Manufacturer/Distributors Often Overlook Material Synchronization.
Some manufacturers don’t consider material handling, but the systems that trace, move, and handle material as it enters, passes through, and departs manufacturing processes, machinery, or fabrication areas can be a critical key to productivity improvements. Many of the same principles that are often applied to manufacturing and distribution can be applied to material movement. Elimination of waste is a key driver of productivity and WISE can have an impact on these elements.
Like your manufacturing operations, your warehouse has a cycle time too. Calculation of the lapses in time between receipt of an order and delivery to the customer can give you insight as to where you stand competitively. If you can measure and reduce the order cycle time a lot of good things start to happen.
- DII (Days in Inventory) Begins to go down which reduces carrying costs. Inventory turns go up, reducing obsolete products or materials.
- WIP (Work in Process) level goes down freeing up cash or operations. Inventory standard cost trend down to reflect efficiencies in your supply chain. Square foot of inventory and WIP locations are reduced making more space available.
- TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of Enterprise Inventory and Material Handling systems (% of IT spend) is reduced
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) goes down to reflect lower carrying costs and inventory handling expense
Flow of Materials
Improvement of the flow of materials and information is one way to accomplish all of these interrelated objectives. In materials handling, flow is facilitated by reducing the number of times that product is moved during the process of receiving, storing, picking and shipping. Flow of information is controlled in similar ways, by eliminating opportunities for error in the transmission of data supporting this activity. WISE has user defined location rules, package types, picking rules, shipment procedures, packaging techniques, and all other significant details regarding your operations. WISE then optimizes these tasks for you based on detailed algorithmic rule engines. These extensive WISE functions are available to improve operations by minimizing costs and increasing productivity. More importantly, we have direct customer references for many of the System Requirements specified herein, as well as organizations with similar numbers of users supported by the product.
The Perfect Order
Lean manufacturing professionals define perfection as the complete elimination of waste, so that every activity in the process creates value. In the lean supply chain and warehousing, perfection is identified with “the perfect order” meaning that it is delivered precisely on time (neither early nor late), that it is free of any damage or defect, and that it contains the correct materials that were expected in the end receipt of the order.
Imperfect orders result in unhappy customers, lower levels of productivity, higher costs, and missed opportunities for improvement. In extreme cases, the imperfect order can cause a disaster involving assembly line or distribution disruptions or shutdowns, or a lost customer. Perfect inventories are nearly as important as perfect orders, and neither can be accomplished without the other. In earlier times, shipping and receiving errors were considered to be inevitable. Current information technology enables the best warehouse operators to achieve a shipping accuracy rate above 99.9%. The pull system relies on a very high degree of reliability in parts storage and delivery of replacement parts. As an ever larger percentage of finished products are imported from overseas, effective distribution of replacement parts has become more critical than ever before.