7 Innovative Trends in ERP Warehouse Management
Warehouse management systems continue to get better and more comprehensive. Major players like RedPrairie and Manhattan add features to their products regularly. ERP systems continue to combine WMS functionality as their products evolve. More and more, ERP is overlapping with dedicated WMS. This overlap becomes apparent when you consider the current trends in ERP warehouse management.
Slotting is frequently offered now – the ability of the system to calculate the optimum bin for a particular product based on expected future usage and working the required moves into the overall work queues of the people or automated equipment making the moves.
Yard management expands the warehouse to the containers and trailers around the building. Which one should move to which dock door next? Which empty trailer is best for the load that will move outbound later today? For an operation with high volume of trucks arriving and departing daily this pays off quickly.
ERP warehouse management has also expanded to labor standards and execution management. Not only does it track where a product is located but it helps plan the manpower needed for a given day’s expected volume. Many businesses have loads that change frequently with the customers’ promotions and this can be valuable.
Supply Chain Integration
ERP warehouse management systems now integrate easily with customers’ and suppliers’ ERP systems enabling improved visibility up and down the supply chain. This integration also provides opportunities to collaborate giving the customers better service.
Some trends are about technology too. Wireless scanning has been growing for a while as well as wireless printing. A person can scan an order and the related SKU and the move ticket required automatically prints right at their cart or forklift.
Voice technology is growing too. A worker wears a headset and the next part to select is relayed to her and the completion of this task is confirmed to the system by her voice. Shr no longer needs to carry a scanner.
Smart phones can be used as scanners and they can enter orders from anywhere as managers and workers learn of a shipping demand even while at remote sites.
One of the biggest changes for distributors is the shortening life cycles of the products. New products always started arriving at a warehouse before the old one sold out. This turnover is becoming more and more frequent, highlighting the need for improved ERP warehouse management and greater supply chain visibility.
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