Functionality WMS system Logistics Vision Suite
By using a WMS to automate all its warehousing processes, a company can dramatically reduce the time needed to perform every operation and, therefore, reduce the cost of such operation, minimize errors which are inevitable with a large product range, improve the quality of the services offered to 3PL operators customers, enhance productivity, reduce costs to store goods in the distribution center, etc. There is no doubt that the Russian market has already accepted and appreciated the advantages of using warehouse management systems, and the market leaders use those advantages to gain benefit.
Logistics Vision Suite is an integrated state of the art family of extended Supply Chain Execution software products that allows not only to manage by warehouse's processes but to manage by the whole supply chain from the demand forecasting and replanishment planning to execution management in all parts of logistics chain - warehouses, production, transportation. Logistic Vision Suite is the powerfull modern IT solution, that is intended for all-round automation of enterprise logistics and directed toward business development of companies in different market sectors.
Warehouse Vision is the Warehouse Management System of Logistics Vision Suite. The Main System includes the Core System and functions covering all major warehousing activities such as merchandise reception, put-away, inventory management, order fulfilment along with picking and shipping preparation, counting and quality management.
Highly technological architecture of Logistics Vision Suite and rich functionality that, in particular, supports management of remote warehouses, allows to adapt the system to the present and future needs of the customers within a short time.
Logistics Vision Suite - Main Functionality:
Management of Purchase Orders and ASNs
A comprehensive POs (Purchase Orders) and ASNs (Advance Shipping Notices) management module is included in the WV.
POs are the orders submitted by a company towards its suppliers. ASN info is in turn provided by the suppliers following the execution of POs of their customers.
POs and ASNs can be entered manually or automatically imported into this module from another IT system such as the ERP of the company or the depositor (in the case of LSP) or even the supplier (in case of ASNs).
The automatic import is being done by the means of the LVS/Logistics Link Manager tool. It can be initiated by an authorized administrator or by the system itself (scheduled). Alternatively ASNs can be entered through WEB by means of the optional "Web ASN" module that is part of LVS/Trade Partner Management subsystem.
ASNs correspond (are linked) to POs, thus during the receiving process, actual receipts can be compared against the expected ones (ASNs), report the differences (if any) and update the relevant POs.
Receiving & Put-Away
The merchandise reception takes place on the docks where the goods are checked against the relative manifests and/or the Advanced Shipping Notices - ASN (if any).
The system can handle actual receipts against planned "expected" receipts (ASNs), unplanned receipts and returns. Barcode scanning can significantly improve performance and accuracy in the receiving process, supporting standard (eg. UCC/EAN-128 label) and supplier depended barcode formats. System directed palletization is supported based on predefined standards per item (SKU). Barcode labelling on the desired level (pallet, box, and piece) is also supported in case it is required.
The put-away process can be done in two ways:
(a) As an internal movement where the target storage location is decided by the user or
(b) As a "system directed put-away" process where the target storage location is decided by the system based on a combination of predefined and dynamic criteria.
In both cases (a) and (b), users use their RF terminals to execute the process. They scan the proper barcode labels of the goods to be stored (e.g. pallet EAN 128 label) and the location they moved the specific goods (usually by scanning or keying the relative storage location id). In case (b) users follow system´s put-away proposal displayed on their RF screen (i.e. location to store the specific goods). Alternatively an authorized administrator can update the system of the actual execution details of such activities via PC-based tools such as "Task Manager" (that is part of the LVS/Control Center subsystem).
Returns are handled similarly to the standard receipts. However instead of relating them to suppliers they are related to specific customer order shipments/sales orders and thus facilitate and accelerate the identification of the returned items.
Furthermore in case the returned goods had been prepared (before being shipped) by LVS´ packing process, then the system can automate such returns by automatically identifying the returned goods along with their packing details, correlating them to specific order shipments/sales orders, advising the put-away locations (picking/stock/ areas), cross-docking them for future shipments, etc.
Quality Control allows authorized operators to:
Block particular lots during merchandise reception and returns. Such blocking can be marked by fixed predefined or add hoc defined reasons such as quarantine, unsuitability, etc.
Unblock particular lots to make them available for further processing such as allocation to sales orders and picking.
In addition to the above typical quality control capabilities, LVS includes an advanced quality and safety planning and execution system (QUALITY VISION).
Capture of Sales Orders
SO are the delivery orders submitted to a company by its customers. All known SO types are supported such as typical customer orders, production orders, stock designated for scrap, orders requiring specific pallets and/or lot numbers, returns to suppliers, etc.
SO can be entered manually and/or automatically imported into this module from another IT system such as the ERP of the company or the depositor (in the case of LSP).
The manual data entry is facilitated through a comprehensive Sales Orders (SO) management module that is included in the WV. Alternatively SO can be manually entered through WEB by means of the optional "Web Order" module that is part of LVS/Trade Partner Management subsystem. The automatic import is being done by the means of the LVS/Logistics Link Manager tool. It can be initiated by an authorized administrator or by the system itself (scheduled).
Processing of Sales Orders - Stock Control
The processing of SO is facilitated through a comprehensive Stock Control module that is included in the WV. This module identifies and allocates the right stock for every SO. As a result it could eventually create a back order, split an order to one or more order shipments, allocate an alternative item, explode a kit to its components, etc.
Stock Control allocates stock to SO both in "soft-allocation" and in "hard-allocation" modes. The first mode allocates stock without specifying which exactly physical stock is allocated to each SO (i.e. without specifying exact storage location, pack type, etc.), where as the second mode specifies so.
The stock rotation rules can be based on known standards such as FIFO, FEFO, FPFO and LIFO as well as on any characteristics of the stock. Such stock rotation rules and priorities can be easily defined in the core system through LVS´ unique "Stock Attributes" mechanism (see more on the Architecture chapter later in this document).
Advanced stock rotation rules and scenarios can be defined by means of the optional powerful tool "Visual logistics Scenario Builder" that is a part of the "Adaptability Partner Workbench" subsystem. Requirements (usually coming from supermarkets towards their distributors / wholesalers) such as "product shelf-life" or "deliver always better expiration dates" are typical examples covered by these tools.
This tool not only allows the design of proper stock allocation scenarios per case but also the design of optimized picking and replenishment flows based on other criteria such as stock´s physical locations, packing conditions, etc.
Finally such rules/scenarios can be assigned to specific customers, customer types, order types, etc. thus covering even the most complex stock allocation requests.
The stock allocation process is followed by automatic or manual generation of picking lists.
Picking can be performed by RFs and/or by printed picking lists (or alternatively by Pick2Light and other means). A picking list can be assigned to an individual picker or a group of pickers. The picking process can be done in two ways:
- Pick by Order,
- Group (or else Batch/Consolidated) Picking,
- Zone Picking,
- Multiple-Order Picking,
User Directed (or else Real Time) Picking
It is the picking that relies directly on the orders (SO) rather than on picking lists/tasks. Among the picking techniques supported are the following ones:
- Pick by Order,
- Group Picking,
- Blank Order Picking.
System Directed Picking
It is the picking that is based on the picking lists created by previous processing of Sales Orders. Among the picking techniques supported are the following ones:
The following stock replenishing modes are supported:
On time: Such replenishment process is triggered by the generation of picking lists. It is done in case the stock required to fulfil one or more orders is not available at the relevant picking location(s) or in the proper packaging format.
Off time: Such replenishment process is performed independent of picking waves and usually at different time windows, so that during picking no replenishment traffic is required in the warehouse.
Packing - Loading - Shipping
The packing process generates packing lists and shipping labels (if required). The format and information included in the packing list and shipping labels are adapted per case according to customer´s requirements. The packing information facilitates the following processes:
- Vehicle loading along with the checking of the goods being loaded (in order to confirm that the right goods have been loaded to the right vehicle).
- Delivering of goods. Driver can better identify what to deliver per each vehicle stop.
- Return of goods. See above for more information.
- Traceability up to delivery point.
Packing can be done in the following ways:
- Simultaneous with picking (Pick&Pack).
- After picking at a Packing Station or by RF terminals.
Finally the system directs the users to load the orders onto the vehicles. The vehicle loading process can be checked with RFs or printed lists.
Received goods can be matched with specific customer orders to enable cross-docking.
Furthermore special functionality for the dynamic (or else unplanned-opportunistic) cross docking environment of retailers/supermarkets is also available.
Such operation include among else the following:
Stock transfers can be generated and assigned by the system to RF operator(s) or alternatively authorized RF operator(s) can directly execute such transfers.
Authorized users can modify the inventory (quantity, characteristics, etc). The details of such modifications are of course being monitored by the system in the transaction log.
This module allows counting to be done in a flexible and sophisticated way, maximizing the productivity of the available personnel. It allows authorized personnel to generate count plans and then manage and monitor the execution of them.
Adaptability, Interfacing and Reporting
Flexible and customizable environment
Warehouse Vision being one of the most adaptable WMS platforms worldwide can be customized to cover almost every need of a modern DC. Authorized personnel can setup location and storage systems, define attributes such as item, stock, receipt, order, customer and dynamic, setup logistics processes (receiving, put-away, picking, replenishment, etc.), define standard stock rotation rules such as FIFO/FEFO/LIFO/etc, setup security and personalized user interfaces, etc. The initial setup and the after-sales continuous adaptation of the system to customer´s evolving needs is done by properly trained personnel (Mantis, Mantis´ partners or customer).
In addition to the standard customization capabilities included in the core system, there is a powerful "Adaptability Partner Workbench-APW" that provides advanced customization capabilities.
Interfacing with external systems
Mantis has a long experience in interfacing (i.e. Electronic Data Interchange) Warehouse Vision with other IT systems such as ERP, MRP, etc. A standard interface is included in the core system. In addition to this standard interface, LVS includes a powerful tool called "Logistics Link Manager" that allows authorized administrators to create and maintain complex interfaces. Logistics Link Manager is part of the APW subsystem.
There is a plethora of (Crystal-based) reports that are included out of the box in the system. In addition to those reports, there is a comprehensive "Supply Chain Intelligence" subsystem based on the well known Business Objects business intelligence platform.
RF Manager, an unique LVS software engine, that is responsible for all communications between Logistic Vision applications and the RF terminals
Barcode Printer Manager, that allows the printing and management of barcode labels for the various warehousing activities
Barcode Label Designer, allowing the design of barcode labels. It supports all known barcode standards and all major barcode printer manufacturers of both, thermal transfer and laser printing technologies.
Logistics Vision Suite - Special Functionality:
LOGISTICS BILLING. Billing system applies to 3rd Party Logistics providers.
TRADE PARTNER MANAGEMENT, that provides trade partners of a company with WEB tools that allow them to view information such as stock balance/characteristics and order status, as well us to submit sales orders and ASNs.
COMMAND CONTROL CENTER, set of tools allowing operators to centrally monitor and control activities of one or more distribution centers simultaneously and in real time.
LOGISTICS INTELLIGENCE, enabling corporations to use existing and create new reports and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Today Logistics Vision Suite is used by about 400 companies in whole world including Coca Cola, Henkel, Nestle, Metro C&C, MGL, PepsiCo, Simple, STS-Logistics, SLG, “V7 sklad”, “Avesta Pharmaceutics”, GK “Alvisa” and others.