Our customers come from industries that require rapid technological progress. Therefore we are constantly making effort to applying advanced technology, taking innovative ideas into action. One important step of this process is launching the bar-code warehouse tracking system in our sheet metal fabrication plant.
I. The issue
In recent years production volume increased significantly and as a consequence we doubled our storage space in 2015. This step made it necessary to develop a modern warehouse management system and the software operating this system.
Currently our stock is 6 meter high, has 415 EUR pallet places and one pallet can store several varieties of products. In this warehouse it took a long time to find the part just about to be used (e.g. preparation for the next production step or for delivery) on the shelves higher than 2 meters which greatly hampered and slowed down the work of the staff.
II. The solution: warehouse management system
The solution to the problem was a warehouse management system and software launch which was developed in-house. This software uses the data collected and stored by the company ERP system, Infor.
There are 3 mobile workstations cover the hardware part (tablet, proxy reader and bar-code reader) and these can be moved around to the current workspace in the plant as a unit. The software identifies the product and all its properties based on the part's label (ERP generated label with a unique ID). The properties are: the current state of the part and all the data needed for the further processes also gained from the ERP system.
The first step of the warehouse management system process is placing in storage by reading the bar-code of the product/s to be stored on one position. After that we store the part based on the selection in the graphically displayed 2 dimensional warehouse.
The next step is to prepare the semi-finished products in the warehouse for the next production process according to the production schedule. The storekeeper prints out a preparation list by working areas from the warehouse management system in order to get information on the availability of the part (order, position, quantity). Only the part in process and the subsequent part can be placed out to the working area. The part gets a new label after each process step, which proves the operation already completed.
Last step is to deliver the finished product. By reading the bar-code on the printed delivery note, its content loads to the warehouse management system. A packing list can be obtained from the software at once which defines the exact place and the quantity of the final part. Based on this information the storekeeper can serve fast the waiting customer or carrier.
This system allows for the real time tracking of the parts through the production processes. A mouse click and it becomes visible that the part left behind exactly which process and where can be found on the premises.
III. Benefits of the system
- faster warehouse serving
- more exact inventory
- more effective in-process tasks, increased productivity
- monitoring the working processes, immediate information retrieval for managers
- more accurate, up-to-date information for the customer about the state of order
- on scree data display thereby reducing paper consumption
What is the benefit for our customers?
The customer can be notified about the exact state of the order, in which production stage is in his/her order or it is just being packed or delivered.
The completion rate of the orders thus increased, delivery became faster, customer satisfaction measurably increased.