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Rebuilding the Warehouse Management System from Scratch

Industry
Supply Chain & Logistics
Expertise
Architecture, DevOps, Java coding, Performance improvement, QA & testing
Project Type
Code review, Web
Technologies
Angular JS, C++, Hazelcast, Hibernate, IBM Db2, IBM WebSphere, Java, MyBatis, Spring

Highlights

  • 2+ million lines of code rewritten
  • Increased deployment speed by 8 times
  • Custom feature integrations
  • WMS logic optimization

About the Client

United States Cold Storage, Inc. came into existence over a century ago, in 1889. Now the company employs more than 2,000 people and operates about 38 temperature-controlled warehouses across 13 U.S. states.

In addition to cold storage and distribution, USCS provides warehousing services with a total storage space exceeding 270 million cu.ft. The company also offers third-party logistics solutions to the refrigerated food industry taking care of customers’ freight import and export.

35% of all goods stored at USCS are shipped across the ocean to the renowned American and international food companies. Handling a massive flow of goods, USCS manages to successfully fulfill all the storage requirements and provide quality services to every partner.

Challenge: Unstable Solution That Required Complete Rebuilding

United States Cold Storage (USCS) was looking for a software development partner who could help them to rebuild and launch their existing Warehouse Management System (WMS) by performing reverse engineering, auditing, and code refactoring.

The codebase implemented by the previous vendor was unstable and contained many errors which made it impossible to maintain. Thus, the product could not be delivered to facilities. A number of system screens could load for more than a minute which is unacceptable. Moreover, some parts of the WMS could not be opened and crashed on a regular basis.

Innovecs’ software engineers were supposed to take on the responsibility of bringing the client’s WMS back to life by thoroughly reviewing and completely rewriting more than 2 million lines of code.

The Client’s WMS Overview

The WMS covers all the processes run within a cold storage warehouse. The functionality comprises order, receipt, and inventory maintenance, reporting, billing, tasks and labor management, warehouse zones assignment (for different customers and products), appointments for trucks, and a few more functions.

Solution: Rewriting the WMS Codebase from the Ground Up

Based on the code review, Innovecs initiated the process of architecture refactoring, code rewriting, and overall functionality improvement to make the client’s WMS function sustainably. The team optimized the logic of the system to avoid delayed responses to user requests.

In as little as two years, we have a fully functioning system at multiple locations. Our system is user-friendly, intuitive and has brought an enhanced number of functions to our locations. The screens have a modern look and feel. We are currently in the process of implementing the system at all of our locations across the United States. The Innovecs team has traveled to our sites during implementation, provided onsite support, delivered onsite fixes and even enhancements to the software. We have received great feedback from our end users.

Joshua Holi,
EWM Implementation Manager at US Cold

Let’s outline some of the upgrades made.

Optimized System Operation

The team has rearranged and modernized the WMS infrastructure by migrating it to the WebSphere Application Server for Linux. Originally, the application was hosted on the IBM server, which is rarely updated and hard to maintain. It made development troublesome taking much time to release updates.

The migration helped resolve the issue. The WMS operation improved while the deployment speed went from 2 hours to 15 minutes. For USCS, this migration resulted in a quicker and more stable software operation.

Enhanced Caching

The idea behind caching is to store frequently used data in RAM (PC’s working memory) and access it faster instead of sending requests to the database every time.

The Innovecs team has reduced the number of calls to the database and accelerated its work. Now the rarely changing data is stored in the cache. This improvement also accelerated the overall software speed.

Improved Frontend and Database Performance

The software used JSP (the Java Server Page technology) making unnecessary calls to the database even if a user went back to the previous page. It caused inconvenience and performance speed decrease.

Moving from JSP to Single Page Application (Angular) happened to be an optimal solution displaying all the loaded data, which is simple-to-navigate for users and developers. Improvements to the database have also been made and are ongoing.

Project Results

The Innovecs team has recovered the WMS codebase which increased deployment speed by 8 times. The software is now production-ready, and a number of warehouses have already implemented the solution on their premises.

In addition to many technological upgrades, Innovecs has been able to add numerous functional enhancements to the client’s mission-critical systems.

The USCS team is working on-site, whereas Innovecs is responsible for WMS preparation, data migration, and integration of custom features to match specific requirements of warehouses.

Client's Feedback

It has been great working and building our professional and personal relationships with such a great group of people. Our company has truly benefitted from this software as it has increased our visibility over our inventory, enhanced our ability to add new technology and adapt to a growing industry. I look forward to continue our cooperation with Innovecs.

us cold team

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