Distribution & Warehouse Managementdev2019-10-07T15:24:56-06:00
Distribution & Warehouse Management
Major Software & Operating Capabilities
Core to powering Omni-Channel Commerce is a centralized system for ensuring the ideal order is executed. Below are key modules that support the distribution and fulfillment functions within Omni-channel commerce.
Supply chain agility.
Optimizing available resources across the distribution network to fulfill customer demand accurately and on-time.
Synchronizing human and advanced mechanized resources in to increase capacity, fill rate, and accuracy.
Planning resources based on expected demand and historical performance coupled with the real-time balancing work to available resources.
Reporting & Analytics
Providing full visibility of distribution operations and systems through thoughtful data collection, analytics, and visualization.
The use of engineered labor standards, training, incentives and technolgy to evaluate and improve human capital performance.
Inflexible Fulfillment – Distinct order profiles requiring multiple fulfillment processes inside a single distribution node. Having flexible fulfillment built into the infrastructure and operating procedures is hallmark of optimized fulfillment solutions.
Scalability Based on Volume – Highly variable order flow volume but static customer service level expectations require the ability to scale up and down quickly.
“Operationalizing” Advanced Automation – ensuring software and hardware are deployed in a way that remains responsive to and supportive of operational processes.
WMS vs. WCS vs. WES?– There has been quite a bit of evolution in software that drives the material handling subsystems. In most highly automated distribution centers there is a “smart-layer” between the WMS and the MHE which allows for dynamic decision making, decoupled from the WMS originally intended fulfillment plan. The industry hasn’t decided on what to call it – but the best practices are clear.
Multiple Labor Sources – From direct & indirect labor to complex MHE sub-systems, it is critical your performance management programs take a consistent approach to engineered evaluation and continuous improvement, presenting a cohesive view of all labor in the distribution network.
Adoption – Creating a fair and transparent performance management program requires the technology to adopt and interpret the intended engineered standards for a given work segment. And when the performance data starts flowing in, do you have the proper coaching and incentive programs to drive continuous improvement?
Operational Flexibility – Designing a work flow which provides the ability to respond to variable multi-channel demand and designing systems that give the operation tools to adapt when conditions change.
System Learning – How do you make complex operational decision making about which orders to fullfill or which trailer to receive next? Typically there is a defined process used by DC operations to make these determinations but often those decisions are sub-optimal by the time they are executed in the systems. There is real value in designing systems to understand the decision making criteria and be able to do so automatically, in real-time, but it can be very challenging when applied across mutliple subsystems.
Usability – Extracting real business value from data requires not only the presentation of relevant content but also the ability to take the appropriate actions in response.
Scalability – Complex distribution systems collect millons of data points each day and being able to scale your analytics is key to realizing it’s full benefits. Applying the appropriate reporting solution based on subject matter, audience, volume of data, and use cases a challenge that we face with each of our clients.