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What is the purpose of technology in the warehouse?Provide timely and accurate information to help managers make decisionsin running all warehouse activitiesIdentify patterns in volume, productivity, quality, order cycle time, etc...Streamline transaction communications between WMS and operatorsMinimize or eliminate the need for paper
Why move towards a paperless system?Paper is inefficient, easy to lose, often contains too much information,too slow (not real time), prone to mistakes, too limited in scope.A paper less system needs two things to operate: 1. The ability to identify objects Identification technologies include: Bar codes Barcode scanners Radio Frequency Tags (RF) Smart Cards Magnetic Strips
2. A way to communicate and present information to the operator Radio frequency communication Synthesized voice Displays Pick-to-light Identification Technologies:Bar Codes Bar code symbology is used to represent alphanumeric characters. Bar codes are used for Product identification Location identification Container identification Operator identification Equipment identification Document identification There are a variety of bar code formats
Bar Code FormatsCode 39Universal Product Code (UPC)UPC/EAN (European Article Number)CodabarCode 93Code 128Stacked SymbologyTwo-Dimensional Codes (High Density Barcode)
Bar Code Scanners: There are two primary types: 1. Contact Readers: Usually handheld a. Light Pen b. Wand Scanner 2. Noncontact Readers: Handheld or Stationary a. Fixed Beam: Uses a stationary light source to scan the bar code. The object being scanned must move beneath the beam. Examples include Inline scanners and Omnidirectional scanners b. CCD (Charged Couple Device)…like a digital camera c. Handheld scanners
Radio Frequency Tags (RF) Data is encoded on a chip Chip is encased in a tag The tag’s data is read by an antenna from a distance Data can be permanent or programmable Advantages : Easy to “take” inventory Durable Disadvantages: Cost prohibitiveMagnetic Stripes Data is stored magnetically Capable of storing large amounts of information The stripe must be “swiped” in order for it to be read
Communication and Presentation TechnologiesRadio Frequency (RF) Information is communicated via RF to portable radio data terminals (RDT). RDTs display information on a display screen. RDTs have a keyboard enabling operators to send data via RF Synthesized Voice Computer synthesized voice is used to direct operators. Operators may be capable of talking back to system Operators wear an RF unit connected to a headset Advantage: Hands free operation Does not require the operator to read
Pick-to-Light System: Light indicators coupled with alphanumeric displays which directs the operator in what and how much to pick or putaway Bullwhip
Bullwhip Effect• Customer demand is rarely perfectly stable• Businesses must forecast demand to ensure enough inventory and resourcesare available• Forecasts are based on statistics and are not perfect.• Due to forecasting error, companies carrier “buffer” stock or “safety stock”• Moving up the supply chain, each supplier has greater variation leading to aa greater demand for safety stock• Periods of increasing demand, down stream suppliers increase orders• In periods of falling demand, down stream suppliers orders decrease to reduce inventory• The result is that variations become amplified as you move upstream in the supplychain (opposite direction from the customer)
Causes can be divided into Behavioral and OperationalBehavioral Causes: Misunderstanding of feedback and time delays Panic ordering, over reaction after un-met demand events Perceived risk to other players in the supply chain Misuse or misappropriation of base-stockOperational Causes: Forecast errors Lead time variability Order synchronization Trade promotions Anticipation of shortages