The Dag-Brucken ASRS project had failed for a number of reasons. One of the prime reason was that most of the work in Australia were done either manually or semi- automatically. This meant that applying a fully automated process for the Asian market was quite a challenge for them. Apart from this, the price of land in Australia was cheaper and the population density was also less. This meant warehouses in Australia had the option of using expansive land and also a single automated crane to handle it.
However, limited land in Asia meant that warehouses had to be multi-storied and a greater number of cranes had to be used. This increased the cost of maintaining the warehouse, therefore shrunk the profits and restricted them from providing their services at a competitive price. Looking for a wider space, in the overpopulated cities or making ASRS cranes cheaper could be the way out for them.
Another major hurdle they faced was the restricted amount of time, which in this case was 12 months, within which the projects had to be completed. The work related to ASRS of Dag-Brucken was quite complicated, making it challenging for them to implement the entire project in just a year. For coping with the stiff deadline they can either hire increased amount of labour or put in excess resources to ensure completion within the deadline.
Providing an integrated set of technologies can be quite a challenge. Although, it includes a long set of requirements, if implemented properly it would have made significant cost savings for the beverage company. SCT had to hold a larger amount of inventory to reduce chances of a possible stock out. A problem faced by SCT was that of a high degree of out of date stock and it was mainly attributable to their inadequate use of the First in First out method of maintaining stock. According to this method of maintaining stock, the stock that has arrived first will be used up first. However, since this technique was not used appropriately, a greater amount of stock becoming out of date.
Both the General Manager and the Managing director of the firm were extremely talented and experienced people, capable of changing and creating new ways of how they operated. Although the MD had sufficient IT skills, it was a talent that the GM lacked. The GM has significant civil engineering skills but lacked enough IT skills, which was a setback for the company too. If the head of the firm himself lacks IT skills then developing new IT products that streamlines and quickens operations is quite hard.
Surprisingly none of them had experience of handling large IT based warehousing projects, like the ones they attempted, although they had experience of handling crane based mechanical work in the past only. To better separate and control their operations, the activity was divided into two groups; PC team and PLC group, which were physically separated into two different groups within the same industrial area. The PC team dealt with the GUI interface, communications package and database to name a few.
The contract was also signed between the parties with little dealings or discussions of what exactly the procedures would entail. This was mainly because none of the parties actually understood what the exact requirements of the project were. However, their separate IT teams did meet after the contract was signed to decide on the future course of action.
Combining the entire process was very challenging for them. They were using the bottom up approach according to which the individual components could be combined together after they were assembled individually. Each of the separate components was under the responsibility of individual teams, which meant even if one team failed to deliver the work the integration of the entire system would become impossible. Hence, reducing the reliance on individual teams that does not affect the entire work chain should have been considered. This also made it harder to test the entire systems integration.
The separation of the PC and PLC team was a vital indication of the different types of jobs that both the teams where performing. There separation indeed indicated that their work covered two completely different arenas. However, a major drawback was that the PLC team was called the A team and was under the direct guidance of the Managing Director. Unfortunately, the MD or the higher authorities failed to acknowledge the de-motivating it was having on those employees who were not part of the so called “A team”. They also later realised that integrating the technologies without a proper plan was nearly impossible and that it also required monolithic models for support. Managing the contractors was also a big challenge as DB lost their clients in Singapore after the contractor’s divulged important information to them.
SCT was quite interested in Dag-Brucken ASRS Warehouse, because it meant greater cost savings and smoother maintenance of their stock. The nature of the business compelled SCT to keep larger amounts of stocks, which were increasing becoming out-of-date. The newer technology of Dag-Brucken warehouses could have enabled them to maintain their stock better and also at a relatively lower cost compared to other warehouses. However, there were significant differences between the perceptions of the two parties. In Australia, a contract is considered to be legally binding and it differs radically from the Asia viewpoint, according to which the contract is the just the start of the negotiations.