EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS OF: LOGISTICS & WAREHOUSE
Participant profile: Logistics, Warehouse, Distribution Directors/Managers
Analysed IT solutions:
- WMS – Warehouse Management System
- ADC – Automatic Data Capture
- SCM – Supply Chain Management
- RFID – Radio Frequency Identification
- TMS – Transport Management System
WMS class systems are responsible for managing storage area in high rise warehouses. Their most important feature is the correct control of stored units and their proper issuing, in accordance with adopted procedures, and placed orders. This is made possible by means of automatic identification of both goods and units, as well as places of storage. The systems consist of individual modules, which are responsible for e.g. warehouse rack visualization along with the level of space occupied, editing warehouse orders (product receipt and issuing, replacement of goods, pallets and packaging collections. The so-called the functionality of dynamic locations enables the assignment of a rotational group of goods to individual warehouse spaces, in accordance with ABC/XYZ analysis, and even assigning permanent locations for low rotation goods. Through mobile services, it is possible to generate data in real time. management personnel has the option to continuously track warehouse statistics and perform analyses. WMS class systems generate optimal routes for warehouse staff, enabling them to perform their tasks more efficiently.
Main benefits from the use of WMS class systems:
- Flawless locating of owned goods;
- Reduction in the quantity of stored goods;
- Quantitative and qualitative control of possessed stock;
- Possibility of identifying/eliminating errors and mistakes during warehouse operations;
- Improvement in customer service quality and warehouse work efficiency – decrease in the number of complaints;
- Reduction in the quantity of printed documentation;
- Optimization of routes and reduction in "dead mileage" – faster order implementation;
- The possibility of inventorying by means of mobile devices;
- Reduction in warehousing costs.
Bar code systems are used to identify individual products. Their application involves data coding, labelling, data storage in databases, and reading by means of appropriate mobile devices. The technique of gathering data using bar codes is conventionally called ADC (Automatic Data Capture). These systems can be divided into open (possibility of data reading by all system users) and closed (data exchange between a specified group of users). They have the ability to work on-line, thus enabling cyclic data transfer (in packages or off-line), making it possible to collect data from the moment of last update and on a continuous basis. In comparison with RFID systems, they are much cheaper and easier to implement, however the bar codes generated in paper form may be prone to damage. These systems are increasingly often used by companies, to also control the flow of materials in the supply chain. It is strongly recommended for companies with flexible, multi-assortment production.
The spectrum of bar code systems application generates a number of graphical standards, currently over 250. They can be divided into: one-dimensional/linear, two-storey, two-dimensional matrix, complex, three-dimensional.
Main benefits from the use of bar code systems:
- Up-to-date information on sales;
- Cost optimization related to deliveries;
- Reduction in goods inventorying time;
- Speeding up goods trading;
- Reduction in the necessary warehouse work expenditure (ca. 20%);
- Improvement in customer service quality.
RFID is the technology of radio identification enabling the sharing of correct information on tracking particular goods and the locations thereof. Visual identification of possessed resources is beneficial for management staff, who are often forced to make quick decisions. It improves logistics operations, reduces identification time, and eliminates errors in substantive areas (inventorying, transport, delivery logistics and routing). One of the most important advantages of RFID technology is the ease in following each individual product at any given time. The system monitors product shipments, enters and removes them from the warehouse registry according to their due purpose. It provides continuity of raw material supply and optimization of sequencing processes. Radio tags allow for multiple data saves (even up to 300 000 times), modification of their components and unlimited access to the saved data. More importantly, there is a possibility of simultaneous data readouts from several carriers. Physical labels (stickers, rivets, tokens) appear in the following configurations: RO (reading only), RW (readout and saving), WORM (single saving, multiple readings). RFID technology is recommended particularly for companies, which are unable to support a bar code system for readouts, and when the separation of an individual product from a pallet would prove time-consuming and difficult (e.g. disassembly of the whole pallet). Many companies are obliged to store production data on the product itself, and not only in a database. For such companies, the RFID technology, though costly, may prove the only feasible solution.
Main benefits of using RFID technology:
- Reduction of warehouse inventory – real-time data on inventory owned;
- Fast subassembly identification;
- The possibility of fast and exact inventorying;
- Automation of loading and unloading;
- Labour costs by optimization by ca. 30%;
- Logistic processes optimization – the possibility of handling more customers, increase in sales;
- Achieving nearly 100% accuracy of orders placed and deliveries.
SCM class systems enable the development of an entire delivery network along with preset customers preferences and constraints resulting from individual orders. They allow for adjusting supply to demand, synchronizing physical labour, planning material flow in the whole delivery chain. Planning takes place in real time, which, in turn, allows for receipt of current information on the whole delivery chain.
SCM class systems enable establishing close cooperation of business entities taking part in manufacturing and sales. Their goal is to limit unnecessary losses and interruptions. By definition, they are to integrate individual IT tools implemented by the company, to ensure free and two-directional flow of information. Hazards, which are to be eliminated by SCM class systems are, first and foremost, incorrect information on sales levels, lack of information on customer needs, stoppages and delays.
Main benefits from the use of SCM class systems:
- The possibility to produce market simulations and forecasts;
- Support of mutual relations between individual participants in the delivery chain;
- Adjustment of production capabilities to customer needs on the basis of current data generated in the system;
- Reduction of unnecessary inventory – synchronization of production plans and delivery size (in accordance with the Just In Time concept);
- Generating reports concerning market variability and unforeseen events within the delivery chain;
- Generating a collective course of all processes - links of delivery chain (from supply, through warehousing, production and transport).
TMS class systems support the monitoring, planning and settlement of transport within the delivery chain. They operate based on cloud data processing. Their task is to optimize the delivery chain by supporting, planning and realizing incoming and outgoing transport. These systems combine the company with goods carriers, suppliers and addressees network, in turn enabling the automation of the entire transport process. The basic functions of the system are, first and foremost: Logistic orders management, execution of rare/non-standard shipping orders, settlement of transport services, possibility of defining transport services pricing and management thereof, and the possibility to generate statistics and analyses. Solutions of this class are dedicated first of all for shipping companies, transport companies, logistics and commercial-distribution companies.
Main benefits from the use of TMS class systems:
- Improvement in the quality of performed services – customer satisfaction;
- Permanent, real-time freight view;
- Cost reduction due to optimizing routes and occupancy planning;
- Increase in work efficiency due to automation in transport management (elimination of manual planning);
- Timely deliveries and liquidity of all relations in the delivery chain;
- Possibility of adjusting deliveries to flexible/changing customer needs.