Synchronization Realized By enabling collaboration and optimization across previously siloed functions, supply chain software convergence helps shippers better leverage their IT investments across the enterprise. The warehouse management system WMS uses case picking for the first two items on the order, but then allocates several hours to manage the kitting process for the third item. These are the types of questions that could have been resolved early in the fulfillment process had the WMS and TMS been able to communicate with one another.
Getting the most out of a warehouse management system WMSfor example, requires a bit of extra elbow grease and initiative to ensure that operations are fully leveraging all that the software has to offer. Ignore one step and you could wind up owning and utilizing a WMS that never lives up to its full potential.
According to the Logistics Management Technology Usage Study50 percent of logistics operations are currently using the systems—the highest percentage of any supply chain software solution. And of the 33 percent of logistics professionals who say they plan to buy supply chain software this year, 44 percent will be looking to acquire WMS.
Both companies rely heavily on fast inventory turns to keep their bottom lines healthy, but each also has its own unique set of requirements when it comes to warehouse management. Here are their stories. Kerry Porter, vice president of inventory management, says that the setup was inefficient and difficult to manage.
An inventory and replenishment strategy overhaul was definitely in order. Harvard Drug then explored options from several best-of-breed WMS providers. The company has experienced an 87 base point improvement in inventory turns year over year and its fill rates are up base points year over year.
Some of these improvements were natural offshoots of automating a largely manual, spreadsheet based operation. Ranked by service level, for example, product SKUs can now be tracked according to how quickly or slowly they move in and out of the warehouse.
Those efficiencies allowed Harvard Drug to shrink its procurement department by three full-time employees to a current 10 workers. On an organizational level, the combination of the WMS with IO helps the company be more nimble and has freed up funds that can now be used to pay down debt or reinvest in its business.
A provider of health related products, the company supplies first aid, surgery, treatment, and hygiene related goods to hospitals, retailers, dentists, industrial firms, and other customers. As the company grew, so too did its need for an optimized warehouse solution that would allow it to effectively manage its expansive supply chain.
Fernandez says it was the right choice for Cremer, which was interested in fast implementation times. As with any new software installation, this one did present its fair share of challenges for Cremer.
To avoid that trap, he says Cremer took a more proactive approach to the issue. According to Fernandez, the WMS has helped Cremer organize and improve its logistics processes and has resulted in 20 percent workforce efficiency gains and a 5 percent reduction in procurement costs due to the introduction of e-procurement processes.Bridget’s expertise in writing spans over 22 years.
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