Volatile Supply Chain due to COVID-19? Improve System Flow with WES

June 1 2020 | Dann Woellert

The past few months have prompted numerous changes in daily life as well as material handling operations, punctuated by headlines like – “Amazon to Hire 100,000 Warehouse and Delivery Workers Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns.” The crisis and increased demand for home delivery has caused delays for many online providers. Now more than ever, operational efficiency in the warehouse is crucial to get vital supplies to Americans following guidelines to stay at home.

Implementation of a Warehouse Execution System (WES) optimizes operations by combining both retail and online order processing into a sleek omnichannel warehouse capable of meeting fluid consumer demands. With Matthews WES, there is no need to split your operations into retail and online fulfillment. Matthews’ Information Anywhere methodology provides full-system visibility, streamlining flow between discrete automated processes by utilizing Business Intelligence and proven algorithms. This allows numerous workflows in the factory that can accommodate orders generated online or from retail brick-and-mortar stores.

Warehouse worker viewing information about a carton via tablet

Track Assets

Another concern amidst this crisis is asset tracking. Companies, governments, and individuals are having to use new methods of ordering and multiple suppliers to fulfill orders of goods, groceries, and medical supplies. The WES utilizes sensors to track barcoded or RF tagged items/totes through the warehouse. These unique barcodes and LPNs allow the WES to see an asset at any stage in the process from delivery into inventory to picking, sorting, packing and shipment (document insertion, print and apply shipping label (PANDA)). Matthews WES allows users to see into all operations utilizing Information Anywhere methodology to not only track an item, but optimize it’s route to shipment, thus making it flow through the work stream the most efficient and effective way.

Synchronizing Automation for Optimum Flow

Matthews Automation Solutions software features truly equipment agnostic Warehouse Control System (WCS) functionality along with WES via a proven, standard PLC to software interface. The benefit of combining the functionality of both systems is the ability to view complete system progress and performance throughout the warehouse down to the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) control level. Operators can communicate directly with individual automation zones to execute intelligent decision-making such as shortest pick path or grouping expedited orders based on SLA. Matthews WES can create batches of orders or continuous waveless order execution without interaction from operators.

It has never been more critical to ensure that employees work efficiently and continuously to meet growing demands for next day shipping and same day deliveries, without overloading system capacity. Balancing work among available resources is key.

Matthews Automation Solutions is dedicated to the health and safety of our customers and employees. We have implemented CDC recommended policies to guarantee the well-being of individuals in office and those visiting many of our 400+ customers sites supporting our implementations.

For more information about Matthews WES and to consult with our engineers, please contact us, email [email protected] or call 513.679.7400

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dann Woellert, Matthews Software Product Manager, cut his professional teeth as a Process Controls Engineer in plant automation. Over the years he’s played the role of product manager in a variety of manufacturing industries. He’s a foodie, avid kayaker, and history geek.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

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