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Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Installs WAERlinx to improve Efficiency across Three Sites

Category : Kitting, NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Mar 7th, 2017

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Ltd is an established UK supplier of gardening products including flower and vegetable seeds, young plants, soft fruit trees and a range of garden equipment, fertiliser, pest control etc.  They have a broad mix of customers; both B2B e.g. garden centres and DIY merchants; and B2C e.g. allotment associations and consumers.

Fothergill’s has been using NetSuite for several years and they approached Waer Systems to provide better warehouse management across its three sites. WAERlinx’ renowned flexibility meant that the company’s specific requirements were easily accommodated into the package, including:

  1. A feature to allow the automatic build of works orders and commit the inventory to sales orders with minimal user involvement.
  2. The introduction of barcoding and scanners for receiving, putaway, pick and ship at their Kentford facility (including the ability to cluster pick a number of sales orders)
  3. Production of delivery notes that reflect the appropriate brands
  4. Integration to a number of carrier systems using GFS – Hermes, Royal Mail, Secured Mail, DX Nightfreight.

The company ships a huge number of order lines. For example, in one week they shipped over 16,900. So the potential for efficiency savings was huge.

How WAERlinx was configured to meet Fothergill’s requirements

Automatic Build of Works Orders

Once the inventory is received in WAERlinx, the purchase order is updated in NetSuite and the inventory is committed. WAERlinx users then release the items for picking by brand and/or product category.

WAERlinx adds the items to pick lists which are then given to the service provider, Rookery Farm Packing (http://www.rookeryfarmpacking.co.uk/) to manage all picking, packing and shipping of the items.

Once the items are physically picked and checked, packing lists and delivery notes are printed, and NetSuite is updated.  Once packed, the shipping label is scanned and the carrier booking is made.

Cluster Picking

This new feature in WAERlinx allows the user to restrict the number of sales orders assigned to a picker, giving Fothergill’s the flexibility to choose how they set up their operation and allowing them to manage the picking and packing functions together, should they wish.

WAERlinx moves forward with exciting developments thanks to Mishimoto

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Feb 21st, 2017

Our development team is known for their love of a challenge, and our customers choose WAERlinx because of its adaptability to their needs.

Take one of our most recent customers, Mishimoto, for example.  In the process of scoping out their project, they have requested the ability to receive goods by packing list reference, thus enabling automated receipt processing for multiple items based on a supplier’s packing list or delivery note.

The second development request was to have pallet packing – the functionality to assemble shipping pallets by recording either the uniquely numbered cartons contained on the pallet and/or the loose (i.e. unpacked) items that are contained on the pallet.

Thirdly, they needed to have calculated weights of cartons and pallets.  This way, there would be clear visibility of what had been placed onto each pallet, and fewer customer service issues of the ‘my product hasn’t been delivered’ type.

None of these has been requested by customers to date, but part of what makes WAERlinx unique is the fact that there is no ‘off the shelf’ version; it’s built to adapt, so these were all easily incorporated into the final solution.

For Mishimoto, the advantages are set to make a huge impact on efficiency in the warehouse:

 

# New Function Title Description Benefits
1 Receive by Packing List Reference Automated receipt processing for multiple items based on a supplier’s packing list or delivery note. Rapid and accurate processing of receipts for a specific supplier shipment.
2 Pallet Packing Function to ‘assemble’ shipping pallets by recording either the uniquely-numbered cartons that are contained on the pallet, and/or the loose (i.e. unpacked) items that are contained on the pallet.

Calculated weights of cartons and pallets.

Clear visibility of what has been placed onto each pallet.

Fewer customer service issues of the ‘my product hasn’t been delivered’ type.

3 BlueGrace Integration Provides a ‘Rate Shopping’ function in WAERlinx, using data retrieved from the BlueGrace system.

Allows bookings to be made for the selected carriers.

Management of ‘Less Than Truckload’ (LTL) shipments.

Lower overall freight costs.

4 Pallet Placard, Carton Labelling, Repack Carton labelling Replacement of hand-written sheets with neat, clearly-readable labels & documents.

 

WAERlinx’ – as flexible as our customers are unique.

 

We’re Recruiting…

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Jan 24th, 2017

We are looking for a new Java Developer to join our fantastic team; someone with exceptional programming skills and the ability to work with minimal supervision.  Please see below for details.

To apply, please email myoung@waersystems.com with your CV and a covering message.

Qualifications

IT based degree or equivalent
2–5 years’ experience in Java web-applications, including in a commercial environment

Special Aptitudes
We are looking for someone with an analytical, problem-solving mind.  A good listener with clear verbal and written communication skills.

This person will have good time management and the ability to prioritise tasks, as well as the ability to share ideas through presentation and work with little supervision.

They will be open minded, and able to focus on the needs of the business – capable of seeing the bigger picture.

Ideally they will have experience with J2EE, ORM and SQL.

The position will require occasional travel away from home and additional hours when required.

WAERlinx introduces picture labelling for multi-national workforces

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Nov 23rd, 2016
WAERlinx introduces picture labelling for multi-national workforces

When it comes to product development, our customers steer the way. Earlier this year, we made a great new development…

When it comes to ERP integration, all Warehouse Management Systems are not the same…

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Sep 9th, 2016

On the face of it, warehouse management applications can seem pretty similar and you would be forgiven for wondering where to start in choosing between them.

So you’ve set to the task of investigating the options for your company’s new warehouse management system. Naturally, you’ll want one that is compatible with your existing ERP. So if that happens to be SAP, for example, you’ll be looking for one that can integrate with that. If your business uses NetSuite, you’ll want to check out what WMS SuiteApps are available.

So far, so good. But how do you really go about choosing which one is going to work best with what you already have? After all, you want this to slot in as smoothly as possible and get back to business as usual asap.

Dig a little below the surface, however, and you will find that product A does everything product B appears to do, but when it comes to interfacing with your existing ERP, product A starts to show some cracks. And you might be looking at some serious headaches.

Not so with WAERlinx WMS for NetSuite. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer:waerlinx8_screen1

• Online visibility of orders that are available to pick
• Paperless picking (i.e. no printed picklists)
• Flexible picking policies: discrete orders, wave picking & batch picking
• Bin-level visibility and control
• Pick face management (replenishment from bulk storage)
• All barcode formats supported
• Optional packing functions
• Flexible labelling and delivery documentation
• Performance metrics specifically designed for warehouse operations
• Visibility of stock in-transit between warehouses
• Courier integration and labelling
• Proof of Delivery App
• Lot, Serial and Expiry Date handling
• Supermarket scanning option for receipts and stock counting.

So how does it work?
Integration between NetSuite and WAERlinx is implemented using SuiteTalk web services, which provides a full complement of SOAP web services across the NetSuite framework.

In WAERlinx these are managed through a console which provides options for scheduled tasks, allowing managers to control which interfaces are running, together with their frequency. For example, the Sales Order interface might run every two minutes while the Currency interface might only run once a day.

This is coupled with a set of configuration options within WAERlinx, allowing fine-grained control of each interface. Exceptions are tracked and logged, and automated emails inform system managers of any problems affecting the interfaces.

We’ve yet to find another WMS that offers such flexible and comprehensive NetSuite integration; just one more compelling reason to choose WAERlinx for NetSuite.

For a more detailed description of WAERlinx’ interfacing mechanism, please email dsnelson@waersystems.co.uk.

WAERpod – The Proof of Delivery app perfect for NetSuite users with their own fleet.

Category : NetSuite, PoD, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Jul 12th, 2016

Many manufacturing, distribution and retail companies prefer to use their own fleet of vehicles for deliveries and while there are obvious advantages, there are also common pitfalls, with delivery systems often cobbled together resulting in unreliable delivery data and a lot of headaches.

WAERpod is a new Proof of Delivery app for Android phones, designed with these businesses in mind. It allows drivers to take deliveries and book them in to customer locations ensuring 100 per cent accuracy on delivered goods.

Its low-cost, high spec gives all the functionality you would expect from a well-known carrier company, all interfaced beautifully into NetSuite.

WAERpod Proof of Delivery app

  • Barcode scanning confirms delivery of ordered package(s) or product(s), eliminating discrepancies
  • Eliminates the need for additional checking at the point of despatch
  • Optimizes the use of delivery resources
  • Fully integrated with NetSuite: the delivery triggers NetSuite invoice generation
  • Accurate billing eliminates invoice reconciliation queries
  • As a hybrid mobile app, performance & reliability are assured without the need for external connectivity at the actual point of delivery
  • Ease of use ensures negligible training overhead
  • Runs on an Android smartphone paired via Bluetooth with a palm-sized scanner, vastly lowering hardware costs compared to traditional units
  • Ideally suited for companies who prefer to use their own vehicles and drivers rather than rely on third party couriers
  • Receiver name and signature input: customer validation of the confirmed physical delivery
  • Multiple drop locations per ship-to area
  • Point of delivery exception management: if products cannot be delivered, for any reason, this can be input with definitive details and automated email alerts, ensuring better customer service
  • KPIs & trend analysis enable better management oversight and on-going improvement.

Waer Exhibiting at Suiteworld 2016 – The Most Important Tech Event of the Year

Category : NetSuite, NSW16, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by May 11th, 2016

Lancing, West Sussex, UK, 30th March, 2016 – Waer Systems today announced its exhibitor sponsorship of SuiteWorld 2016, NetSuite’s annual user conference for customers, partners, media and industry analysts, being held May 16–19 in San Jose, Calif. NetSuite’s SuiteWorld 2016 is the #1 Cloud ERP conference, with more than 8,000 expected attendees coming together to get inspired, network, celebrate cloud success, gain industry knowledge and share insights and best practices.

“We are really looking forward to making new contacts and forging relationships with implementation and technology partners, as well as NetSuite users worldwide,” said Rod Scott, CEO of Waer. “We have a great warehouse management product that partners can add to their portfolio to enhance their value proposition. In addition, WAERlinx is ideal for end users of NetSuite who want to take their warehouse management to the next level.”

The WAERlinx WMS SuiteApp provides NetSuite customers with all the functionality you would expect from a world-class warehouse management system, addressing all inbound, storage and outbound processes, fully and seamlessly interfaced to NetSuite.

To learn more, please visit us at booth 111 in the SuiteWorld Expo at the San Jose Convention Center.

About SuiteWorld 2016

NetSuite’s SuiteWorld is the #1 Cloud ERP conference, being held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. on May 16-19. SuiteWorld 2016 will bring together NetSuite solution providers, independent software vendor (ISV) partners, industry thought leaders and representatives of the approximately 30,000 companies and subsidiaries from across the globe running their business on NetSuite’s cloud-based business management suite. Attendees of SuiteWorld can fully explore the NetSuite ecosystem, network face-to-face, and help shape the next evolution of cloud computing services.

For registration and additional details, please visit www.netsuitesuiteworld.com. To join the SuiteWorld conversation on Twitter and Instagram, please use #NSW16.

Find Waer on Facebook, Twitter: @waersystems, Google+, LinkedIn.

NOTE: NetSuite and the NetSuite logo are service marks of NetSuite Inc. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

 

Wearables – the way forward for warehouse management?

This article, recently published in Supply Chain magazine: wearable technology in the supply chain is an interesting point for discussion and certainly a subject that raises some valuable questions.

There is a huge number of warehouses in the UK, with widely varying degrees of efficiency, some at optimum efficiency with very little time or resources wasted, all processes integrated with the company’s ERP and well-motivated, well managed staff.

However, at the other end of the scale there are still many, many warehouses still operating inefficiently, with manual processes such as entering data into spreadsheets and duplicating paperwork still taking up the lion’s share of the total man-hours input.

So is the discussion about wearables and mobile apps even something to be considered for the majority of companies operating warehouses, or is this just something for the top echelons of the scale?

With the cost of wearables going down at a rate of knots, they may be more accessible than you think.

More specifically, it occurs to me that the practicality of our mobile warehouse apps would increase, if the devices that they run on could be strapped to an operator’s wrist, rather than be carried in one hand.

The article focuses particularly on the pressures on supermarket suppliers but in fact, it’s relevant to any and every business with a warehouse operation.

In this increasingly competitive space, efficiency in the supply chain will ultimately mean the difference between success and failure, and no organisation can afford to sit back on its haunches.

Like it or not, mobile computing is the direction things are going and with hardware prices coming down, that is highly likely to mean wearables will play a part.

If your competitor is freeing up his staff to work with both hands, it’s worth considering whether you’d be stupid to keep yours with one hand tied behind their backs. 

 

Another successful WMS project from Waer

Category : warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Mar 10th, 2016

The Baku 2015  European Games – Warehouse Management

The Project

The Baku 2015 European Games, are the inaugural edition of the European Games; an international multi-sport event for athletes representing the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Europe.

The Games took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 12 to 28 June 2015 and featured more than 6,000 athletes from 50 countries competing in 20 sports.

With 109 venues across Baku, the Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) needed a failsafe system to track inventory to all sites across the city, and ensure it was returned to the 25,000mMain Logistics Centre (MLC) warehouse set up especially for the Games.

The Solution

WAERlinx is a next-generation warehouse management system, perfectly suited to delivering the asset management required for the Games and was set up within just two months of the first meeting.

With a relatively short lead-time, the requirements were established via WebEx meetings, negating the need for international travel.

All the assets were uploaded in Azerbaijani and staff were trained on the system over two days.

The Detail

There were some fundamental requirements for the WMS for the Games, all of which were easily achievable with WAERlinx’ flexible and extensive functionality. They were broadly categorised as:

  • Asset Management (imports from procurement and asset allocation systems)
  • Inventory management within the warehouse
  • In-transit and inventory management at venues
  • Reporting

In addition, the system would need to be able to support labels in both English and Azerbaijani.

As standard, remote operations support was provided for end-users both before and during the games.

Specifically, the WMS needed the functionality to:

  • Receive inventory, including identifying the outstanding items on a PO and ensuring that partial deliveries could be accepted without closing the PO
  • Recommend put-away location based on approved rules
  • Stock-take at the warehouse by nominated locations, commodities or by sectors
  • Mass upload of all inventory required by venue for each ‘bump in’
  • Wave picking of inventory using warehouse walk sequences and subsequent despatch of demands by venue
  • Report and check on stock in-transit and receive the inventory once it’s arrived at the venue.
  • Control inventory over multiple venues including the main warehouse
  • Capture damaged-goods inventory
  • Provide transaction history, capturing the movement of an individual item throughout its life
  • Provide a Bill of Materials (BoM), grouping individual items to make one complete item/set (Kitting is another standard feature of WAERlinx)
  • Support warehouse re-organisation by moving inventory en mass within the warehouse

The inventory to be managed included consumables, furniture, fixtures, equipment, machinery, IT equipment (telephones, fax machines, computers, photocopiers) and any other tangible assets.

Elements unique to this project

An event such as the Games has a unique lifecycle that usually involves a long period available for planning activities, followed by a very short period for deployment and operations.  The adjustments were made, and thorough testing carried out early on so that once the Games started, the system was running perfectly.

Waer Systems has been extremely proud to have been involved in such a prestigious project such as this.  The European Games were a huge success and the asset management system ran like clockwork throughout.

To be part of the BEGOC team was a tremendous opportunity for Waer Systems. There were challenges in that WAERlinx has never been used to track assets across 112 different sporting venues, and project delivery was quite rapid. The project has proved that WAERlinx is a truly agile and dynamic tool that can be implemented in many different environments.

Kim Noyce, Operations Director, Waer Systems.

The WAER Systems team really rose to the challenge of delivering an effective solution within extremely tight deadlines and with enough flexibility to cater for the cultural and environmental differences a Games presents. Their professionalism along with the ability of the WAERlinx solution to accommodate our specific requirements, proved invaluable in ensuring BEGOC’s Logistics team were able to deliver their services successfully for the Games.

Pennie Brinsden, Senior Manager, Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee.

Warehouse Receiving function in new video.

Category : warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Feb 2nd, 2016

We have started a new series of videos showing the functionality of various different elements of our our WMS, WAERlinx.

The first one is now available on YouTube and shows how goods are Received into the warehouse.

Why not take a look: WAERlinx WMS Receiving Functionality.