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Expert Insight: Guest Contribution
     
 

by Wilson Rothschild, SCM Solutions Marketing Manager, Infor

 
     
  January 16 , 2008  
 

Not your Father’s Warehouse Management Solution

 
     
 

Today's Robust Warehouse Management Systems are Far Different than Those Previous Generation Solutions

 
     
 
Rothschild Says:
Increasingly, we find companies seeking more process and functional capabilities and open solutions that help them work better with customers and supply chain constituents. They also need improved multi-site, warehouse visibility, performance management, and event management.

What do you say? Send us your comments here

Thirty years ago, Warehouse Management was focused behind the four walls. It was all about efficiency of movement and processes within the warehouse, from receiving and putaway, to pick, pack, and ship processes.

While efficiency is still important, today warehouse management must play a part in delighting customers and creating sustainable competitive advantage. This requires looking outside the four walls of the warehouse and bringing new dimensions to both processes and technologies to create value in your distribution operations.

Before we talk about creating value, let’s look at what people want in Warehouse Management and how that has changed. While there are still manual, paper-based distribution centers, predominately in satellite operations or emerging markets like Asia Pacific, distribution professionals, by and large, have embraced technology either in a stand-alone best-of-breed application or a legacy system.

Increasingly, we find companies seeking more process and functional capabilities and open solutions that help them work better with customers and supply chain constituents. They also need improved multi-site warehouse visibility, performance management, and event management.

In our experience, this means looking at processes inside and outside the four walls. Inside the four walls, these companies are eager to work better with advanced task management, work smarter with voice, labor forecasting and, in higher volume operations, labor management. Outside the four walls, they are looking at inbound capabilities like ASN-based receiving and appointment scheduling, while for outbound, they’re looking at yard management, visibility, and control solutions.

Your father’s warehouse management was based on client server technology, where features could be switched on and off and communication was done by point-to-point EDI connections with suppliers. Making changes to processes was limited to turning functionality on and off, and EDI was only for the select few and required EDI VAN services. The difference today is that current technology makes it easier to manage business processes, upgrade functionality, if and when your business demands, and leverage the internet to open up communication both inside and outside the four walls.

Bottom Line: If your organization is on an older Warehouse Management solution, now’s the time to look for newer process-driven solutions that offer greater functionality and provide openness so that you can work with your extended supply chain to delight customers and create competitive advantage.

Agree or disgree with our guest expert's perspective? What would you add? Let us know your thoughts for publication in the SCDigest newsletter Feedback section, and on the web site. Upon request, comments will be posted with the respondent's name or company withheld.

 
 
 
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