmations or changes from your stakeholders. The Site Analysis document is updated accordingly. Depending on the amount of changes, multiple design updates and reviews are not uncommon. Once all parties agree on the designs, the Site Analysis is signed off by all parties.
Quotes and Contracts
With a finalized Site Analysis in hand, quotes on software, installation, equipment, training and other items can be finalized to give a complete project cost. Phases of work and timeline estimates can also be completed at this time. Upon agreement, a contract to proceed with work is signed off by all parties.
Coding and Configuration
Work on your new system begins with in-house programming and configuration of your specific HELM system instance. There could be multiple phases to development, equipment setup or other operations to complete your project.
Once the configuration is complete, The system installation begins. If you are using HELM as a SaaS, then this step will have already been complete as your system will be hosted on our servers. If you opted for a traditional install at your facility, then our engineers will assist with the installation at your facility.
Testing and Walkthrough
Once the system installation is complete, we go into a testing and walkthrough phase. Typically this is done with a test dataset that will be discarded later. Using the Site Analysis as a guide, our engineers will jointly walk through all system processes with your stakeholders. Seeing a finished system for the first time will often bring up some minor change requests, or bring to the surface process steps that were overlooked. During this walkthrough and testing phase, last minute system changes, tweaks and bug fixes will be addressed. When all parties agree that the system is fully functional, we move on to the next step.
With a ready system in place, loaded with test data, we will begin the training process. In some cases we will train your employees directly, in other cases we just train the stakeholders so that they may train their own teammates.
The final step is bringing the system online and live. Normally there are a number of events that need to be coordinated for this to happen. Data import and conversion, employee availability, target dates (like fiscal year change), opening of a new warehouse, etc. As such this process will involve most parties involved in the project. Typically in larger installations, our engineers will be onsite at your facility for a couple of weeks as new systems are brought online. They will assist with last minute system tweaks, training issues, data monitoring, equipment management, and report creating and tweaking.
After your new HELM system is up and running, we transition into a support phase. Commonly once a new system has been running and stakeholders have view of the data and operations, there are requests for new reports and other follow-up changes or additions. We will custom tailor an ongoing support agreement to the scope of your installation size and needs to assure you get the long term quality support you need.