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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.

Just because you’re using SAP’s ERP doesn’t mean their warehouse management solution will be the best option…

Category : VMI, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Dec 17th, 2015

Using SAP?  Need a VMI solution?  Surely SAP’s VMI product is the natural answer, or is it?

Whether you’re buying a new laptop, a VMI solution or your weekly shopping, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees and often you are left trying to compare apples with pears.

Information is given in such different ways that you really have to dig deep to find out whether one product suits your needs better than another.  Well, help is at hand.

Recently, a long-standing customer of Waer’s, who has SAP as their ERP was looking for a VMI solution.  The natural choice would be to go to SAP – they have a warehouse management provision after all – however, the obvious solution is not always the best one.

For this customer’s needs, the SAP solution fell short, and the table below shows just how many advantages our VMI offering has, over SAP’s for this customer: 

Consignment / VMI Using SAP Consignment / VMI Using WAERlinx
Customer and supplier would not be able to use one system. They would each use their own, separate ERP systems, requiring EDI or XML data transfer between the two. Customer and supplier will be using one system, making things far simpler for training and for everyday use.
SAP ideally requires the customer and supplier to be using the same Material Master records. The customer and supplier don’tneed to use the same Material Master records; the Alias feature provides the cross-reference.
The forecast that is output for the supplier is based on customer sales. Usage data is based on manufacturing consumption.
Supplier and customer both need to be using SAP. (Otherwise, the data exchange becomes a lot more complex.) There are no prerequisites over which ERP system is used.
Significant manual input to record material movements. Barcode scanning is used to record material movements.
The concept of ownership does not seem to exist. Ownership  is clearly tracked, at all times.
Uses stock and sales data as the raw planning data. Uses stock and actual consumption in manufacturing.
Stock visibility is not real time. (Needs a scheduled data transfer.) Real time visibility.

In short, SAP Consignment/VMI doesn’t exist as a single, modular entity in the way that it does on WAERlinx.  Rather, SAP requires the customer to go through a convoluted process of using pieces of functionality that are distributed across several SAP modules, before they can say that they are doing Consignment/VMI on SAP.

For a refreshingly different approach to supply chain software, ring David Snelson on 01293 768036 or email dsnelson@waersystems.com.

www.waersystems.com

 

WAERlinx introduces Carrier Integration functionality

Category : WMS · No Comments · by Nov 27th, 2015

WAERlinx  – our fully integrated WMS suiteapp for NetSuite now interfaces to a wide variety of third-party courier systems using the NetDespatch portal. We recommend this approach because it is a lot more cost-effective than building bespoke interfaces to individual couriers.

The way it works
At the point when a despatch is processed, WAERlinx makes a call to the courier system, transmitting the relevant details. Typically, this includes (but is certainly not limited to) product code, ship-to address, number of packages, package weight(s), tariff code and special instructions. There are a great many other data elements that can be included and these can be set up according to the needs of the customer.

The tariff code and any special delivery instructions can either be specified on the NetSuite sales order or manually input at the point of despatch. If the tariff code and delivery instructions are specified on the NetSuite sales order, then this is included with the sales order information that is interfaced to WAERlinx, and no operator input is needed at the point of despatch.

In all cases, the courier system responds with the additional information required by the courier in order to execute the collection and delivery. This includes information to be output on courier-specific labels, which can be printed locally in the despatch area of the supplying warehouse, as well as a tracking reference number. The courier’s printed labels are then fixed to the relevant packages, prior to physical collection by the courier.

For the purposes of customer service, the tracking reference number mentioned above can, via WAERlinx, be optionally interfaced back to its corresponding NetSuite sales order and in all cases, a full audit trail of courier collection and delivery status is maintained.

Improve agility and cut costs in manufacturing with enhanced supply chain visibility and control.

It’s a challenging time for manufacturers and yet an exciting one too. Rarely have there been greater opportunities for global trading than there are today, and there is huge potential for growth. In developing markets especially, however, unless these opportunities are managed efficiently, increasing costs – of inventory in particular – make it ever more difficult to protect gross margins.

The never-ending quest for progress demands continuous innovation, yet many of the systems that are in place to support manufacturing operations today are deeply embedded, legacy applications that are difficult either to replace, or to improve in any way that adds real value.

So how do manufacturers gain a competitive advantage under these conditions?

One proven method is to take control of manufacturing by means of improved supply chain visibility, so that human ingenuity and common sense can regain control.

There is a clear and direct link between improving the flow of information and improving the flow of materials. In other words, by keeping your finger on the pulse of change, manufacturers remain agile and in control, and able to manage ever-increasing levels of complexity and variety.

So how do you find a solution provider that will be flexible enough for your manufacturing business’ needs, and what are your constraints?

Cost is often the first consideration and there are many all-singing, all-dancing solutions that would be ideal but unfortunately cost a small fortune.

On the other end of the scale, many of the lower cost options are pretty inflexible and while they may help solve some issues, there’s more often than not, a compromise in terms of functionality.

WAERlinx is a purpose-built suite of applications (Kitting, Kanban, RFID, WMS, VMI, Capacity Management) with a background in the demanding field of Aerospace supply chain management that is flexible by design. Customers can choose the applications that meet their requirements, with no need to change their existing ERP and MES systems in order to get there. WAERlinx simply bolts on, to enhance and improve what already exists.

Features

Improve visibility…

WAERlinx’ purpose-built console of operational and management information, presented using information gathered from multiple systems and facilities within the organisation, helps to:

  • Eliminate spreadsheet dependency
  • Provide clear insight into manufacturing capacity (demonstrated vs. available), sales orders and a consensus forecast, for planning purposes
  • Make use of event-based alerts – for example, production order completions, backflush events, demand shortages, changes to order dates, high-cost transactions etc. – to trigger immediate response actions
  • Highlight material consumption patterns, exposing problems that may have remained hidden. For example, highlight the use of material that may not be on the manufacturing BOM, or which has a lower-cost alternative
  • Keep track of high-value reusable containers, either using RFID or barcode scanning
  • Keep track of quality-related information, for example by integration with an SPC tool
  • Integrate new manufacturing operations and supporting facilities quickly and without risk – In an M&A scenario this is, of course, vital
  • Provide visibility of material in transit using dedicated functions within the application, or by seamless integration with an external transport management system
  • Provide accurate costing of material usage, with a fully-auditable transaction history.


… and reduce costs

  • Take control of complex and dynamic shop floor inventory by means of barcode scanning to track actual consumption, eliminating waste of over- or under-utilised material
  • Kanban replenishment of manufacturing work centres, even in complex multi-site scenarios; the application helps to eliminate the barriers (including inventory ‘buffers’) that can sometimes be caused by physical distance between a point of need and its source of supply
  • Control the flow of inbound material by using proven warehouse management functions, fully integrated with existing ERP or MES systems
  • Make the most of opportunities to utilise existing owned inventory, instead of buying new
  • Highlight the use of expensive, non-standard items when less expensive standard items may be used instead
  • Manage spare parts or aftermarket inventory that may be stored in dedicated locations with different processing rules
  • Provide suppliers with the means to deploy consigned material , and to manage the replenishment of it based on forecast, actual consumption, firm demands, or any combination thereof. Proven features help to ensure stronger long-term relationships with trading partners, by allowing them to act like extended factories within your own organisation
  • Perform light assembly operations, either in the supplying warehouse or another location away from the main production line, and deliver these to their actual point of need on a just-in-time basis, thereby improving the utilisation of skilled assemblers as well as manufacturing cycle time
  • Improve the efficiency of a single piece flow operation, by improving the availability of materials in terms of quality, quantity and time.

Find out more

WAERlinx 8 Released!

Category : WMS · No Comments · by Oct 30th, 2013

Waer Systems continues to stay ahead of the game with the release of WAERlinx8.  Enhanced features and a more intuitive new look and feel make customers’ lives even easier.

Waer Systems specialises in the design, development and implementation of flexible software solutions for organisations with complex supply chain and reporting needs.

The company was established in 2000, initially to meet the need for improved supply chain execution and warehouse management within the global aerospace industry. Today, our innovative, elegant solutions deliver increased process efficiency, optimised parts/asset management and real-time information flow to market leaders in a range of sectors.

In delivering WAERlinx8, our primary focus has been on enhancing the user experience in a number of key ways.  The product has a completely new and intuitive look & feel, building on our key concepts of core WAERlinxWAERflow and WAERconsole.

waerlinx8_screen1

WAERconsole – for use on a wide range of mobile devices

We are particularly proud of our WAERconsole module; our dedicated Mobile Business Intelligence area for gathering KPIs, reporting and management information.  This module makes use of state-of-the-art techniques to deliver graphs and reports tailored to the needs of the individual user.

waerlinx8_screen2

We have also developed it for use with as wide a range of mobile devices as possible, enabling our users to access their key data wherever they are.

waerlinx8_screen3

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