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Studying The Logiwiz Warehouse Management System Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 3924 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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By deploying its best-of-breed Tier 01, WMS (Red Prairie, WMS M) at Distribution Centres Logiwiz is well equipped to plan and manage the warehouse operations which will maximise the operational performance beyond the automation of pick, pack and ship. The WMS provides real-time visibility and control at the heart of the supply chain and is a proven, flexible and scalable. Its best-of-breed functionality manages all materials handling and inventory control, from before receipt to beyond delivery.

The advanced features of the Logiwiz WMS will ensure better inventory management and will assist the overall operation in the following ways:

Utilize the WMS online reports for order placement, order traceability, to avoid expiry of goods & reduce stock holding at any given time.

Storage & Location Optimization through;

Automated Pallet building

Speedy & accurate automated Pallet Moves

Automated Put-away Locations

Automated Pallet Merging

Accurate & speedy order processing

Picking & Replenishment can be triggered by route, distributor or order.

Automated management & maintenance of SKU velocity (using ABC Classification)

Bulk & case selection automated in picking

Automated Replenishments

A unique identifier for each Pallet (License Plate) – for location identification

Pre-receiving and planning through an interface between WMS and MFG Pro.

Perform opportunistic cross docking functions

Automatic processing of orders on FEFO/FIFO

Customizable reports

Logiwiz WMS will cover the following warehouse processes which will incorporate various advanced features to ensure efficient warehouse operations. The Logiwiz WMS is also enabled with RF and RFID functionalities that would ensure further productivity and accuracy levels with faster tasks completion times.

Receiving

Inbound goods can be received in different ways at Logiwiz DCs and pre-advised receiving allows goods to be pre-allocated to customer orders.

Put-away

Algorithms can be set for individual products or for product categories allowing sophisticated placement strategies to be put in place. Receiving labels will be printed for goods identification.

Cross-Docking & Re-Routing

Logiwiz WMS recognises when inbound inventory is required for outbound orders and can transfer products to a ship dock rather than put them away for storage. It is also possible to cross-dock part of a goods receipt, before putting the balance into storage.

Order Management

The status of all orders can also be monitored. Orders can be grouped, for example per customer or delivery route/shipment route, and put on hold or released with a single click.

Picking & Packing

Logiwiz WMS selects the most appropriate inventory to be picked based on product or customer specific criteria. Container picking and other methods can be used simultaneously, and replenishment tasks could be automatically generated. As well as confirming the weight and number of items in a carton, special order handling, serial numbers and labels can be processed at this point.

Shipping

Information from the order header, including address details, carrier etc, is used to manage shipment of orders.

Cycle Counting

Inventory control and cycle counting accuracy (Continuous, real-time cycle counting) is greatly improved through real-time operation. All inventory movements are recorded, giving full traceability to ensure high accuracy levels.

Batch Control & Serial Numbers

Batch & Serial numbers can be captured in the Logiwiz WMS at receiving time, a picking, packing and/or shipping.

Quality Assurance, Sampling & Returns Handling

Logiwiz WMS can automatically divert inbound inventory for quality checking based on rules related to inventory type or source.

Value Added Services

Logiwiz WMS can direct goods through a dynamic route to perform value added services, such as labeling, strapping, adding accessories or adding brochures etc. The system will select the stock most compliant with the demand.

Multi-Client/User

Logiwiz WMS can be set up to manage multiple distribution centres with a single system and location. This has cost, operational and technical benefits and every site can be run independently, in line with its own operational requirements. Multi-client functionality provides a powerful tool for Logiwiz where there will be a number of users. Each client will have its own set up, keeping the flexibility of the DC.

Standard Reports

Logiwiz WMS provides the below mentioned standard reports to Logiwiz clients.

Unloading Report

Put-away Report

Goods Received Note / GRN Summary

Pick list Report (Case, Bulk, Cluster)

Goods Delivery Note / GDN Summary

Replenishment Report

Cycle Count Reports

Inventory Report by SKU / Location / Status / Lot

SKU Movement Report

About RedPrairie

By working with RedPrairie Logiwiz brings expertise over 30 years of specialist warehousing and distribution solution experience. This experience will manifest itself as recommendations of best practice within the warehouse operation, advanced flexible functionality in the WMS, and a low risk, strongly managed implementation.

RedPrairie is the largest and leading provider of open system retail and supply chain execution & business intelligence solutions.  For over 30 years RedPrairie software solutions have enabled leading global companies to create competitive advantage through retail and supply chain excellence. In today’s fast-paced, complex, consumer-focused environment, RedPrairie uniquely enables companies to use consumer demand signals to synchronise inventory, transportation, and workforce needs from the retailer, throughout the supply chain and back to the point of manufacturing.

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RedPrairie technology is functionally rich to serve a variety of industries and requirements. It centres on enterprise-wide workforce, inventory, and transportation solutions, complemented with tools for business process integration, visibility, measurement and analytics. These solutions assure the right people and products are in the right place, at the right time, to most effectively serve customers. RedPrairie’s proven service oriented architecture (SOA) is ubiquitous, ensuring reliable and consistent services across the suite and providing an easy integration path for implementations across the enterprise.

RedPrairie technology is implemented and supported by an experienced team of supply chain professionals with a singular focus on helping clients achieve measurable results, and a proven implementation methodology based on more than 30 years of deployment experience. RedPrairie has completed successful projects across many diverse industries and currently delivers results for hundreds of world-leading companies to over 25,000 sites world wide. RedPrairie is a Founding Friend of the Logistics Association.

RedPrairie client tale by industry verticals

Some of the Red Prairie Global WMS users in key industry verticals are listed below which itself is testimony as a leading WMS provider covering some of the biggest brands.

Overview of RedPrairie WMS M

The Material And Resource Control (MARC) WMS is one of the global leading most functionally robust WMS available in the supply chain industry and ranked highly in the Gartner and AMR industry reports on the WMS vertical. The system supports standard interfaces to leading ERP solutions and integrates readily with automation equipment and other supply chain applications.

RedPrairie WMS M positioning in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WMS

RedPrairie WMS M positioning according to the AMR Research

Key clients of the RedPrairie WMS M

RedPrairie WMS M Architecture

RedPrairie WMS M can be accessed by means of an RF client, Windows-compatible PCs, a Web view browser interface, or any combination of the three.

High Availability (HA) with System Clustering

Both planned and unplanned hardware and software failures can be reduced or eliminated through clustering. Clusters are essentially multiple servers that are used as a single unified resource. By inter-connecting multiple servers many times with access to shared resources, the resulting cluster is able to deliver greater availability. This increase in availability is due to the ability of the other systems in a cluster to assume the workload of a failing system resource.

Likewise, maintaining access to data is a key element for high availability. If your server is running but it can’t reach critical data, your business may cease to function. Properly designed cluster solutions can also reduce or eliminate planned outages due to hardware or software upgrades by allowing selected systems to be taken off-line for non-disruptive upgrades. Robust cluster solutions depend on strong data sharing models, the ability to have systems co-exist at different software release levels, the ability to dynamically vary systems off-line, as well as robust recovery models that do not interrupt end users.

Clusters are also a key element for most disaster recovery solutions. When one site is no longer available due to a serious disaster, a backup location can quickly become available to resume work with minimal interruption. IBM has demonstrated leadership cluster solutions for both high availability as well as disaster recovery across its server family and continues to enhance these solutions.

pSeries high availability cluster solutions provide additional levels of availability. High availability cluster multi-processing (HACMPâ„¢) is IBM’s industry-leading UNIX-based high availability cluster software program that provides highly-available application services for pSeries servers. A pSeries cluster with HACMP and AIX ® was rated the number one UNIX high availability platform by D. H. Brown Associates, Inc. HACMP detects unplanned system hardware and software failures and initiates automatic recovery actions. Once a failure is detected HACMP can initiate graceful and granular fail over to backup hardware systems, I/O devices, subsystems and software, including middleware and applications. HACMP allows redundant hardware and software resources to be fully utilized during normal operation and helps to keep applications and data operational during planned or scheduled maintenance and system upgrades.

HACMP facilitates non-disruptive upgrades. A pSeries cluster configuration can be expanded or modified without service disruption through the dynamic reconfiguration options. Version compatibility and dynamic reconfiguration eliminate the most common causes of planned cluster downtime. HACMP allows the coexistence of different levels of operating systems, HACMP software and hardware (commonly referred to as “N and N+1” support) as well as rolling upgrades. Rolling upgrades allow individual nodes to be updated while the rest of the cluster remains operational. Updated nodes may be reintegrated into the cluster at the new level.

HACMP provides a rich set of system management tools to reduce cluster configuration and administration time. These tools include: GUI-based Visual System Manger (VSM) icons, Cluster Single Point of Control, System Management Interface Tool (SMIT), or the command line interface. Enhanced cluster system management is available through an SNMP client, which can be customized to interface with customer applications. Management of single clusters and multiple clusters is enhanced through Cluster Node Cluster Snapshots, Quick configurations and Event Simulation. These tools allow system managers to easily configure, replicate, test and administer multiple clusters.

IBM High Availability Cluster Multiprocessing (HACMP) will provide the High Availability and automated fail-over and fail-back behavior for the Application/Database Servers. It will eliminate any single points of failures and will allow active/passive and active/active cluster configurations latter can be implemented for the IT infrastructure whereby Database Server will be configured on one node and the Application Server on the other.

HACMP is the most advanced clustering middleware for AIX systems. The latest version of v5.3 provides multiple enhancements which will enhance the high availability characteristics offered to most application infrastructure.

Benefits to Logiwiz

HACMP High Availability infrastructure for the Logiwiz application and database servers ideally suites the level of availability, automation, performance characteristics, self healing and self configuring features demanded by the Logiwiz business environment. Maintainability, enhanced performance, autonomic and on demand features inherent in HACMP cluster middleware would assure Logiwiz the highest availability with maximum performance and investment protection for IT infrastructure. These features are briefly explained in the following sections.

Ease of Administration

Usually cluster middleware would add complexity to obtain additional levels of availability. Since Logiwiz IT infrastructure currently is not equipped with highly available clusters, it is very important that the proposed cluster middleware has rich maintainability features as well as intuitive administration interfaces.

Enhanced Performance

In a critical application environment like Logiwiz, availability of the applications at a reasonable performance remains the top priority. Detection and execution of failovers and strength in application level monitoring are two of the most important elements that will translate any clustering middleware to a powerful high availability solution. IBM HACMP proposed for increasing the availability of Logiwiz application infrastructure inherits many features, as listed below, that will make it the best high availability solution of AIX based systems.

Separate cluster test tool

This allows simulating multiple cluster failure scenarios and under each how the configured cluster behaves. This will allow an extremely robust and tested cluster configuration before deployment enabling less administrative tasks in case of failures.

ASCII based cluster definition file

With this capability Entire cluster definition can be saved in an XML format. As and when the cluster modifications are done different versions of this cluster definition file can be maintained. This allows administrators to easily roll back to a previously running cluster configuration in a matter of minutes

Easy integration with Oracle Database Systems

HACMP offers increased resource dependency modelling out-of-the-box for major relational database systems. These fully tested, field proven integration mechanisms offer very fast failovers for Oracle Database systems with maximum data integrity and alleviate the requirements for administrators to develop custom scripts to model the internal dependencies between various Oracle database components and the Applications that make use of it.

Overview of Benefits from operating Logiwiz WMS in a Radio Frequency (RF) Environment

Benefit

Business Impact

Improved Accuracy

Reduced order fulfillment errors

– Increased customer satisfaction

– Reduced cost of resolving issues & processing returns

Improved Productivity

Reduced manpower required to accomplish new levels of throughput

– Helps accommodate seasonal increases without increasing headcount

Reduced Training Time

Time to full productivity for a new worker for scanning is lesser than paper

Reduced operating cost

Reduction in annual overtime, stationary & IT peripheral costs

Reduced Administrative Support &

Auditing Functions

Supervision required has become negligible since the WMS will drive the process

– Need for secondary audits are eliminated

Reduced Counter Space

Space required to store box files containing unloading reports, put-away reports, pick lists, replenishment reports and cycle count reports will be eliminated

Real Time Automated Operational MIS

– External MIS tracking has been minimized since line level operational data will be maintained real time in the WMS & thereby enabling system generated KPIs

– Improved performance measurement for pro-active monitoring & control

Time Compression

Waiting time for operational instructions & confirmations has been significantly reduced

Shared Resources

DC operations has been resourced commonly in terms of manpower, MHE, counter space, IT peripherals, etc…instead of having dedicated resources client wise

Financial Pain Elements

Area

% Savings

(Low Estimate)

% Savings

(High estimate)

Reduction of Inventory Carrying Costs

8%

15%

Improved Space Utilization

10%

40%

Reduction of Scrap

13%

30%

Better Utilization of Equipment

10%

30%

Picking Productivity Increases

16%

25%

Reduction in Customer Returns

11%

25%

Productivity Improvements

10%

25%

Rework Reductions

5%

20%

Labor Savings

5%

15%

Transportation Costs

3%

8%

Reduce Inventory Carrying Costs by Reducing Inventory Float Dollars

3%

6%

Paperwork Reductions

10 cents per document

20 cents per document

CLASS Logistics Simulation Software

Logiwiz deploys a world-class logistics simulation software to carry out the following applications:

Warehouse Simulation and Modelling of the Distribution Centres

Logiwiz deploys one of the leading warehouse design and simulation software to plan, design and size Distribution Centres. This software will be used to design, test and re-design the warehousing solutions to be executed in a virtual computer environment. Logiwiz will use this tool for not only the designing Distribution Centres but also for detailed productivity improvements, ensuring correct balance and optimization of cost, service and to plan for on-going efficiencies as the changing supply chain for Logiwiz customers will dictate. This simulation technology will measure the impact of product flow-through on resource utilization, service levels and task rates at the Distribution Centre.

This simulation will be driven from visual flow charts which are built up from “objects” that represent the activity requirements and resource variability within the dynamic warehouse environment such as material movements, people and equipment. Logiwiz will offer the following benefits and advantages for the design and planning the Distribution Centre:

A Risk Free Testing Environment

A Catalyst to decision making in planning & designing

Ability for rapid designs with multiple design solutions & with the impact on service levels for the resource levels

Improvements in operational management

Assist in preparing the Capital Investment decisions

Test KPI’s to design layouts, racking systems, MHE options, staffing levels, single to multi-shift decisions, no of docks,….etc.

Warehouse Simulation and Modelling

What is CLASS?

CLASS is the leading warehouse design and simulation tool – the only ‘hands on’ software product exclusively focused on enabling design and decision-making in this area of logistics. It is extensively used as a tool to identify cost efficiencies and as a test-bed for new operational innovation in both blue chip and smaller organisations. CLASS is now widely regarded as the benchmark product in the marketplace.

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The technology allows users to design, test and re-design complex warehousing solutions in a virtual computer environment. It also enables companies to assess warehouse layout, product throughput, traffic flows, pick-face profiles and resource requirements to quantify cost, efficiency and service levels. The unparalleled advantage of CLASS is that it puts power in the hands of logistics professionals, enabling them to investigate any number of scenarios in order to understand the impact of change in their operations.

The practical problems CLASS solves range from the design and assessment of new-build warehouses to detailed productivity improvements within existing facilities, ensuring the correct balance and optimisation of cost, service and on-going efficiency as changing supply chain and customer demands dictate.

CLASS is used in over 200 locations worldwide by companies that include eight out of the 10 leading third party logistics providers as well as major retailers and manufacturers.

Key benefits to Logiwiz

Easy-to-use

The simulation is driven from visual flow charts which are built up from ‘objects’ that represent the activity requirements and resource availability within the dynamic warehouse environment, such as material movements, people and equipment. The ‘links’ between these objects provide a representation of how all the criteria operate and interact together in the warehouse, so forming the basis for the simulation. Flow charts can be set up using minimal information and can then be refined, as more data becomes available.

A risk-free testing environment

The simulation technology measures the impact of product flow-through on resource utilisation, service levels and task rates. It also assesses the impact of automation on warehouse operations, eliminating the risks and disruption associated with carrying out trials in a live operation.

A catalyst to decision-making

By presenting visually and simply the processes operating within the ‘virtual warehouse’ and the ideas being assessed, CLASS has been proven to aid rapid decision-making as it facilitates a clear understanding of the problems as well as provides quantifiable visual results of the proposed solutions.

Rapid design solutions

CLASS speeds up warehouse design projects by enabling multiple solutions to be generated and tested using “drop and drag” technology and pre-defined racking and MHE options.This allows for the quick assessment of different layouts not just spatially but also dynamically.

Reduction in development costs

By testing the widest number of options before commissioning takes place, CLASS reduces implementation costs and delivers the best return on investment.

Improvement in operational management

CLASS is a test bed for new operational ideas and the quantification of cost benefits. It identifies and focuses on the key cost.

 

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