Authored by Sarah Mack, TeamCain
If your boss came to you and said that the company was doubling the business by acquiring a new company, could your warehouse operations process be able to handle it? Inaccuracies in warehouse operations lead to inefficiencies. A warehouse management system can help to greatly reduce these inaccuracies.
You would want/need a good warehouse management system because it makes more sense to be organized with your warehouse operations than to be going in blind. As a business evolves, it becomes more complex and in order to keep up, companies require more and more functionality from their workflows. By not having an accurate and efficient warehouse operation, you are faced with increased cost of non-value added steps. A company can lose crucial money by not being organized and, more importantly, they could lose their ability to consistently service its customers/clients.
The JD Edwards Warehouse Management System (JDE WMS) adds flexibility and functionality to your warehouse operations. It’s a rules-based solution which means that everything is kept organized and you can easily direct put away, picking and replenishments. Setting up the system is complete after four steps: define locations, define the item, define the capacity and then define the rules for put away, picking and replenishment. A handy feature of JDE WMS is cartonization which is when JD Edwards determines how big a box you should have/use when doing the picking of certain items at certain units of measure. There are also unique types of wave picks (by location, order, item etc) where you have various ways of shuffling the order deck before you do your picks.
Along with this module, you can always integrate a wireless data collection solution, like RF-SMART (see the difference mobile solutions make in this blog entry). There are many organizations that use RF-SMART to handle their receiving, reclassifications, and paperless picking. Any JD Edwards transaction you can do on the screen, you can do with RF-SMART, which helps to reduce human error and paperwork.
D-Link Europe‘s experience with JDE WMS shows that with this system in place, you get a level of organization where it is difficult to get things wrong. Their headquarters in London measures to be 94,000 square feet and about 80% of that is warehouse space. In a TeamCain webinar, Eric Martinez, Vice President of European operations explained how they have a combination of various warehouses in the same industrial estate so they were in the market for a solution that would be able to spread across the company. They visited a business that had the solution in place and realized that they wanted to achieve the same level of organization.
Setting up the system was easy to do and they were able to quickly train their staff to know where items were placed. It used to take months to train and sometimes, those being trained had to be escorted to the place in the warehouse where a particular item was. With JDE WMS, training only took 20 minutes and the warehouse staff became more efficient.
One of the biggest benefits that Eric noticed since implementing JDE WMS was how “Ship Goods In” was affected. Before the warehouse solution, they had a high level of air freight which was an issue as there was a lack of a warehouse system and there wasn’t enough attention being paid to shipping costs. It was not an easy process to change overnight but eventually, they decreased their air freight and increased their sea freights. Their shipping bill was enormously reduced. What they were able to do was use the sea freights as a warehouse in itself. This increased their confidence in turnaround time when orders came in and confidence when receiving product and being able to turn it around quickly.
In the TeamCain webinar where Eric Martinez shared D-Link Europe’s experience with JDE WMS, he was asked what life would have been like without the solution. His reply was very obvious improvements such as loading and unloading a container would take 2 hours before and only 30 minutes now with JDE WMS. One of the biggest changes was with the employees themselves. Often, one finds opposition to change with projects but after a couple of weeks of handing the wireless devices to employees, Eric found that the employees would not go back to the previous system ever again. Having the full support and approval of all the team and seeing the employees come into work happy that they are working with a system that has a clear and organized way of doing things was a huge benefit to the company.