SPAN. White Paper. Warehouse Management through Mobile. Abstract. Warehouse Management through Mobile

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1 SPAN White Paper Abstract Warehousing is very competitive, labor intensive, high-risk, low-margin business. In today s globally competitive economy, warehouse managers have a challenge on hand to reduce the cost of inventory and increase productivity of the internally available resources. With the onset of multi-channel world and availability of the goods to customer through multiple sources, customers increasingly demand accuracy, timeliness, zero- damage, and top-notch fulfillment for every order and expect significant rewards for consistent delivery of orders. The situation has forced the traditional warehouse managers to turn to technologies, which are economical and helps improve process in order to optimize the operational efficiencies as well as increase the customer satisfaction by improving accuracy. To achieve this, a key technical approach is to launch the applications into Mobile space. The basic principles of the warehouse management systems have remained unchanged, i.e., to have the control on the material movement within the warehouse in a timely and appropriate method by utilizing the resources available in the best manner possible. Handling various warehouse operations through mobiles will have rich and significant benefits for the business. When mobility is utilized on the warehouse functions, by creating mobile apps for devices, a higher level of efficiency, accuracy and visibility is achieved. The advent of new devices capable of scanning Barcode / QR Code, printing labels on the go, taking photos of damaged goods and sending GPS coordinates, enables the warehouse to perform more effectively at functional levels, ensuring that the process of receiving, picking, packing and shipping of the goods is accurate and error-free.

2 II. The Impact Of Not Mobilizing And Mobilizing Key Warehouse Operations Warehouse functions may be adversely impacted, if there is no real-time processing. Such adverse effects to the business can be easily prevented and optimization of resources can be achieved by using the WMS mobile. Following is an in-depth look at each of the critical warehouse process areas - the issues each function faces, how mobility addresses those pain points, and the advantages an enterprise can expect to reap. A. Receive Shipment Receiving is the process where you confirm the shipments received with what is actually ordered by the warehouse. When you consider the average warehouse receives, thousands of items are received in the in-bound area from hundreds of vendors whose picking, packing and shipping practices are all different. Manual procedures for receiving involve: Shipment identification Product count Product inspection Receiving documentation The above procedures involve lot of manual processing and may result in long delay and errors, which may result in a ripple effect, since receiving is one of the most complicated functions in warehouse processes. Receive Shipment is the first step in the In-bound flow towards bringing the items arrived at the warehouse premises using the WMS mobile. The shipment can be received in two ways: 1. Based on Supplier and Arrival Date The Purchase Order contains the basic information regarding the Supplier, Products, Quantity, Shipment Arrival date, etc. Using this information, the warehouse worker selects the Supplier and Arrival Date by referring to a Purchase Order. Based on these, the details of the Order are fetched on to the mobile screen. The worker has a provision to select multiple Products if the same exists for an Order and it is also required to enter the Container ID by which the Shipment has arrived to the Warehouse. Receive Shipment is mainly concerned with changing the status of the Shipment and in WMS mobile, three status exist - Unloading, Unloaded and Palletisation Complete. Any Shipment, which arrives at the warehouse, should follow these statuses in sequence and should be changed in real-time according to the operations, which occur while receiving the shipment. The process of receiving shipment is completed only when the final status is reached i.e., Palletisation Complete, and on successful completion, a Shipment ID is generated, which might comprise multiple Orders for a Supplier. This Shipment ID is kept as reference for all the future In-bound processes. Finally, the Shipment is pushed on to the next step of In-bound flow i.e., Receive Inventory.

3 2. Based on Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN) ASN is a document that provides detailed information about a pending delivery. The purpose of an ASN is to notify the customer when shipping occurs and provide physical characteristics about the shipment, so the customer can be prepared to accept delivery. The concept of ASN also comes into picture when there is a need for a supplier to send a partial quantity of the products out of the actual quantity ordered by a warehouse. In WMS mobile application, the shipment can also be received by a strategy involving this procedure. The ASN is selected, based on which, the Order details are fetched and the status is changed in the same way as explained for the first method, i.e., PO based on Supplier and Arrival Date and the Shipment is pushed to the next step of In-bound flow i.e., Receive Inventory. By having mobility in receiving, workers at the receiving dock are provided real-time access to product details, so that they can closely monitor, manage and receive goods accurately and efficiently. Items are moved between locations with few a touches, movements and barcode scans. It ensures a highly efficient receiving environment Allows for greater control in the allocation of Human resources Eliminates the introduction of human errors Instant visibility into the order system Enables cross-docking to effectively reduce handling time Costs for incoming shipments B. Receive Inventory Items are received based on different types of unit of measurements such as Pallets, Cartons and Units, where Carton constitutes a group of Units and Pallet, a group of Cartons. The items are counted according to the unit of measurements and are updated in the system. If the items are rejected, the same should also be updated. These activities must be monitored and the accuracy has to be very high to ensure that there is no room for error. If mobility is not present for a warehouse management system, then the worker must maintain a number of documents to note down the items received and must update the same in the system after sometime, when the worker has access to the system. This adds as a disadvantage for performing real-time operations and also increases paper work. Performing inventory receiving operation through mobiles allows the warehouse employee, who is at the receiving dock, to update about the items received in the receiving area to the inventory in real-time. It helps warehouse operators to establish optimum inventory levels, thereby reducing costs and keeping inventory at the right levels at all times. It provides the ability to easily see, direct, and manage the movement of inventory across multiple warehouse facilities or locations. C. Put Away The WMS system directs the Put Away to place a specific item in a single or multiple locations. Errors in the Put Away process can result in misplaced inventory that can result in false out-of-stocks, lost sales and needless additional expenses associated with the purchase and storage of additional product to replace lost inventory that is actually sitting on the warehouse shelves.

4 At each step, a worker has to record the items moved, what quantity has been moved, and to which location, on a paper. These paper records, which comprise the product information, within and out of the warehouse, are recorded and entered by a data operator into WMS. Invariably, there is a lag between the time materials are received, moved, or shipped and the time that each step is entered into the database. That s because data is not posted to WMS in realtime. The database is updated only hours later when a worker comes back to office and a data entry operator finds time to key in the data. During Put Away, WMS Mobile shows the important information about incoming items such as product, quantity, location to store and more. It can be configured to store products either in a designated location and/or multiple locations throughout the warehouse accelerating the Put Away process. WMS Mobile also enables high-volume processing of inventory during peak seasons. This automation eliminates manual intervention and errors, while providing accurate and up-to-date inventory control. D. Picking and Prepare Shipment This process can be a hard and time consuming task without knowing the exact product locations. Pickers must walk the warehouse storage locations to locate product manually, which may consume a lot of time to process a single order. Products cannot be automatically verified as accurate when picked. Inventory systems are not updated to reflect the pick until the picking details has not been entered into a computer at a later time. The problems originate when the products to be picked from different locations do not match the location of that product entered in database. Typically, warehouses are large and same products are placed in many different locations, making it a labor-intensive operation to manually find the products. Once the pick list is created from the order, it appears on the mobile screen, where you can select each order and lookup the product details to be picked. By mobilizing the pick function, warehouse employees will know the exact location of a product and the total quantity available, enabling the employee to start picking the products from the specified location in the specified quantity to fulfill the order requirements. Items reach the storage area in the shortest duration of time Warehouse workers know the exact location of all inventories at a highly detailed level The same number of workers can process more Put Away requests each day Improved inventory visibility and replenishment planning Reduces out-of-stocks and eliminated false out of stock E. Packing and Dispatch In manual procedures for Packing and Shipping, the exact location of shipments and materials, which are shipped from the yard, are updated in your warehouse management system only after delivery at the end of the day. The warehouse

5 Errors are significantly reduced through the automated capture of data and instant double check for picking accuracy Out-of-stocks are eliminated through the ability to instantly deduct items from your inventory as they are picked It streamlines the whole Prepare Shipment process, taking less time and reducing error Provides the opportunity to manage multiple picks simultaneously employee at the shipping yard may have to note down the list of deliveries of each day on paper, and when the employee returns to office must update the WMS database. This may not provide up-to-date information about the deliveries done to the customer. The warehouse workers can see the list of deliveries for the day on their mobile screen, with additional details such as Shipment ID, Order ID and Customer Name for each order. The warehouse workers have the option of packing or delivering only the required orders on each day. As and when shipments are loaded to the truck, the warehouse worker can update the database in real-time and provide up-to-date information about the list of deliveries to the respective customers. In the packing function, mobility serves as a crucial cross-check to ensure the accuracy of an order prior to packing In the dispatch function, it provides a final cross-check to ensure that the order is correct, properly addressed and scheduled for the proper shipment F. Cycle Counting Cycle Counting is a process carried out to verify the quantity of items present in the System Inventory against the actual quantity in the Physical Inventory. Accurate quantities on hand are essential for managing supply and demand, maintaining high service levels, and planning production. Warehouse Management System must keep accurate inventory counts. When these counts are conducted manually, they are time consuming and often prone to errors. Manual cycle may have the potential issues mentioned adjacent: High labor costs Lack of real-time data - by the time the cycle count is completed, which often takes days and weeks, the warehouse s Pick and Put Away may have been completed, which may affect the inventory evaluation, resulting in false data in the database and may cause out-of-stocks condition, leading to high costs. It may lead to shutting down the facility, since high costs are involved in cycle counting, leading to an expensive and disruptive action.

6 In WMS mobile application, Cycle Counting is performed on a regular basis to ensure that the accuracy of the inventory is maintained and it also helps in the auditing process. It is performed to maintain the accountability of the items present in the inventory. Cycle Counting is usually performed on the items, which have fast movement across the warehouse and have a source of higher revenue. Cycle Counting is a planned process, where each inventory of a product is counted on a specific day and the movement of that product in and around the warehouse is halted. The users scan the product barcode and retrieve the description of the product. By clicking the location in the description, the user receives the details of all the products located at multiple locations inside the warehouse. Users can now search for any product inventory and enter the variance quantity in terms of unit of measurement quantity and add a reason for its variance. When warehouse workers, who do Cycle Counting, are provided with real-time access to the inventory database and advanced mobile data collection capabilities, Cycle Counting can be performed in a highly efficient way, dramatically improving accuracy. Counting process, which may have earlier taken three or four weeks on an average, can be now completed in less than half-a-day using WMS mobile. G. Returns A company can return items to the vendor for various reasons such as damaged products, not ordered or over-shipped, etc. If the return is not mobilized, then the worker has to search for rejected items by moving across the warehouse storage locations, which comprise rejection areas. This consumes a lot of time and is prone to errors. With mobility, workers in the Returns area have instant access to the inventory, so that while receiving, they can reject the damaged products from the warehouse back to the respective vendor. In the event the item is returned to a supplier, it is automatically noted in the inventory systems with the details like quantity rejected, reason for rejection and return type of rejection. The company can also reject the same product with multiple rejection reasons, as the application provides a provision for returning items partially or completely. Overall processing time required is greatly reduced Usage of unnecessary space to store the rejected items will be eliminated Productivity of workers in the warehouse is greatly improved III. Key Benefits Reduces data collection errors and eliminates paperwork Eliminates data entry processes and reduces Lead Time Enables warehouse space optimization Facilitates decision making in terms of capacity management, cycle counting, staff productivity and standardization Increases productivity, lower overhead Continuous real-time inventory control

7 IV. Jquery Mobile Framework JQuery Mobile is a touch optimized HTML 5 framework for writing mobile web applications, which is built on top of the jquery and jquery User Interface (UI). JQuery Mobile is an effective and unified framework for writing mobile web applications. With jquery Mobile we can ensure consistent look, feel, and behavior across different mobile platforms. Conclusion The application helps warehouses to improve operational efficiencies by automating the key warehouse operations by performing them on mobile devices. Mobile devices also allow the mobility to move around in the warehouse, helping warehouse employees to provide faster service. Replacing a paper-based system with a mobile device for information capture can eliminate errors, save time on data entry and transportation, which all translate into cost saving with business efficiency. The exchange of real-time data means updates are sent automatically and information is received throughout the day. Barcode reader helps in scanning the barcode image on product and helps in verification of the right product in comparison with the order. Supplementing warehouse operations with mobile devices eliminates bottlenecks and improves accuracy in performing warehouse functions, which results in better overall performance of a warehouse. By automating tasks and adopting a paperless system, employees can focus on more important tasks at hand, timely and accurate shipping and order fulfillment. For more information on our entire range of solutions and related offerings, get in touch with SPAN at: About SPAN: SPAN is an established software services company offering comprehensive IT services since Our clients include Fortune 1000 companies, software firms (ISVs) and tech start-ups. SPAN s offshore development centers in India are certified for ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 27001:2005 and appraised at CMMI Maturity Level 5 and PCMM Maturity Level 5. SPAN has a global footprint with offices in the U.S., Singapore, India, and group offices in Europe. There are multiple offshore development centers in Bangalore and Chandigarh, India. SPAN is ranked as #7 Best IT Employers in India by a leading IT publication. SPAN s Relationship Management (RM) Model is a well-defined, yet flexible framework, which provides ongoing business value to both, the client and SPAN. SPAN is wholly owned by the largest Nordic IT services major, EVRY (www.evry.com). USA Headquarters >>> SPAN Systems Corporation, 1425 Greenway Drive, Suite 490 Irving, Texas Phone: / SPAN-SYS Fax: India Headquarters >>> SPAN Infotech (India) Pvt. Ltd. 18/2, Vani Vilas Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore , India Phone: Fax: Copyright 2015 by SPAN. All rights reserved. The contents of this document are protected by copyright law and international treaties. SPAN acknowledges the proprietary rights of the trademarks and product names of other companies mentioned in this document. The reproduction or distribution of the document or any portion of it thereof, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of SPAN is prohibited.

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