Implementation of a WMS:
The basic logic of any WMS software is combination of items, location, quantity, unit of measure, order information, where to stock, to pick up from and in what sequence to perform these operations. It is all about directed movement before you set up the extensive warehouse system by assigning specific logic to the various combinations of item/order/quantity/location and information in correct sequence.
- Location Sequence: Define the pick up flow through the warehouse and assign a sequence number to each location.
- Zone Logic: It designates an area; combine this with exact location logic within the zone to direct picking, put away, replenishment to and from specific areas of the warehouse.
- Fixed Location. It uses pre-determined fixed locations per item piece picking, case-pick operation, put away and replenishment.
- Random Location: It generally refers to areas where products are not stored in fixed locations. With combination with other logic, exact location can be determined.
- FIFO: Directs picking from the oldest inventory first. First-In-First-Out.
- LIFO: Last-In-First-Out is very relevant for overseas customers because of longer transit time. Especially useful for distribution of perishable goods for both domestic as well as overseas customers.
- Quantity or Unit of Measure: Allows you to pick directly the same item based upon the quantity or unit-of-measured order from different primary picking or reserve storage locations.
- Few Locations: This logic is primarily used for productivity. It determines least number of locations needed to pick the entire quantity or to stock the entire quantity. The only drawback of this logic is poor space utilization.
- Pick-to Clear: Great for space utilization as it directs pickings to the locations with the smallest quantities on hand.
- Reserved Location: It predetermines specific location to move inbound or outbound shipments, even to an awaiting outbound trailer.
- Nearest Location: This directs goods for picking/put away to the closest available location to that of previous set up.
- Maximize Cube: Slightly impractical, but uses unit dimensions to calculate cubic inches per unit to cube capacity of the location. Units can then be stacked in a manner that it fills every cubic inch of available space.
- Consolidate. It creates additional moves to consolidate, such as, products stored in multiple locations.
- Lot Sequence: This logic uses lot number or lot date to determine locations to pick from or replenish.
Other Functions/Considerations of WMS:
- Activity-based costing/billing for shipment, storage or transaction
- Labor tracking/ Capacity planning in manufacturing
- Yard management for cross docking of trailers
- Slotting of packages in best locations
- Pick cartons is best for similar size and weight cartons
- Cycle counting for operational functionality
- Advanced shipment notification to automate receiving process
- Automated data collection with bar codes
- Task interleaving and order picking to obtain maximum productivity
- Combine multiple logic methods to determine best location for pick up, put away to optimize space utilization and productivity.