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Whitepaper

Whitepaper
Warehouse Management System

www.polarisretail.com | www.polaris.co.in

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Whitepaper

Introduction
Warehouse management is the art of movement and storage of materials throughout the warehouse.
Warehouse management monitors the progress of products through the warehouse. It involves the
physical warehouse infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations.
Warehouse management deals with receipt, storage and movement of goods usually finished goods and
includes functions like warehouse master record, item/ warehouse cross-reference lists and such things as
on hand, allocated, transfers in process, transfer in process, and transfer lead time, safety stock, and
fields for accumulating statistics by location.

A warehouse manager needs to perform several crucial functions such as overseeing and recording
deliveries and pickups, loading and unloading materials and supplies, maintaining inventory records and
tracking system, determining appropriate places for storage, rotating stock as needed and adjusting
inventory levels to reflect receipts and disbursements. An individual, who handles the warehouse
management, is required to have knowledge about inventory control and warehousing systems, loading
and unloading procedures, risky and materials storage and mathematical knowledge. For such user, the
Polaris Retail Infotech Ltd. WMS system will be an indispensable tool, for managing warehouses.

A warehouse management system is a critical component of an effective overall supply chain management
systems solution. The proposed Warehouse management system will be the core element to control
movement and storage of materials within a warehouse.

Envisioned for future usage and applicability, it could even incorporate incorporates tasks such as light
manufacturing, transportation management, order management, and entire accounting systems.

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Whitepaper

The Drive for WMS System

Complex warehousing environments usually manage inventory in variety of disparate facilities. Over time,
this would typically evolve into a non – federated structure where each facility employs different
operational processes and disparate system throughout the network. This environment is overwhelmed by
its inherent complexities and unmanaged operations. The fallout is lack of CENTRALIZED VISIBLITY and
INCREASED OWNERSHIP costs because of any or all of these:
i. Non automated environment
ii. Complex Systems Integration
iii. Warehouse processes not defined in system
iv. Entities and subjects of Warehouse are not mapped / recorded in system
To provide industry with as solution that has been dedicatedly created that will automate, streamline and
simplify all the operations of a typical warehouse. The proposed solution will be built according to:
a. functions and an according to processes defined in theory
b. Streamlining processes by extending best practices in industry or within the company to all
storage locations.
c. Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) distribution practices
d. Volumes handled
e. Item velocity
f. Material Storage Policies
g. Material Handling Equipment

Some of the focal areas of the WMS system are depicted by following diagram.

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Whitepaper
Typical Functions of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
& Warehouse Control Systems (WCS)
Many businesses use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, which includes components for
forecasting roduct life cycle, payroll, accounting, supply chain management (purchasing, manufacturing,
and distribution), employee data, customer relationship management and product sales. Some ERPs
include a Warehouse Management System (WMS), but they do not necessarily control the movement of
materials. Most ERPs allow WMS or Warehouse Control System (WCS) add-on functionality as a separate
subsystem.

WMS/WCS
A WMS focuses on inventory from the time it arrives at the receiving dock to the time it leaves from the
shipping dock. The software knows where inventory is, orders it when needed and tracks its movement. A
WCS schedules, monitors and commands movement of inventory and tends to include some kind of
automated equipment control.
John T. Phelan* compared a WMS to a symphony’s composer who creates a musical score; the WCS is the
Conductor who directs the orchestral instrument players while performing the symphony in real-time. As
illustrated in the above diagram, WMS and WCS functions often overlap.

* John T. Phelan is COO of TriFactor LLC, a material handling systems integrator based in
Lakeland, FL.

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Whitepaper

Polaris Retail’s Warehouse Management System - In a Nutshell


Polaris Retail’s Warehouse Management System (In a Nutshell)
S.No Manifest Name Description
1 User Authorization 1. Logins limit access and simplify displays by removing
unnecessary data.
2. Role based user access enhances security
2 Put away Directs users to available storage locations or keeps track of user-
selected locations.
3 Allocation Reserves inventory for picking based on privilege markings, FIFO, lot
requests, product expiration, available dock space or custom rules.
4 Picking Validates loads and items by scanning barcodes.
5 Consolidation – Allows to collaborate products in dispatch orders / release
orders / put tickets / pick tickets
– Allows pallet building/ shipping container building considering
like orders, customers, destinations, carriers, etc. It may track
product in box ID’s within other boxes or on pallets.
6 History and Inventory The data mining part of the system. It gives detailed historical feedback
Analysis for products, loads, locations, people, equipment, etc. Most systems
research problems with this data. Some systems move workers to
certain areas based on what has been done or what is left to do. Some
systems pay incentives based on historical data.
7 Work Scheduling Assigns work to available RF handhelds or workstations when a
workstation finishes its former work, based on order priority, location of
the user, required sequence of orders to the dock, etc.
Stores/Retrievals are done by a WCS which is tasked with keeping the
equipment busy (Storage/Retrieval machines, vertical or horizontal
carousels, A-Frames, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), etc.)
8 Shipping Relieves inventory and confirms quantities to host when the container
is shipped or when a
shipping system has assigned a tracking number, etc.
You need a WMS or a WCS when you can justify the return-on-investment such as manpower
savings, space utilization, product turns and customer sales based on the following factors:
1 Efficiency More picks per hour and fewer user touches per pick or put away
2 Picking From a List a. The problem with picking from a list is that it is not dynamic. It either
versus Instant anticipates before the pick is complete that the list has already been
Updates picked, or it expects a person to key in the actual picks afterwards.
Anomaly picks must be keyed in later.
Most WMS’s replaces batch methods with dynamic picking:
i. A picker with PC or RF Handheld confirms each pick and the
inventory is instantly updated. Because of instant updates, cycle-
counters can update inventory in the same area at the same time
as pickers.
ii. A picker can under-pick if there is not enough inventory. The WMS
instantly adjusts the inventory and locates additional inventory to
make up for the short.
iii. A picker uses a barcode scanner which saves key entry and
validates that the product stored or picked is correct.
b. Pick by Order or Pick All Product From an Area: Instead of using a
pick list of lines from a single order or single customer, a WMS can direct
pickers to pick multiple orders from the same area for later sorting and
consolidation. Since orders may span pick areas, any customer’s order
may require picking from a cooler, from automatic equipment and from
high rack requiring an order-pick truck. A WMS can direct all 3 pickers to
pick at about the same time for consolidating downstream.
c. Route Pickers Efficiently: Lost and wasted operator time is reduced
by routing pickers via shortest distances. Efficiency depends on granular
location labeling of rack while reducing floor Stacks and LIFO racks.
d. Picking Oldest Product First: Pickers are directed to pick the oldest
product, resulting in product rotation.
e. Forecast Shipping Size: Some WMS systems preview the order and

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forecast the size of cart or box to pick into. This can save the
consolidation step.
f. Communicate to Host: The WMS and Host ERP need not share a
database, but the WMS must update the Host instantaneously with every
receipt, ship, inventory adjustment or order status change. The ERP and
WMS function as one, without periodic posting or operator keying.
g. Pass Along Shipping Information: Linkage to a shipping system
allows package information to be passed instead of re-entered at the
dock. In this case, the WMS must also keep customer shipping address,
preferred carrier, etc. Information for packing lists, such as shipping
weight, size and urgency, may also be passed from the ERP to WMS/WCS
and on to the Shipping System.
3 Responsiveness More responsiveness means shorter delays.
a. No Paperwork Delays: Because work orders are assigned automatically
the instant that they arrive
from the Host, they are commonly picked within minutes instead of
hours.
b. Responsive Screens: Operators no longer wait for screen response.
c. Priority: When urgent requests arrive, they leap-frog to the front of the
queue.
d. KanBan Replenishment: A WMS may support a min-max quantity in an
assembly area, such that when the equipment or user decrements on-
hand products, the supplementary quantity is automatically ordered.
4 Accuracy Correct and complete customer orders may be the most compelling
justification.
a. Barcodes eliminate mis-picks.
b. Location labels reduce mis-location of product.
c. Recount points catch inventory miscounts early.
d. FIFO oldest components and oldest lots are picked before newer ones
to insure product shelf life and eliminate fragmentation.
e. Labeling reduces lost product since a barcode label is printed for each
put-to container giving the operator printed verification of the destination,
the quantity and other put information.
5 Training New operators learn quickly.
a. Since the screens are
– Very easy to use
– Consistent across all applications
– Easy features to switch on / off options
– Easy feature to switch between auto mode to manual mode
– Easily navigated and intuitive.
b. Online Help is a click away.
c. The WMS/WCS is configured so that only relevant information is
displayed for each user based on user roles

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Whitepaper

Warehouse Management System


A. Process Alignment & Positioning

B. Essential Activity List

1. Goods In
S. No Activity List Comments / Description
1 Product Received As products enter the warehouse, the Software
system automatically logs the date and time as well
as the supplier details against a unique product
reference. This begins the tracking process which
continues right through until the product leaves the
warehouse and is dispatched.
2 Quality Check and Supplier The software makes this process easy by attributing
any product issues directly with the unique reference
number allowing users to reference supplier and
delivery details.
3 Quarantine Any defective or low quality goods are quarantined to
allow you to manage your quality standards. Any
shed or stack area can be defined as quarantine.
4 Sampling Sampling can be done.
5 Stock Value Generate reports about STOCK VALUE.

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Whitepaper

2. Put Away

S. No Activity List Comments / Description


1 Location Identification by Software Easily identify the locations and assigns the products
to appropriate locations. The software uses various
metrics of cargo such as Weight, Cartons, palettes
etc, to select suitable locations.
2 Manual Override The software should simple manual process of
product put away, allowing it to be logged, relocated
and picked.
3 Product Priority Allows users to set individual batch rotation.
4 Location Priority Enables fast moving product to be put away in the
appropriate location and also enables quarantine of
locations e.g. Damaged pallet location.

3. Stock Control
S. No Activity List Comments / Description
1 Location Status Access multiple product locations including the put
away and location of individual pallets or boxes
The software also enables to know individual product
at specific location (s).
2 Stock Consignment Software calculates overall stock and gives the ability
to have random and most efficient locations for stock,
offering the most flexible use of the warehouse.
3 Stock Movement Software enables stock to be moved around in the
warehouse providing efficient picking
4 Stock Rotation Software automatically lists the stock along with its
locations according to age, which enables multiple
stock rotation options including oldest product picked
first

4. Order Picking
S. No Activity List Comments / Description
1 Manual Pick The system generates a document that allows the
picker to choose what location to pick the product
from.
2 Pick Routing The software identifies most efficient PICK route and
creates the PICK INSTRUCTION document / Pick
Tickets
3 Batch Picking By running / applying specific PICK – ROUTE pattern,
the software enables the picker to pick multi-part
orders from one location increasing the efficiency and
speed of a pick.
4 Order Fulfillments The software assigns orders to picking zones for
efficient picking operation and consignment

5. Dispatch
S. No Activity List Comments / Description
1 Dispatching Automatic log profile of individual items to be
despatched. Allows full management of the despatch
process.
2 Dispatch Manifest System generates hard copy of items despatched
including amongst other things that despatched them
and the date and time they were despatched.
3 Weight and Volumetric Software stores and logs individual item weights and
Considerations therefore offer an indication of consignment weight.
Useful when working on a combined weight basis
4 Dispatch Note and delivery labeling System offers the facility to print despatch notes and
consignment labels and an option for automatic print

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and apply.
5 Dispatch Sorting and Rotation Individual consignment boxes can be sorted and
applied for delivery drop order

C. Warehouse Management System – Features List

WMS
1. Warehouse Setup
1 Warehouse  Define Warehouse
 Define Floor Area
 Define Volumetric and Tonnage capacity
2 Warehouse Structure  Define physical structure of warehouse
 Create Multi-blocs
 Set Volumetric capacity and maximum cargo-hold capacity.
 Create Special Blocs – Refrigerated, Fire protect, Hazardous
material storage, Temperature & Environment controlled
storage, Secure storage and many more standard types
 Cost of storage
 Minimum Cargo hold area / capacity
 Minimum cost of storage
 Optimum cost of storage
3 Storage Bins  Create Storage Racks of various sizes and volumetric
specifications ; set dimensions
 Create Multi- Level Racks
 Create Rack Clusters
 Create Palletized Storage Bins
4 Aisles and Storage Plan  Create Aisles for traversals by order handlers
 Map Aisles with Racks
 Create Layout Plan
 Replicate Aisles & Racks setup
 Apply Standardized Numbering pattern on Aisle – Rack maps
5 Occupancy & Vacancy  Know collateral occupancy and vacancies in terms of Volume
status and Weight
6 Staging Areas  Define Staging Areas
 Set STAGING capacity – Volume, and Weight
 Set STAGING area floor space
7 Dock Doors  Create Dock Doors
 Link with Staging Areas and STORAGE areas
 Realize ASN document at Dock Doors
 Govern Entry of Inbound products to storages by routing
through specific Dock Doors.
 Govern Exit of Outbound products from storages through
specific Dock Doors.
 Automatic routing and shipper managed through dock door
according to shipment cargo type

WMS
2. Product Setup
1 Physical Characteristics  Define Product specific to Warehouse storage
 Define Volume, Dimensions, and Weight
 Set as Volumetric Measurement or Weight Measurement or
both
 Set storage, requisition Unit of Measures
 Containerized Product creation
2 Special Attributes  Palletized Product
 FMCG product
 Set to a standard type in industry – Metals, Apparels, Food
Grains, High Value and many more.
 Special characteristics – Hazardous, Rain Protect

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 Deny or Allow STAGING based on Attributes

WMS – Inbound
3. PUT AWAY
1 PUTAWAY based on  Conduct PUTAWAY based on Advance Shipment Notice
ASN Document  On GRN
2 PUTAWAY Validation  Automatically validate the Inward cargo with the vacant
capacity in storages
 Automatically set products to PUTAWAY locations according to
matching done by:
– Product Type
– Product dimension
– Product Weight and Volume

 Set Inventory according to storage Age set for the products


 Set Inventory and disburse across locations according to
VENDOR (Vendor wise)
 Special location allocation for FMCG
 Automatic PUTAWAY routing to storage blocs for special
attribute products – Hazardous, Required Refrigeration,
Required Security, Fire Protection, and many more.
 Enable stock release according to FIFO, LIFO
3 PUT AWAY  Direct Put-away (By pass Staging)
methodologies  Directed Put-away (From Staging Area)
 Drive in / Drive through Put-away
 PUTAWAY to staging areas
3 PUT Tickets &  Generate instruction documents (PUT Tickets) to conduct
Consolidation routing and placement
 Optimized PUTAWAY ticket list generation – for quick
movement, enhanced productivity and lesser time to travel.
 Create Clustered PUT TICKETS for multiple inbounds. Make
clusters according to product type, vendor and more.
 Print PUT Tickets
4 GRN  Goods Receiving document based on ASN validation
 Ordered quantity – Received Quantity
 GRN products can be instantly moved to Staging areas guided
by dock doors.
5 ASN  Receiving Advance Shipment Notice and creating validated
ASN document.

WMS – Outbound
4. Requisition Management and Stock Release
1 Requisition Documents  Handle Requisition from multiple sources :
– Customer
– Another Warehouse sites
– Shippers / Vendors
2 Requisition  Consolidate multiple requisitions from same source
Consolidation  Consolidate multiple requisitions from different sources
 Auto- convert to Warehouse types – Products and Unit of
Measure
3 Validations for  Automatically validate the requisitioned products and their
Fulfillment quantities for fulfillment.
 Option to Reject, Modify or Accept with Shortfall in fulfillment.
4 Release orders  Generate Release Orders for validated requisition.
 Generate Release Orders for multiple customers in one go.
 For a single requisition, conduct partial fulfillment by making
multiple Release Orders.
 Set priority for products and create Priority Based Release
Orders
5 Batch Picking  Create multiple Release Orders :
– Clustered by Product Type
– Clustered by Vendor’s Inventory

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– Clustered by Priority
– Manual Selection
– Automatically generate separate RELEASE ORDER
for FMCG goods.
 Set PICK Date and Time for each Release Order
6 Wave Picking  Generate Wave Picking

WMS – Outbound
5. PICK
1 Pick Area Selection  Select locations to conduct PICK
 Automatic guidance to select location according to
– Product Type
– Vendor Inventory
– Pick Area
2 Consolidate Pick  Consolidate Pick Tickets
3 Generate Equipment  Manage pick by associating Warehouse equipments – trolley,
Handlers instruction fork lifts, cranes etc.
4 Pick Tickets  Print PICK Tickets

WMS – Inventory
6. PICK
1 Vacant – Occupancy  Space Check
status – Vacant positions
– Occupied Positions
– On Threshold
2 Cross Docking  Do cross docking
 Space optimization
3 Inter Warehouse  Inventory movement to internal locations
transfers (Pick and Put)
4 Container  Containerized product creation

WMS – Rules Engine


7. ROUTING
1 Route creation  Optimized route creation for travel along aisles for PICK /
PUT.
 Efficient rout map generation
2 Routing techniques  Generate routes based on international standard
and Algorithm algorithms :
o S Shaped Routing
o Heuristic Routing
o Combined Routing
o Optimal Routing
8 Product Control
1 Product Type  Run constraints and restrictions according to product types
constrains – such as “How to handle Refrigeration Items, where to
store and where not to allow, what equipment can be used
etc”
4 Product Cross  Link commodities with Warehouse products
Reference

WMS – Reports
9. Some of the reports
1 Inventory Dispersal  Inventory
Report – Vendor wise
– Storage Block Wise
– On Threshold
2 Occupancy / Vacancy  Do cross docking
 Space optimization
3 Scheduled Tasks Report  Scheduled PICK report

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 Scheduled PUTAWAY report
 Scheduled RELEASE ORDERS
4 Cost Analysis  Cost of storage
 Cost of task

D. Warehouse Management System – Screens


Some of the screens of the WMS system are given below:

Fig 1-a, 1-b --- The Login screen & Home Page of WMS system

Fig 2 Screen for defining DOCK DOORS

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Fig 3 Screen for defining Warehouse

Fig 4 Screen for creating Release Orders

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About Polaris Retail


Polaris Retails is a pioneer organization with over a decade of experience and accumulated
expertise in providing Retail Solutions. The organization has strived and has provided solutions
to more than 350 successful users across the globe.
Polaris Retail’s success story is powered by its domain experience and solution management
for complex processes and system for almost all formats of Retail, Inventory Management,
and Supply Chain integration and cross process management – that involved employee,
customer and various wide sources of data and transactions. Polaris Retails Research &
Development department expertise is constantly provides innovations and harnesses best
practices in industry and technological growth to evolve unmatched solutions for contemporary
requirements as well as futuristic provisioning.
To know more about Polaris Retails or schedule a meeting with one of our experts, visit:
www.polarisretail.com

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