Logistics system redesign
Fortna, a leading consulting firm in logistics, distribution, & engineering, needed to update and standardize its existing warehouse execution system (WES). Its current platform, FortnaWES™, lacked standard feature sets, thus requiring the Fortna team to make custom updates for each of its clients. By standardizing its WES solution, Fortna could better service its clients’ growing needs and implement a reusable, scalable & market-driven solution. The FortnaWES full redesign would also improve the user experience, enhance supervisory visibility, and help lay the foundation for productization.
UX redesign sets stage for solution productization
Fortna initially came to us seeking a partner to enhance its FortnaWES solution with an executive user experience. Midway through the engagement, the Fortna team expanded the project scope to include an overhaul, redesign, and rebranding of its WES solution, with a vision to productize FortnaWES and lead the industry with the most advanced WES platform. Toward this goal, we joined forces, collaborating through each phase of discovery, design, development, launch, and iteration.
Executive UX – Discovery
Using a standard, proven methodology, we kicked off the engagement with a research and alignment discovery workshop where we took a deep dive into Fortna and its existing FortnaWES platform. During this phase of the project, we also performed a competitive analysis and a WES heuristic evaluation so we could better understand Fortna’s market position and technical challenges.
During the discovery phase, we uncovered honest insights about the executive user experience. We helped the Fortna team identify user personas, and developed a customer journey map to better understand the user and roadblocks in the customer journey. Among the features that Fortna’s executive users needed was the ability to improve real-time visibility into warehouse data and activities, specifically information that could help inform target projections & cost.
Executive users’ highest priorities:
- To gain real-time data from within the warehouse
- Resolve issues quickly to avoid escalation
- Get insights relating to target projections & cost
Exec UX – Design & development
After completing the research and discovery phase of the engagement, we identified several bold steps for FortnaWES, starting with a plan that could provide executives with 360° degree warehouse visibility and control. To design for this functionality, we evaluated the FortnaWES front-end application and provided an approach for its architecture, configuration, and maintenance. Based on our understanding of executive user persona, their needs, and our analysis of the current FortnaWES platform, we proposed a new information architecture that would not only improve navigation, but the overall UX for all system users.
- User research & discovery
- Competitive research
- Technical research & solution architecture
- UX/UI design & prototyping
- Front-end development
- User research insights
- Detailed user personas
- User workflows & journey maps
- Platform information architecture
- Wireframes, visual designs & prototypes
- Product style guide
- Front-end component codebase & documentation
Put-to-store mobile app
After researching and designing the executive user experience, Fortna expanded the scope of our engagement, requesting that we design a put-to-store (PTS) mobile app for warehouse operators.
With the explosive growth of ecommerce, many of Fortna’s clients have been under growing pressure to either build new warehouses or retrofit existing facilities to fulfill orders for omnichannel distribution. Fortna needed an innovation team that could build advanced solutions for its large portfolio of multinational clients – technology that could meet client expectations and the industry’s radical shifts.
To meet this need, we designed and built a PTS mobile app for clients that would optimize operations and efficiently manage the movement and sorting of warehouse inventory for retail distribution.
Goods-to-person touchscreen display
While manufacturers are retrofitting warehouses for PTS, warehouse management is also seeking innovative solutions for goods-to-person stations. An effective GTP system generally comprises several different elements, including picking, decanting, and order-cycle counting, but these elements require software integration with operator-friendly control systems.
- Provide a standardized yet flexible GTP station experience for a diverse client base with a wide range of needs – from static put walls to dynamic conveyors
- Allow for multiple functions for different scenarios, such as totes of various sizes, sku counts, and compartments – all without requiring operators to use a mouse or keyboard
- Provide back-up screen features in the event that put wall light are down
- And most importantly, provide an easy, intuitive UX for operators who are often onboarded with little training and need to hit aggressive ecommerce delivery timelines
Collaboration fueled innovation
Recognizing that collaboration is one of the primary drivers of innovation, we worked closely with the Fortna product team, providing visibility throughout the entire software development process. Working together, our combined teams were able to better evaluate the company’s vision, planned growth, and desired interdependence, as well as any known current requirements or future feature sets that may impact how the frontend would be architected.
As a result, Fortna gained confidence in our team, which helped fuel new opportunities and innovative thinking.