Improving Warehouse Productivity Without Tier 1 Technology

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Read this presentation to answer the question, "How do I improve my warehouse problems without a large capital investment?” You will learn: 30 process-based distribution center execution tactics; What technologies are available to cost-effectively enable more efficient processes; What features and functionality you can expect to get from a Tier 2 or Tier 3 WMS

Text of Improving Warehouse Productivity Without Tier 1 Technology

  • 1. Improving Warehouse ProductivityWithout Resorting to Tier 1 Technology

2. What is Tier 1 Technology? The term Tier 1 is frequently used, but is agross over-simplification Conjures up images of expensivetechnology Overkill The Cadillac Often used in context of WMS vendors Image source: General Motors|2 3. Tier 1 Technology Isnt Bad For many large, complexoperations, the only path tosupply chain improvementinvolves making a large capitalinvestment Many of the technologies whichwe consider Tier 1 have beenthe pioneers developing cuttingedge technology that improvesefficiency This technology then get adaptedand trickles down to mid-tierproviders over time |3 4. An Alternate Title for our Presentation"How can I improve my warehousing problems without a major capital investment? |4 5. But how? Isnt this asking to getsomething for nothing?No. There are two basic ideaswhich are under-exploited bymany enterprises today: 1. Leveraging new advances intechnology which they may notbe aware of 2. Sharpening the saw steppingback and making fundamentalprocess changes to improvethe operation |5 6. Common Challenges Whether their capital budgetis 5 figures or 8figures, companies face thesame basic set of challenges: Reduce labor costs Improve accuracy Improve space utilization Secondary challenges: Meet regulatory compliance mandates Meet retail compliance mandates|6 7. No Shortage of Solutions There are countless solutions available to address thesechallengesWMSConveyor-based pick modulesPick-to-Light Systems SpeechCarouselsAS/RS Robotic HandlingWarehouse Control Software (WCS) Image sources, clockwise from top left: Intermec, Abel-Womack Integrated Handling Solutions, Lightning Pick,Voxware, Remstar, Diamond Phoenix, TGW Ermanco, Kiva Systems, FORTE Industries|7 8. Process-Centric Approach Rather than jumping immediately totechnology, lets look at several strategies toaddress these challenges A. Pick more efficiently B. Put-away more efficiently C. Pack and ship more efficiently D. Reduce walking E. Improve labor productivity F. Improve accuracy G. Improve space utilization|8 9. Process-Centric ApproachEach strategy has a set of execution tactics1.Cluster picking 16. Pick restriction2."Tandem" picking17. Large quantity override3.Receiving staging by zone 18. Min/max replenishment4.Clustered put-away19. Demand-based replenishment5.Put-away by movable unit20. Slot the warehouse more6.Implement specialized packing effectivelyprocesses 21. Basic productivity tracking7.Pre-manifesting 22. Advanced productivity tracking8.Dynamic label application 23. Task interleaving9.Cartonization 24. Pick confirmation10. Palletization 25. Cycle counting11. Seal cases more quickly 26. Track product by lot #12. Weight-based accuracy 27. Pick product by lot #confirmation28. Track serial numbers13. Create a forward pick area29. Track country of origin14. Two-tier bin system 30. High density storage15. SKU Mirroring |9 10. Process-Centric Approach Some Tactics require enabling technology| 10 11. Focus on Mid-Tier WMS Mid-Tier WMS has beenin use for at least 15years Generally, mid-tiermeans a more limitedset of functionality for alower price Often, mid-tier WMSsystems had some keygaps which made themnot practical for manyusers with specialrequirements | 11 12. The SaaS Model In the last 5 years, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model has becomea popular means of deploying WMS With the SaaS model, the softwarevendor hosts the WMS applicationon their own server and deploys itvia a web connection True SaaS is multi-tenant: multipleusers are on the same instance ofthe software Customers do not pay an up-frontlicense fee just a monthly usagefee Upgrading and remaining on thecurrent version of the software ismuch easier | 12 13. What are the TRUE Capabilities? Commonwealth Supply ChainAdvisors conducted a surveyof three of the top mid-TierWMs providers to assess theextent to which functionalitygaps have been plugged inrecent years Two providers offer only SaaS-based WMS The third offers bothtraditional, licensed WMS anda SaaS WMS| 13 14. What are the TRUE Capabilities? We created a list of 30 functionality Level of support ChallengesStrategiesTacticsEnabling Technologyfrom Mid-Tier WMSpoints which have traditionally beenCluster picking - pick multiple orders at the same time and put them in discrete containersby order WMS 3challenging for mid-tier WMS providersPick more WMS2efficiently "Tandem" picking - when case picking, two different orders can be picked at the sameDouble-length electric palletn/atime utilizing a double-length electric pallet jackjacksTugger vehicles n/ato address Receiving staging by zone - at receiving, direct that inbound product be staged on a pre- defined movable units based upon its destination zone Put-away Clustered put-away - allow multiple SKUs to be put away in the same trip through the WMS WMS 1 2 We asked each vendor to indicate morewarehouse in a logical pick pathefficiently Put-away by movable unit - allow multiple SKUs to be placed on a license plated movable unit; allow the movable unit license plate to be scanned once at put-away, and direct put-WMS 2 away of all SKUs on that movable unit in a logical pick-pathwhether this functionality was:Implement specialized packing process Pre-manifesting - Calculate weight and quantity of all the multi-SKU pallets on an order before picking Dynamic label application: Apply a retail-compliuant label to cases at time of picking withProcess change WMSn/a 3 Standard Functionality WMS 2 scan confirmation Pack and ship Cartonization - determine the optimal size shipping container based on the cube and WMS 2 morelongest dimension of the items which are to be picked for an order Configurable Functionalityefficiently Palletization - prior to case picking, determine the number of cases to be picked to each WMS 1 pallet based on cubeTape dispensers n/aSeal cases more quicklyCase sealer n/aCustomization Required Reduce labor costsWeight-based accuracy confirmation - weight a carton or a pallet and compare it to adatabase of the actual weights - verify if the carton or pallet is within toleranceCreate a forward pick area WMS 1n/a Not Available Currently Two-tier bin system - the same SKU can exist in two different bins in the distribution WMS 3 center SKU Mirroring - the same SKU can exist in two different bins in the same ZONE WMS 3 We also asked about actual usage Pick restriction - the system can limit picking only to bins designated as "forward pick WMS 3 bins"Large quantity override - if a single pick exceed x quantity and will drastically deplete theReduce WMS 2forward pick area, the system will direct the pick to be made from the overstock binamongst their client base. Was thewalking Min/max replenishment - replenish to a bin if the quantity falls below a pre-set WMS 3 minimum level Demand-based replenishment - proactively replenish to a bin if known demand for thefunctionality: item will exceed the quantity in the bin, EVEN IF the bin is not currently below its minimum stocking levelSlot the warehouse more effectively WMSSlotting software 1n/a Currently in-use with referenceable clientsSlotting spreadsheetn/a WMS 2Basic Productivity Tracking: Track lines picked per hour by worker regardless of pick typeLabor management software n/a Available but not currently in use Advanced Productivity Tracking: Track lines picked per hour by worker by pick type (i.e.WMS 2 Improve labor distinguish between piece picks, case picks, pallet picks)Labor management software n/aproductivity Task interleaving - combined put-away/picking cycles - when full pallet is put-away, Not available WMS 1 search for full pallet picks which need to occur in proximity to the put-away bin and place this pick as the next task in queueLabor management software n/aPick confirmation - confirm that the correct product was picked based on a bar-code scan The vendors responded on the condition WMS 3of the item or binCycle counting - allow incremental cycle counting in lieu of physical inventoryWMS 3 ImproveAccuracy is poorTrack product by lot # WMS 3 accuracythat they not be identified by name inPick product by lot #WMS 3Track serial numbers WMS 3Track country of originWMS 3Push back rackn/athis presentation The DC is out of space Improve space utilization Improve storage density Double deep rackVery narrow aisle (VNA)storagen/an/aMobile storage rack n/a| 14 15. The Rating SystemThree levels Level: 3Level: 2Level: 1 Generally available Available but often If available atwith minimalwith some all, customization iscustomization customization requiredrequiredrequired Might not be In use by at least Might not becurrently in use bysome referenceablecurrently in use by any companiescompanies any companies| 15 16. The Tactics1.Cluster picking 16. Pick restriction2."Tandem" picking17. Large quantity override3.Receiving staging by zone 18. Min/max replenishment4.Clustered put-away19. Demand-based replenishment5.Put-away by movable unit20. Slot the warehouse more6.Implement specialized packing effectivelyprocesses 21. Basic productivity tracking7.Pre-manifesting 22. Advanced productivity tracking8.Dynamic label application 23. Task interleaving9.Cartonization 24. Pick confirmation10. Palletization 25. Cycle counting11. Seal cases more quickly 26. Track product by lot #12. Weight-based accuracy 27. Pick product by lot #confirmation28. Track serial numbers13. Create a forward pick area29. Track country of origin14. Two-tier bin system 30. High density storage15. SKU Mirroring | 16 17. 1. Cluster picking Definition: pick multiple orders at the same WMS AvailabilityAssessmenttime and put them in discrete containers byorderLevel: 3 Generally available with minimal customization required In use by at least some referenceable companies| 17 18. 2. "Tandem" picking Definition: when case picking, two different WMS AvailabilityAssessmentorders can be picked at the same timeuti