Walk into a warehouse and it is likely that fast moving stock is held in multiple locations across multiple bins. Although distributing stock in this way is normally a necessity, businesses can often find that as stock of an item in one bin becomes depleted, staff will be required to travel further and further in order to collect stock to fulfil customer orders. This ultimately leads to significantly reduced picking speeds and slower turnaround of customer orders, causing both productivity and service levels to fall.
With warehouse operations representing a significant proportion of overheads and labour costs, it is vital to ensure that all tasks are always managed as accurately and efficiently as possible. Although regular checks can help to identify when picking bins are near depletion and require stock movements to be made, businesses will find that a more organised way of replenishing picking bins ensures effective stock management is being achieved at all times.
The OrderWise Stock Replenishment module already provides businesses with this structured method of management, designed for use with OrderWise Mobile WMS Devices to keep pick faces topped up from bulk stock bins so that maximum picking efficiency can continue to be achieved. Now in version 10.9 of OrderWise, three new features have been added to this module to enable further comprehensive management of this essential warehouse process.
Put Away Stock Replenishments
In order to quickly receive goods arriving from suppliers, many businesses will book stock into a put away bin initially and then send staff to put items into the correct bins within the warehouse shortly afterwards. Managing goods receipt in this way not only provides more structure and adds greater efficiency to the booking in process, but also enables stock to be quickly made available for order fulfilment. To manage this process, OrderWise already provides businesses with the functionality to handle Stock Put Away using our revolutionary Mobile WMS Devices.
In most cases when conducting stock put away, businesses will simply instruct staff to send newly arrived stock straight to bulk stock locations ready to then replenish to picking bins or pick directly from when needed. However in order to fully maximise warehouse productivity, it makes sense for businesses to integrate the replenishment of picking bins as part of the stock put away process, firstly topping up picking bins with the new stock before returning the rest to bulk stock locations. This creates a much more logical way of working that in-turn generates a higher level of warehouse efficiency as two key tasks are conducted simultaneously.
To manage this way of working, an enhancement has been made in version 10.9 of OrderWise to the Mobile Stock Put Away module so that this will now work seamlessly in-conjunction with Stock Replenishments. OrderWise users utilising both of these features will now be able to determine the manner in which stock put away is conducted with staff either topping up the default picking bin first, bin with most stock first or the bin with the least stock first.
Once this preference has been set, within the Mobile Put Away Module users will find a new tab has been added – the Instructions Tab. The Instructions Tab displays to the user the walk route plan for putting the stock away. If a bin quantity has fallen below the minimum stock quantity, it will generate an instruction for staff to firstly place sufficient stock in the picking bin to bring it up to maximum quantity and then a second instruction to place the remainder in the replenishment bin.
By using this feature, businesses can save time by having replenishments generated automatically as part of the put away process with OrderWise now intuitively recognising the demand against depleted bins when stock arrives.
Prioritise Replenishments Based On The Number Of Sales
Orders They Are Able To Fulfil
When it comes to stock replenishments, each business will have their own way of ordering how this task is conducted. Some businesses may look to simply replenish picking bins with the lowest stock levels first, others may look to prioritise replenishments based on the number of orders that can be fulfilled on the back of those stock movements. This latter method not only helps to increase order throughput but also ensures replenishing stock has a much greater, more positive impact on warehouse operations.
Therefore in order to offer businesses using OrderWise the flexibility to prioritise stock replenishments based on the number of orders they can fulfil, new functionality in version 10.9 of OrderWise now enables users to sort stock replenishments in exactly this manner. Facilitated by a new setting, once this is activated replenishments will be ranked in descending order based on the total number of sales orders, works orders and transfers they can fulfil. As an example if Replenishment A can fulfil 50 orders and Replenishment B can fulfil 100 orders, Replenishment B would get automatically assigned to a picker first so that more orders can get out of the door. If the number of orders to fulfil is the same, then it will go back to which bin has less stock currently available.
By now being able to sort stock replenishments in this way, OrderWise users can benefit from logical management of stock resources within fast paced warehouse operations, ensuring that order fulfilment is always the top priority.
Replenishment Stock Status
Having full visibility of stock at all times is vitally important for any business, especially when it comes to checking current stock figures prior to picking items ready for shipment. For businesses storing stock in both pick faces and bulk replenishment stock locations, this clear visibility of available stock is particularly integral as without a clear knowledge of how much stock is held and where, problems with order fulfilment can start to arise.
If situations occur where pick face stock is low or depleted altogether, it may be that some items may need to be collected straight from bulk replenishment stock or a replenishment will need to be conducted before that order is picked. However without the knowledge that there is stock in replenishment locations available, staff may presume they need to wait for more stock to become available before the order can be fulfilled, resulting in slower turnaround and unnecessary delays.
To solve this problem, a new feature has been added in version 10.9 of OrderWise to enable greater stock level visibility thanks to the addition of a new Replenishment Stock Status column within the Orders Requiring Picking screen. This highly useful new field clearly shows users how much of a customer order can be picked solely from a replenishment bin, displaying either none, part or full.
Thanks to this new feature, businesses using OrderWise are now able to quickly determine when assigning picks if and how an order can be fulfilled through even greater visibility of available stock figures. To further use replenishment stock when fulfilling orders, existing functionality allows OrderWise users to send staff straight to replenishment stock locations to pick larger quantities of stock. You can read more about this feature HERE.
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