| By Micah Fairchild
HR Vendor Solution Brief—for HighJump's Labor Management Software
HighJump Software Company Overview
Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, HighJump Software is a worldwide technology company that specializes in supply chain management (SCM) systems. Started as Data Collection Systems, Inc. in 1983, HighJump introduced the industry to its first Windows NT (New Technology)-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) in 1994; added Supplier Enablement Processes and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions in 2003; and finally expanded to Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Delivery Management Solutions (DMS), and Labor Management Systems (LMS) in 2006. Since that time, HighJump has gone on to seek an integrated and comprehensive warehouse management software solution that encompasses:
- Supplier Enablement;
- Manufacturing Execution;
- Labor Management;
- Warehouse Management;
- Transportation Management; and
- Delivery Management
HighJump Software's Target Market for Customers
Once under only the purviews of behemoth grocery facilities, Labor Management Systems have expanded their usability scope to include both midsize and large warehouse groups—mainly through technology and "standards" changes. Because of those changes, research suggests that HighJump Labor Advantage is now an enterprise-level application--perfectly suited for midsize to large organizations, and clients ranging in revenues from $100M to $1B. That being said, Gartner research indicates that organizations with 100+ warehouse workers "should evaluate or implement an LMS (Labor Management System) based on engineered standards"; which makes the applicability scope of HighJump's software much larger.
HighJump Software Application Purpose
HighJump Labor Advantage is an on-premise or cloud-based software solution designed to help supply chain professionals improve facility efficiencies and reduce costs via software tools designed to give insight into employee productivity. The software does this by compiling real-time performance data and comparing that to a pre-determined "engineered standard". Namely, HighJump's Labor Advantage software:
- Captures all direct and indirect labor activities;
- Provides support for activity standards;
- Assists in functional (short-term) labor planning;
- Aids in "Travel Path" creation and mapping;
- Regulates role-based security;
- Provides a mechanism for daily assignment goals and employee feedback;
- Reports on HR performance management and utilization; and
- Automatically captures data from connected systems
HighJump Software's Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)
With over 1500 customers (for all of HighJump) across vertical markets the world over, HighJump's Labor Advantage LMS is flexible and adaptive enough to meet a host of customer requirements in nearly all inventory carrying and warehouse-heavy industries (e.g. consumer goods, food & beverage, Direct Store Delivery, etc.). For example, Ashley Furniture, Coleman, Polaroid, and Pepsi-Americas are all adopters of HighJump Software. HighJump's target market is the loosely defined middle market—companies above small business but not necessarily the largest global enterprise companies.
HighJump Software's Technical Specs
HighJump's Labor Advantage LMS (along with HighJump's Warehouse Advantage WMS and other company products) has the capability of easily integrating with other services; and provides (standard) certified interfaces to SAP, Oracle (PeopleSoft), and Microsoft. Utilizing Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server databases, with the capability of operating on a host of Windows products, Labor Advantage can leverage the communication mechanisms of XML, IBM OS/400, IBM WebSphere MQ, and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) just to name a few.
HighJump Software's Primary LMS Competitors
HighJump's application software crosses several markets and industries, from HR software solutions to best of breed supply chain management applications. Primary competitors include Infor (WFM Workbrain), Kronos, Manhattan Associates, RedPrairie and SAP.
Strengths of HighJump Software
- Like many application software companies, HighJump's architecture is such that flexibility can be achieved without the burden of customizing code. Not only does this configuration-based design save precious time and resources, but the design also keeps upgrades and support from being compromised (thanks to changes taking place outside of the core software). In turn, this can lead to lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
- HighJump's SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), coupled with analytics and advanced reporting capabilities from their web-based system, creates numerous communication points allowing for multiple interactions with everyone from drivers to customers.
- Numerous studies (from both Gartner and AMR Research) have cited customer referenceability as a particular strong suit of HighJump, indicating that partnership-style relationships are what HighJump values and seeks to establish.
Weaknesses of HighJump Software
- Because HighJump's Labor Advantage LMS was designed as an add-on to the Warehouse Advantage suite, the full potential of this software cannot likely be realized unless paired with the warehouse product.
- Though more indicative of an inherent problem with HighJump's entire suite of products, it should be noted that sophisticated planning features are decidedly absent from the Labor Advantage LMS. This simply means that the software is wholly focused on execution, which would-be buyers should be aware of, but not necessarily wary of. As with other software applications, robust planning features may or may not be needed.
- Multi-national organizations, or those who conduct exclusive business outside of the U.S. (in Europe in particular) should be aware that any Labor Management System is likely to receive extreme criticism due to worker oversight perceptions.
Bottom-line for HighJump Software
Though the value of HighJump's Labor Advantage LMS is undeniably high, interested companies should recognize two extremely important facts about this software. One, its highest yield will likely only come through integration with the best-in-class framework of HighJump's Warehouse Advantage WMS. Two, the software market for LMSs has matured to the point that viable best-of-breed alternatives now exist—alternatives that don't wind up being reliant on purchasing additional software to realize benefits. As such, companies should take a hard look at their size and needs over the foreseeable future to see if an integrated LMS/WMS combo is needed, or whether an entirely different set of HR software tools is more fitting. As Gartner's Dwight Klappich attests, "Costs and complexity [for LMS software solutions] have come down", but whether or not the investment in the software solution can be justified remains a concern that is unique to each organization.
Categories: Labor Management Software
Tags: Warehouse LMS
Author: Micah Fairchild