Oracle Warehouse Management Benefits of OWM for Automotive

An Oracle Topical Essay June 2002

which allows multiple serials.Oracle Warehouse Management Benefits of OWM for Automotive BENEFITS OF OWM FOR AUTOMOTIVE Oracle has a well-integrated applications solution to address the unique needs of the automotive sector. Oracle Inventory traditionally handled the material control component. and efficient shipping processes. transactions on the mobile device greatly improve inventory accuracy. However. as well as any integration points to other components of the e-Business Suite that are enhanced with OWM. and simplified shipping processes. All transactions are supported on the mobile devices. Integrated Mobile Support First. OWM is tightly integrated with Oracle Inventory and the rest of the eBusiness Suite. rather than manually keyed data. or even items. In order to provide a complete picture. the key enabling technology and the benefits it can provide will be described. a component of the Oracle e-Business Suite. out-of-the-box functionality. addresses many of these requirements with standard. label printing. to be grouped in a single container and moved together with a single scan. lots. This document describes the features of OWM that are of particular interest to Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers. preventing invalid items or nonexistent locators from being entered. Oracle Warehouse Management. All data is immediately validated by the system. These functional gaps were typically addressed by customization and integration with third party software providers. other areas such as inbound processes and replenishment will also be covered. however. leading to expensive and difficult to maintain implementations. using the same data model – implementation of OWM is just the incremental setup required to utilize the new features. 1 . and enable real time data availability. several features critical for efficient material management. including mobile device integration. production and shipment sequencing. transaction speed. for instance. were not supported by standard Oracle Inventory functionality. The key areas include mobile support. while management functions are typically performed on the desktop. transactions can also be processed online in real time. manufacturing integration. and material control. Data accuracy is greatly improved by the use of barcode scanners. In addition. The special requirements of automotive focus on demand management. and data identifiers help ensure that the right data is scanned in the right field. Combined with license plate support. so that the system always accurately reflects current inventory positions and warehouse conditions. integrated label printing. All transactions are managed through a fully connected mobile device with an integrated barcode scanner. Oracle Release Management and components of Oracle’s manufacturing suite address demand management and production sequencing requirements.

Finally. Task Based Replenishment OWM builds on the min/max replenishment process available with Oracle Inventory. and any material available in the warehouse can be selected based on any number of user-definable rules. Labels At this point. either at the operation move or at the assembly completion. and all receipt routings – standard. With Oracle Inventory. Receipt The receiver scans or enters the purchase order number or ASN. the LPN may already have been generated by the supplier and provided on the ASN. including purchase orders. including a label identifying the LPN and the contents. The system can also base the suggestion on item category. internal requisitions. However. which can be used to streamline movement transactions. Different label formats can be printed based on characteristics such as the item or item category. Dedicated item locators may also be setup along the manufacturing line for frequently used or standard components. Putaway The system will suggest a locator. A schedulable concurrent request generates replenishments for all locators that have less than the minimum level for its dedicated component. These components are stocked along the manufacturing line near where they will be needed. supplier or purchase order type. is scanned. so different types of components are segmented in the warehouse for easier control. and the destination subinventory and locator. the item. any additional information that must be recorded. Replenishment Most common components are pulled from the manufacturing line directly into the assembly. inspection. can also be honored. Additional preferences. the quantity. and RMAs. The weight and volume of the pallet can also be printed on these labels. If any dedicated locators are empty. such as carrier. they must be replenished. As these components are consumed.Inbound OWM supports receiving all documents that can be received on the desktop application. To confirm each putaway. and they may be stocked at multiple locations if used in multiple lines. several labels can be printed. and must be transacted on the desktop. such as avoiding commingling of items. can be scanned and captured. with OWM. or just the contents. Alternatively. and the quantity is entered. or bill of lading number. or the organizations own item number. either the supplier item number. or labels for just the LPN. 2 . Receipt via advanced shipping notices (ASN) are also supported. these replenishment requests are fulfilled by material from a particular subinventory. or minimizing fragmentation if multiple pallets of the same item are received. tasks are generated for these replenishment requests. pack slip. or any number of additional attributes. The operator then enters a new license plate number (LPN) for the pallet. based on locator capacity (weight and volume) in comparison to that of the load. Next. the putaway logic can be built so that an operator picking up the pallet for putaway can be directed to replenish those dedicated locators before putting the remaining quantity away to storage. and direct – are supported. the receiver scans the LPN.

and then dropping the material directly to the job or schedule. and then utilize the same putaway rules described for inbound. Finally. so that a combination of supply methods can be utilized. or warehouse efficiency (pick full LPNs only). or if loose. the line can be replenished only if the entire pallet can fit along the line. or sales order. so that only a few components are available in advance. Other components that may be more efficiently supplied by the min-max processes described earlier can be optionally excluded from the Component Pick Release process. The mobile interface indicates the department and operation. or interorganization transfer can be putaway directly to the dedicated locations along the manufacturing line. The user can select a single job or schedule. the picking rules are just as flexible as the putaway rules. This can be ensured via Component Pick Release. on the desktop form. For instance. Any exception an operator comes across when performing a task is documented for the warehouse manager. if the material required for the task is too heavy or large to be done in a single movement. and many more. the item.Tasks Several features are inherent in a task. 3 . including restricting the task to those operators with the requisite skill set and equipment available to perform the task. This can be done based on several decision criteria. more expensive or more massive components may be supplied to the manufacturing line as needed. for use as job travelers. labels can be printed for flow schedules when they are started. which creates tasks for all components on a discrete job or flow schedule. Tasks are sequenced based on the warehouse layout. In addition. operator progress and efficiency can be viewed on the desktop Warehouse Controlboard. an online process allocates the material and dispatches tasks directly to qualified operators. can be defined using the OWM Rules Engine. Once the selection criteria are completely specified. Picking Rules The best material from the best locations will be selected for use in replenishment activities. flow schedule. Picking tasks can be generated for discrete jobs and flow schedules. Component Pick Release Component Pick Release is the process by which tasks are created for components on a discrete job or flow schedule. Manufacturing Integration OWM is tightly integrated with various components of manufacturing. The operator confirms the task by scanning the LPN. or workorderless completion. and can kick off a corrective action via Oracle Workflow. However. or a range of jobs and schedules. quantity. purchase order. subinventory and locator of the source material. Completions directly into an LPN can be performed from a discrete job. warehouse cleanup (pick nearempty locators first). Putaway to Manufacturing Line As described in the inbound section. These criteria are defined in the OWM Rules Engine. to assist the operator in finding the right location to drop off the material. so that operators follow an efficient path on the floor. or only if the line is below its minimum level. or other criteria can be used. assembly. Picking for Manufacturing Commonly used components will likely be defined as assembly or operation pull and replenished to the manufacturing line as documented above. Criteria that may be important for a warehouse might include stock rotation (pick oldest material first). or for customer compliant labeling. the task will be split into smaller sub-tasks. Finally. All of these criteria. or it can be replenished whenever the location on the manufacturing line has available capacity. Any combination of these. material received from an ASN. as well. based on material requirement date.

Container items can also be associated at a later point. Serialized Assemblies Many automotive assemblies are serialized. Multiple serials of a single assembly can be completed into a single LPN. the LPN can be putaway. such as rules-based allocation and rules-based material selection. and thus can print a label with all details prior to the completion. can be associated with the assembly and included in labels by using flexfields. they can be completed directly into LPNs. Labeling Labels indicating the job or schedule for which the material has been picked. however. Multiple assemblies can be completed into a single LPN as well. Generating LPNs for Completion LPNs for use in completion can be generated on the fly. which is included in the outbound ASN. any additional attributes of the serial can be captured in flexfields. The putaway process can be integrated with the completion so that the same operator that performed the completion must also perform the putaway. either as a separate transaction. such as LPN labels and content labels to be printed. and how much information will be included in the label. The component to assembly serial relationships. that serial data is captured as well. but the methods differ in the timing at which the label can be produced. If. Additional serial numbers that must also be maintained with an assembly. Using LPN-based completions. Content labels could only be printed after the completion transaction. Rules Based Putaway After the LPN has been built from completed jobs or schedules. In addition. often with a supplier-provided serial number. then a pallet ready for completion can be labeled in advance and the operator need only scan the LPN label. such as the VIN or OEM chassis number. can be printed for material requirements that are fulfilled with tasks. Prepacking also automatically associates a container item to an LPN. though the operator can always override the system suggestion. These LPNs can then be putaway to particular staging lanes based on the outbound loads that are being built. The serial number is associated with the assembly at the time of completion. The putaway triggers the OWM Rules Engine to select the best destination storage locator or staging lane. however. so that heterogeneous loads such as a front / rear axle combination can be built in a single step from manufacturing. Kitting via Workorderless Completions 4 . or as part of the Direct Ship outbound process. or pre-packed in advance. or the process can be separated into its two components. so that a different operator may perform the putaway. if the assembly required any assembly pull serialized components. generated in advance. LPN Completions As completed assemblies flow off the assembly line.Component pick release also maintains additional features of tasks described earlier. or serial genealogy. the LPNs are pre-packed. then the system knows the item and quantity that will be completed into the LPN in advance of the actual completion. if the LPNs are pre-generated. is maintained in the system so that any later quality issues can be traced back to the component serials. as well as details about the material including many flexfields. All three options allow labels. For instance.

If the assemblies are built out of sequence. A container item identifies the type of container.LPN-based workorderless completion is a powerful feature for building aftermarket kits. This 5 . Whenever a label is printed. if material must be placed in a particular position when it is completed into an LPN. and prepares the order line to be staged. different label formats were printed for items on the bottom of the pallet and items on the top of the pallet. so that for instance. crate. Outbound Typically. The LPNs can also be associated with container items on the fly on the mobile device. or any related flexfields. such as pallet. These steps are unnecessary for automotive suppliers and only complicate the shipping process. enters the sales order that it is being shipped for. used for the LPN. With OWM. By associating container items with LPNs. with the features of directed putaway. the positioning data can be populated on a flexfield and then printed on the labels. and optionally enters any additional data such as the container item. or as part of the Direct Ship process. or box. this would require that a schedule have no more than one sequence number so that the assembly could be uniquely identified with the sequence number. creates deliveries. creates move orders. or perhaps even both. The flexfield data could also control which label format would be printed. probably just one assembly / serial number per schedule. This combines the standard features of supplying material to a job. Or the Rules Engine can build on any dedicated item-locator assignments that have already been setup or that are desired. but rather. Container item details are included in the outbound ASN. the entire pick release process can be bypassed with a feature called Direct Ship. this location need not be fixed. This can be used to provide a traveler document with the assembly. allocates and reserves material. a required concurrent process with Oracle Inventory. there is no allocation process by which material is selected and picked for each customer. an operator simply scans the LPN about to be shipped. so that the customer receiving the LPNs knows the type of container to expect from the supplier. the OWM Rules Engine is used to determine the correct label format to use based on any number of attributes such as the item. Note that. Note that because of the power of the OWM Rules Engine. either as a separate transaction. or the delivery method. Flow Labeling Labels can be printed at the beginning of a flow schedule. freight costs. can differ as the collection of components and assemblies varies. backflushing all components into the kit. but then later staged in sequence. the system can include the tare weight of the container when calculating the LPN weight. automotive suppliers are assembling finished goods for a specific customer ship schedule. and can also have a weight and volume. ship to address. the customer associated to the flow schedule. In addition. Container Management All LPNs can be associated with container items. of course. Direct Ship With Direct Ship. or a customer compliant label. the sequence number can be populated in a flexfield and then printed on the label for use by a material handler as staging instructions. and thus. A container item can be associated automatically with an LPN when LPNs are prepacked prior to WIP completion or pregenerated by a desktop concurrent request. or at any later point during a flow schedule. Pick Release. so that the completed kit can be directed to a storage location where other similar kits are kept.

Field Validation and Dynamic Page Construction Regardless of transaction processing mode. Other supported transactions include miscellaneous / alias receipts and issues. and can work with vendors to certify additional devices as necessary. the processing mode for the mobile devices can be set for immediate concurrent processing or background processing if the transaction volume is too large for online processing. as they are on the desktop applications. Manufacturing and Oracle Quality inspection plans are also supported on the mobile device. After decrementing inventory and issuing the LPNs. with an emphasis on those features relevant to an automotive customer. Manual consolidate. an invalid item number or a non-existent locator is entered. the mobile pages are built as the transaction progresses. Oracle has a large list of supported / certified devices. Alternatively. Intermec and Symbol. kanban replenishments. a user is immediately notified if. and all without customization. outbound ASNs are generated. which provides support for mobile transactions. ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES Several technologies new with Oracle Warehouse Management enable all these business processes to work together seamlessly. and the order line is closed. the serial number field is only displayed if an item is serial controlled. Mobile Support All the transactions described above are supported on mobile handheld RF devices with integrated barcode scanners. Any barcode symbology supported by the mobile device is supported by Oracle. the entire outbound process can be triggered by just a few scans. pack. 6 .single transaction completes the shipping transaction for a sales order line. just as on the desktop. in that the device translates the barcode into plaintext for the application. the delivery is updated. Integrated security and customizable menus are standard features on the mobile. and the lot number field is only displayed if the item is lot controlled. material status update. avoiding the system and operational overhead of pick release. and integrated labeling support. This field validation and dynamic page construction greatly simplifies the mobile transactions and helps increase data accuracy. split. Furthermore. with maximum flexibility. the Rules Engine. cost group update. Key components of these three areas are described below. all mobile forms perform field level validation. Then. subinventory transfers. label reprint requests. and unpack transactions are supported to build any packaging configurations that are required by the customer. Direct Ship is particularly powerful when used in combination with LPN-based completions. Finished assemblies are completed into the LPNs that will be shipped. organization transfers. LPN update. refer to the Oracle WMS Users Guide and the Oracle MSCA Users Guide. Transaction Processing The devices are connected via online connections directly to the application and database so that all material movements can be recorded immediately. For complete documentation on all supported transactions. and any material inquiry reflects the most recent data. displaying only fields that are applicable to the current transaction. This means that. These components are the mobile server. and directed picking and putaway. For instance. Additional features are discussed below. once the shipment is ready. for instance. as on the desktop. including all major models from LXE.

Data Identifiers Operators may not always get the correct barcode for each scan. and allocating material for push material requirements on jobs with Component Pick Release. if the device expects the item to be supplied. the type of purchase order. optionally specifying the equipment available to them. directed picking will be applicable for allocating material for replenishment tasks. no code needs to be written. putaway. Some common processes that the rules are capable of modeling include minimizing item fragmentation. A data identifier is a prefix appended to the front of barcodes that is automatically removed before the data is passed to the application. and label format assignment. Tasks are assigned to operators based on the operator’s skill set. Operators can sign onto a mobile RF device. but instead the locator is scanned. or placing seasonal items in a subinventory dependent on time of year. the locator is placed on the correct field. for instance. Once the Rules Engine is set up. Putaway Directed putaway directs operators to put newly received or completed material into the most appropriate locators. hazardous tasks can be assigned only to personnel with the appropriate training. cost group assignment. The prefix identifies the type of barcode that is being scanned. Other putaway possibilities include basing the location on inspection results. Assuming that Direct Ship will be used. The entire system is built using lists-of-values. requiring no lot comingling in a locator. or the subinventory the task occurs in. directing hazardous materials to a corresponding hazardous storage location. Label Format Assignment 7 . to intelligent locations suggested by the Rules Engine. only the end results. providing optimal answers and eliminating mistakes. Rules Engine The Oracle Rules Engine provides a repository for customer restrictions and business policies. equipment requirements and capacity. Putaways. can also be performed for any items anywhere within the warehouse. Picking Directed picking makes material allocations and directs operators to pick material from specific locators. while putaways to the top racks can be limited to operators who have signed on with a high-reach forklift. or item category. or to minimize the number of full LPNs that will be used. task type assignment. Some common examples of picking rules are to ensure stock rotation. Data identifiers handle this out-of-order scanning. Customer requirements and organization policies are not visible to the operator. It is implemented directly from standard Oracle forms. For instance. or the sequence in which the barcodes are available for scanning may differ from the sequence in which the mobile device expects them to be scanned. The Rules Engine has five rule types: picking. to deplete a location in order to free up additional warehouse space. This simplifies the decision making process for operators. Task Type Assignment Task type assignment captures the skill sets and equipment required for a warehouse task so that work is only assigned to appropriate users. the end users never see its complexity. so that. Security features are built-in to prevent modification of objects currently in use.

container. and then to send the printing request to the label printer. The Rules Engine automates this decision. With WMS. cost groups were associated with the subinventory in which material was stored. The material handler should not make cost group decisions on the warehouse floor. Accelio. or Formscape. the appropriate lot stickers will be printed automatically. For instance. The Rules Engine is capable of modeling all this logic. or some order types may require weather-resistant labels. different accounts could be set up for refurbished. Cost Group Assignment Cost groups capture the material valuation accounts necessary for tracking inventory value. and company-owned inventory. customer ship to address. Labels that include different data. but also increasingly difficult as different customers or carriers require different label formats. The following label types are supported: · · · · · · · · · Flow Contents Serial LPN LPN Content LPN Summary Location Shipping Shipping Contents WIP Contents 8 . barcode symbologies. labels can be automatically printed as part of business process flows. such as Loftware. For instance. The Rules Engine can also generate labels for use inside the warehouse. Upon receiving lotcontrolled items. or have different layout can be generated for each item. based on customer. consigned. A complete list of all the supported label types for each business flow can be found in the WMS Users Guide. OWM relies on a third party package. item category. Label types are assigned to business flows. for example. and implementation details can be found in the WMS Implementation Guide. and label type. The Rules Engine then determines the correct label format to use based on any rules that you have defined. OWM creates an XML file with the correct information. cost groups are now associated directly with the on-hand material. for instance. Previously. Label Printing With OWM. including which label format to use based on any rules that have been set up.Compliant labeling is becoming increasingly important. or as otherwise necessary. odd sized items may require different label types. When material is received into the warehouse the “owning” cost group must be determined. Additionally. or transportation method. to build the formatted label from the XML file. The Rules Engine can remove this complexity from the operators by selecting the appropriate label format. removing complexity from the floor while still providing material valuation accounts tracking. an LPN Summary label and a Material label may be assigned to the purchase order receipt business flow.

available from metalink. combined with targeted automotive features like Direct Ship and LPN-based completions make Oracle Warehouse Management an integral part of an automotive solution.CONCLUSION The key enabling technologies of integrated mobile support. label printing.com/wms/toi. 9 .us. the e-Business Suite is uniquely positioned to meet many of the automotive requirements out of the box. topical essays are available on the internal OWM TOI site for all of these features at www-apps. Additional Information All of the features mentioned in this guide are described in much greater detail in the OWM Users Guide and Implementation Guide.oracle. and the Rules Engine. With Oracle Release Management and Oracle Manufacturing. In addition.

A. This document is provided for informational purposes only and the information herein is subject to change without notice. Oracle Corporation does not provide any warranties covering and specifically disclaims any liability in connection with this document.7200 Copyright © Oracle Corporation 2002 All Rights Reserved 10 .S.June 2002 Author: David Wertheimer Copyright © Oracle Corporation 2002 All Rights Reserved Printed in the U. CA 94065 U.S. Oracle is a registered trademark.506.506.A. Please report any errors herein to Oracle Corporation.7000 Fax 415. Worldwide Inquiries: 415. Oracle Corporation World Headquarters 500 Oracle Parkway Redwood Shores.

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