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BellHawk Systems Agile Implementation Process

BellHawk Implementation Team

The BellHawk software works "out-of-the-box" and can be configured by its users to meet most of the inventory and production tracking requirements of each organization. Also the MilramX software can be used to implement many automated data exchanges with ERP and accounting systems without custom programming.

We encourage users to take a "Do It Yourself" approach to systems implementation, wherever possible, and provide extensive documentation on how to install, configure, and use the BellHawk and MilramX software.

At the same time we recognize that these activities can be time consuming. Reading through a 6" thick stack of manuals to learn all the details of how to implement and use a an operations and materials tracking system can take a lot of time, especially if you are learning a lot of new technology and principles involved. Add in the complexity of configuring MilramX to exchange data with an ERP or an accounting system and the process can quickly become overwhelming, especially for someone trying to do a full time job filled with other responsibilities.

As a result, many of our clients rely on BellHawk Systems' staff to provide project management, installation, configuration, database setup, systems integration, user training and support services. They also rely on our guidance and expertise for the best way to implement the operations tracking system to achieve the desired result, including selection of the needed barcode and RFID equipment and supplies.

We recommend that deployment occurs in a series of phases, such as implementing tracking in (1) receiving and put-away, (2) a production area, or (3) packing, warehousing, and shipping of finished products; but not necessarily in that order.

Where BellHawk Systems is managing the deployment project we use an Agile implementation method to enable the operations management systems to be deployed as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. This typically proceeds as follows:

  1. The client appoints an internal project manager for the system. This person may be an operations manager or an IT staff person.
  2. A standard operations process (SOP) is written detailing how its is proposed that the BellHawk system will be used to capture data and print labels for the proposed application. This is based on existing user manuals and is typically done jointly by BellHawk Systems staff working with the client's project manager. This document then forms the basis for providing training to operations personnel.
  3. The BellHawk software is installed at the client site or at a data center in the Cloud. Local installation may be done remotely by BellHawk Systems staff or by the client's IT staff.
  4. A "training room" pilot installation is setup with a PC, an office printer, and one of each mobile computer, barcode scanner and barcode printer that will be used in the first phase of deployment.
  5. This pilot installation is then used to train the project manager as well as operations managers, supervisors, and IT staff in the use of the system. This training may be provided on a remote basis or on-site. The project manager, assisted by the operations managers, will then train the employees on their teams.
  6. As part of the training room pilot, everyone is requested to do their testing of the system with real operational data. In this way any customizations to data capture actions needed before deployment can be identified and the appropriate customizations made by BellHawk Systems' staff.
  7. Prior to Go Live, equipment for the Phase 1 deployment is purchased along with any needed specialty supplies such as rack and floor location labels. The equipment is then installed and tested, which may be done by BellHawk Systems staff, the client's IT staff, one of BellHawk Systems' partners, or a combination.
  8. The system can then Go-Live, possibly with on-site assistance by BellHawk Systems.
  9. Once the system is up an running, then inevitably special reports and sometimes changes to the operations management screens are required. Changes to the web-based screens are done by BellHawk Systems staff. Clients can generate their own reports using report generator software such as Access, Crystal Reports, and SSRS or rely on BellHawk Systems staff to provide this service.
  10. In parallel with training, and possibly deployment, BellHawk Systems staff will work with the client's IT department and its consultants to develop the needed automated data exchange interfaces to eliminate duplicate data entry.
  11. Once the Phase 1 deployment is fully up and running then the BellHawk software can be deployed incrementally into other areas of plant operation.

Note that this process does not require the writing of a detailed specification for the system or long delays in coding and testing to this specification. The existing BellHawk software is deployed immediately in the training room pilot (often within 24 hours) and then quickly and incrementally tweaked and tailored to meet the business needs of the specific application. Also testing is done with just one of each device so that a change can be made before purchasing multiple devices, if the ergonomics of the device do not work in the specific application. This can dramatically cut the time, cost and risks in deploying a real-time operations tracking and management system.

As both BellHawk and MilramX are designed to be easily configured and customized for a wide range of applications, they can easily be modified as our clients need to respond to new demands by their customers and changed market conditions.

Please click here for more details about Do It Yourself (DYI) Approach to Systems Implementation.