Industrial Engineering

Smarter Warehousing

warehousing

Picture source: www.nor-calmoving.com

BY HUNTER BURNEY

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER –  VOLUME 45 NUMBER 10

Statistics show that a large percentage of time and resources is spent on material handling, known by industrial engineers as a non-value-added activity. So why not attack that waste by implementing a software system upgrade? The following two products offer solutions for better warehousing operations.

Reducing manual tasks is a great improvement initiative and supports the overall objective of increasing productivity and efficiency. Kardex Remstar, which supplies automated storage and retrieval systems, has a new software package designed to optimize warehouse picking. The Power Pick Global software upgrades improve the pick-and-pass process, particularly within facilities that have pick lists of multiple items.

Power Pick Global software directs operators to each pick in the pick zone for better flow. The optimal flow continues thanks to the program’s ability to pass the order to the next picking zone by using a barcode. This virtual pass is best modeled by Kardex Remstar’s vertical lift modules, which display the message for the next operator, eliminating the need to travel to a workstation.

Captured in this virtual pass are savings of paper lists and potential operator downtime, along with more effective and efficient communication. When orders are first loaded into the system, they can be grouped by priority or delivery date before being sent to the floor.

BellHawk Systems has rolled out an updated BellHawk Warehouse Management System for QuickBooks Enterprise. BellHawk Systems is a niche software products company that specializes in real-time material tracking and traceability. The company’s products service organizations with regulatory or standards compliance requirements.

The new system can use anything from mobile computers to tablets, which must be equipped to scan barcodes. By scanning the barcodes, the software records inventory transactions in real time, and the data then are entered automatically into Quick-Books accounting software. This system eliminates the common manual entries associated with both regular order tracking and QuickBooks, thereby giving supervisors and managers an accurate real-time view of the operations.

Practitioners can add a BellHawk tracking system to QuickBooks for more capability than some ERP systems at a significantly reduced cost. Some ERP systems can cost enterprises hundreds of thousands of dollars, whereas the BellHawk starts at $5,000 for a perpetual license for a warehouse with two material handlers. The QuickBooks component is even cheaper than that, giving a very reasonable total investment. If the cloud is an alternative for your organization, BellHawk has an option for that as well.

Evaluate your warehousing goals and improvement needs, and identify the wastes that could be eliminated by these products. Then you can track and pick better, cheaper and faster.