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Solutions Architect III Supply Chain

10/08/2019Call Center
Job Location: Lake Forest, IL 60045
Metro Area: IL - Chicago
Company Name: Grainger 60045
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Solution Architect for Supply Chain Warehouse Management

Grainger is North America’s leading Maintenance Repair & Operating provider and we are the 10th largest North American E-commerce player with over 50% of our revenue coming from online transactions. Within the Enterprise Systems team we use technology to support the ever-changing and dynamic needs of a supply chain carrying 1.5 million products and an employee base of 25,000+; and we are committed to delivering technical solutions to support the business in its mission to stay atop. We deliver technology solutions across the enterprise including our call centers, branch network, sales, and our various digital channels. The team supports over 1000 applications across the network and operates in an agile environment to deliver complex solutions quickly and seamlessly. The team of 500+ is comprised of Infrastructure + Operations, Cyber Security, Technology Planning, Architecture and Engineering and are built in a way to support the dynamic and ever changing customer landscape.

As a Solution Architect for Warehouse Management you will support Distribution Centers (DCs) and Branches in U.S., Canada and Mexico with technology solutions that sustain today’s business operations and enable future growth. In this highly visible role you will become a trusted partner to the business leaders influencing their future system investments.  You will combine your deep technical expertise, and a thorough understanding of business operations to provide a holistic, long-term, and proactive perspective on technology and its use to deliver business value.

Specifically, you will:

  • Work collaboratively with business stakeholders and IT planning organization to develop holistic technology vision, roadmap, and select specific technologies in support of DC and Branch business strategies.
  • Work with operations and engineering teams to understand, document and communicate operational health (stability, scalability, lifecycle, risks, user satisfaction, TCO, fit for future…) of technology supporting Grainger’s DCs and Branches.
  • Support DC and Branch projects’ portfolios by: analyzing business and technical requirements; developing conceptual and logical designs (business, data, application and technology); providing design guidance and guardrails; defining transition paths; and providing ongoing governance to ensure that solutions deliver business objective.
  • Conduct independent research and work with solution providers to stay on top of technology trends and market direction for DC and Branch operations.  Share those trends as appropriate.
  • Evolve Architecture Practice through: peer reviews; documenting architecture in Architecture Repository; development of architectural standards and patterns in support of DC and Branch related business capabilities; and training other architects on your domain as appropriate.

Serving as an Architect requires an individual to be a self-starter, working both independently and as part of a team. Must have strong communication skills and the ability to translate high-level business concepts into tangible technology concepts.  Architects are responsible for educating and guiding others on architectural standards, principles, methodology and trends. Must have significant technical knowledge and have expertise within one or more areas of business, data, applications and technology. Must be highly disciplined in their approach to modeling architectures and maintaining the documentation on an ongoing basis, as well as, mentor and coach less experienced staff and provide knowledge transfer across the organization.

Major responsibilities and deliverables include:

  • Functions with a high degree of autonomy and requires little or no guidance.
  • Involved in highly complex solutions.
  • Health Score: Publishes technology health score (system stability, scalability, risks, TCO, user satisfaction, fit for future). 
  • Planning: Supports projects’ portfolio planning activities.
  • Architecture: Defines conceptual and logical architectures for current, future and transition states.
  • Solution Options: Evaluates and advise on options, risks, costs versus benefits, system impacts, and technology priorities in moderately complex situations.
  • POCs: Lead POCs to validate solution options.
  • Solution Recommendation: Provides solution recommendations for projects.
  • Technology Standards: Develops technology standards and guiding principles.
  • Architecture Review Board: Brings forward solution recommendations for review and validation.
  • Leads technology selection process.
  • Research: Conducts technology research for innovation, continuous improvement and knowledge share for their given area. 
  • Training: Assists with the training and development of architects.
  • Communication: Communicates and champions the architecture process, its outcome and ongoing results.
  • Research: Conducts technology research for innovation, continuous improvement and knowledge share.

Key Technologies include but are not limited to:

  • WMS – SAP EWM, SAP WM, Manhattan and Move (custom build)
  • RF Devices
  • Printers
  • Network technologies including wired and wireless networks
  • ASRS – Dematic
  • Conveyers
  • Packing technologies
  • Robotic automation in material handling
  • Yard Logistic software


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 1-3yrs Architecture experience
  • Strong understanding, preferably hands on experience with Warehouse Management operations
  • 12+yrs IT industry experience
  • Experience with multiple IT disciplines
  • Strong modeling, analytical and communication capabilities
  • Certification in one or more architectural methodologies
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the business

10% to 20% travel to distribution centers in North America and Mexico is expected.

 “Grainger is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or protected veteran status.”

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