Archives for WMS Software Features

The Top 10 Benefits of Warehouse Management Technology

Your existing Business Management or Enterprise (ERP) system’s control of warehouse functionality could be somewhat limited or non existent. In order to achieve a greater control over the flow of inventory while optimizing your supply chain for efficiency, warehouse technology such as HighJump Warehouse Edge can help your company reach these goals. This post will briefly touch on 10 benefits to warehouse management technology.

HighJump Warehouse Edge (formerly AccellosOne WMS) achieves this level of ROI through order accuracy, on time shipping, minimizing inventory carry costs, and decreasing labor costs. Today’s warehouse managers are consistently finding that 2 to 5% improvement across various performance metrics can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in bottom-line returns to the business. Using HighJump WMS, you are able to eliminate manual order checking by automating processes to improve your picking and receiving functions, which allows you to process more orders at a much higher level of accuracy.

HighJump WMS integrates seamlessly with many popular accounting/order-entry packages, including Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP, NetSuite ERP Business Management Solutions and shipping systems to provide the warehousing link in your total supply chain solution.

HighJump Warehouse Management Systems WMS Benefits Include:

  1. Seamless integration: Over a dozen ERPs straight to your WMS and EDI solutions
  2. Order accuracy:  Achieve over 99%+ accuracy
  3. Outbound shipments: Volume increases 15%, double your orders per day
  4. Employee productivity: Improve productivity and keep personnel costs low
  5. Picking times & lines: reduce travel time 20% and triple number of lines picked
  6. Directed putaway: Replenishment accuracy over 99%
  7. Increased speed of warehouse operations
  8. Low TCO (total cost of ownership) Compared to Alternatives
  9. Built for Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB)
  10. ROI within 4-12 Months

Learn more about the benefits of Warehouse Management Systems here.

Request a free estimate on Warehouse Management Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, A HighJump Warehouse Edge partner in Pennsylvania

WMS Technology Benefits for SMB

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are designed to make the flow of inventory in a warehouse as efficient as possible.  This is accomplished through advanced technology in the areas of warehouse operations from picking, packing to shipping. The below WMS Technology Benefits for SMB can help streamline your supply chain, and dramatically improve the proper flow of inventory in your warehouse while meeting the needs of your customers.

Increased Accuracy:  Improving accuracy, efficiency, and compliance by just 2-5% can result in increased capacity and hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual savings. This can have a dramatic impact on profitability.

Advanced Technology:  Modular design with integration-friendly architecture makes it simple to upgrade or add new modules, meaning you only pay for what you need.

Improved Stock Management Capabilities:  Most functionality is provided out-of-box, resulting in minimal customization will in turn will help reduce implementation costs.  Stock Management Functionality includes:

  • Rule-based Picking
  • Rule-based Receiving
  • ASN Receiving
  • Inbound Container Building
  • Cartonization
  • Repackaging
  • Counting
  • Cycle Counting
  • Inspection
  • Adjustments
  • Stock Locator
  • Directed Putaway
  • Replenishment

Robust Inventory Management Capabilities:  Additional Warehouse functionality revolves around advanced inventory management such as:

  • Lots/Serial Tracking
  • Expiry Management
  • Order Allocation
  • Wave Planning
  • Order Management
  • Multi-Zone
  • Multi-Location
  • Multi-Company
  • License Plates
  • Kitting
  • Returns Management
  • Order Consolidation
  • Order Entry (Sales and Receipts)
  • Dashboard Analytics and Pivot Tables
  • Reporting

Complete Operations Visibility: Complete warehouse inventory visibility with dashboard analytics, pivot tables, and 75 pre-built warehouse KPIs (e.g. monitor workforce productivity and order cycle time). In addition, a “Web-Centric” design gives you the ability to allow internal and external users visibility into the status of warehouse operations and a “role-based” user-friendly interface that can be customized by the user for specific needs.

Fast ROI:  Warehouse Management Systems users can recognize a cost-savings quickly depending upon the warehouse and scope of operations.  However, a short implementation, in as little as 90 days, means a much faster return on investment with higher profits.

Learn more about the Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group a Warehouse Management System Vendor in the United States

 

Operationally Considerations for a WMS System

It has been around long enough to be considered one of those “classic debates”: ERP warehouse management module or best-of-breed warehouse management system? One would think that by now this debate would have been settled. The facts and opinions have been examined for well over a decade, surely there must be a clear winner by now. If only it were that simple.

There are many reasons why this debate persists. One of the primary reasons is that companies are made up of departments and people that often have differing, or even conflicting, priorities. Sprinkled in among these differences are often strong opinions.  Opinions are not easily altered and the people that hold them didn’t get to where they are by quickly letting go of theirs in the face of debate.

Another key factor that keeps this debate fresh is the expansion of the dilemma to small and medium size companies. Early in the debate, most of the buzz was around SAP and Oracle ERP versus tier 1 best-of-breed warehouse management systems (WMS). Today, many ERP providers to small and medium businesses (SMBs) are also venturing down the path of expanding their suites to include warehouse management functionality.

Although still playing catch-up, the likes of SAP and Oracle have made gains in the last few years and are closing the functionality gap versus best-of-breed warehouse management systems. Due to a later start, the same cannot be said of ERP providers to SMBs. In this space there still exists a significant gap with respect to warehouse management system functionality. If the debate were solely focused on functionality, it would be short-lived for SMBs. Since there are other factors to consider, the debate endures.

Operationally Considerations: Workers In Warehouse Preparing Goods For Dispatch

The operations team will ultimately use the system to run their business so their primary focus will be on the system’s functionality. They will be looking for a system that not only meets their complex requirements today, but also a system that will enable them to grow, meet new requirements in the future, and that will provide tools to differentiate themselves from the competition.

The operations team will also be looking for a system that will ensure gains in operational efficiency. Maintaining the status quo in this area will be unacceptable. Systems implementations are difficult as there is a learning curve with new technology. Without the real benefits of increased operational efficiency and cost control, operations may resist the change and therefore adoption will be hindered. There will be the pervasive feeling of having fixed something that wasn’t broken.

So let’s take a closer look at functionality. ERP providers to SMB’s are in the early phases of creating warehouse management functionality. Naturally, any software company that is building a new product is going to start with the foundational elements. Just like constructing a building, if there isn’t a sound foundation, then anything else built on will be of no value. This is an important point. While it is clearly necessary to have a solid foundation and it is the correct place to start, it is not where the core value will be delivered from the system.

As an example, take picking rules. A best of breed system will have dozens of different rules that can be applied in each operation. These rules have been built up over time from implementations of the system across many industries and customers. This functionality not only provides a much higher level of flexibility, but it also provides the assurance that the functionality has been exercised and proven in the field many times

Contrarily, an SMB ERP has far fewer options in this area so the customer has a choice, they can make do with the existing functionality and forego the operational efficiency gains; or, they can implement customizations or workarounds each of which will increase cost and risk.

The list is actually quite long when one scrutinizes the functionality gaps between an SMB ERP warehouse module and a best-of-breed warehouse management system.

The following highlights those that will have the biggest impact on the operation:

 WMS Functionality  

Container  Management:

ERP:  Single Level; often only pallet.

Best-In-Breed WMS:  Multiple levels; including nesting (i.e. case on pallet and eaches in cases).

Business Impact:  Multi-level container management enables varied movements to be created and executed in warehouse and provides the ability to ship customers in multiple units of measure .  With multi-level, ASN information can be provided to customers since item level container detail will be available. 

Picking Rules:

ERP-Generally a single sortable code on locations to define pick paths.

Best-In-Breed WMS-Dozens of pre-existing picking rules as well as the ability to create user defined rules.  Some examples include, both Wave and Batch Picking.

Business Impact:  Advanced picking rules enable increased efficiency and inventory accuracy through order batching, optimized pick patterns, and proper execution of inventory strategies (i.e. FIFO).

Put Away Logic:

ERP-Usually a single primary put away location for each product.

Best-In-Breed WMS-Advanced put away logic and the ability to create user defined rules.

Business Impact:  Advanced put away logic ensures better space utilization and increased efficiency through the ability to top off pick locations, segment inventory across zones, and comingling of products.

Value Added Services :

ERP-No ability to preform value added services in base products.

Best-In-Breed WMS-Numerous value added service capabilities such as Kitting/Light Manufacturing.

Business Impact:  The ability to provide value added services for customers fosters innovation, provides operational flexibility and is a key differentiator. 

Ancillary Tools:

ERP-Not available in base product

Best-In-Breed WMS-Integrated functionality  in warehouse management systems such as Dock Scheduling, Transportation Optimization, LTL/Parcel Shipping Integration

Business Impact:  These are key inventory tools in delivering value from the warehouse management system through increased efficiency, and reduced errors from the manual processes

These are but a few important examples where functionality gaps exist. As highlighted in the introduction, if it were solely functionality based, the decision would be easy. However, there are other key stakeholders, so the discussion must move beyond functionality. For the system to deliver value and foster confidence with the operations team, it must function without failure and have near 100 percent up time. That is where the IT team comes into the discussion.

Learn more about Best-In-Breed Warehouse Management Systems

Find about Microsoft Dynamics NAV to AccellosOne WMS Integration

Better Inventory Flow with Warehouse Management Systems; Part 4-Wave Picking

From order entry to fulfillment, Accellos One Warehouse works together with your ERP system to provide the end-to-end solution for the materials handling management and real-time inventory visibility throughout the enterprise.  Accellos One integrates with many popular ERP systems including the Microsoft Dynamics Suite of ERP Systems. The following highlights a high-level process flow, derived from a subset of available functionality within Accellos One Warehouse  focusing on Wave Functionality and Picking:

Once an order is ready to pick, it may be issued for picking using the Wave function.

Worker Scanning Package In Warehouse

Worker Scanning Package In Warehouse

The Warehouse Manager will typically sort and select order groups for picking using the Sales Order Grid, then issue the orders for picking using the Wave function.   As a result, warehouse managers have unlimited flexibility when determining their picking strategies:

• Order lines may be split by pack-size for optimal productivity (pallet quantities picked from pallet locations, units from pick-bins).

• Customer specific labels may be printed for EDI / ASN compliance and integrated into the pick process. UCC128 serial container codes are created and scanned to build a detailed pallet or carton level ASNs.

• Orders may be grouped together for picking directly into serialized shipping cartons.

• Batch pick documents may be issued to enable the picking of multiple orders simultaneously with subsequent break-down in an order staging area.

• Paper pick-tickets may be printed for paper picking, with scanpack validation.

• Pick documents may be printed in multiple zones for simultaneous zone picking.

• One label per unit/carton/pallet may be printed with a bin location for ‘label picking’

Once the pick strategy has been determined, Accellos One Warehouse will print picking documents according to the configured rules; pickers will be directed to the pre-assigned pick locations that were automatically assigned during the allocation process.

To guarantee accuracy, hand held computers should be used during the picking process to validate the picked product and its bin location as well as the shipping container / sales order.

Finally, packing slips are printed as a result of the workflow defined in Accellos One Warehouse. Packing slips may be printed after the last item on the order has been picked or once the shipment has been scanned before loading on to a truck.

Download the entire White Paper: How Goods Flow Through the Warehouse

Contact us for additional questions about Warehouse Management Software