5 Ways ezStore Helps You Improve Your Warehouse Performance Whilst Lowering Costs
Stock accuracy and the ability to locate stock in the warehouse efficiently are daily headaches for many warehouse managers. Together these factors underpin great warehouse performance, and require an accurate, real-time bin-level warehouse management system.
Unfortunately many warehouse management systems are highly complex and do not include consumer grade, mobile user interfaces. Hence warehouse managers are often left with either an overly complex solution or have to manage without bins and mobility. ezStore for SAP provides an elegant solution for these cases.
According to an Aberdeen study, the best in class performing warehouses have 5 capabilities in common:
- Bin-level location management
- Paperless receiving
- Real-time putaway and stock movements
- Order picking with mobile devices
- Cycle counting
ezStore addresses all 5 of these capabilities.
Let’s take a closer look at how we automated these processes in ezStore.
Bin-level location management
ezStore records every movement of all stock items in the warehouse at bin level including tracking of product attributes like stock type, special stock, batches and valuation class. One can define an unlimited number of bin locations for products including mixed storage. On creation of placement or picking orders, ezStore allocates bin level stock to the order and assigns a sequence and priority to the orders based on for example, requirements date, order status and queue assignment. This ensures bin stock accuracy, best pick routings and efficient picking; a picker will never arrive at an empty bin. ezStore even includes zero stock checks at both pick and placement steps to increase accuracy. Discrepancies are allocated for investigation and correction to a supervisor and overstock situations are managed with overflow bins ensuring processes are not interrupted.
ezStore provides leading edge mobility utilizing the latest SAP UI5 technology based on Fiori design principles and can be used on any device. When deliveries arrive, the user scans the purchase or delivery order number and is presented with only the open items on the order. The user can also easily find an order by starting to type any part of the order number and will be presented with only the orders due for delivery based on pre-configured parameters. The user confirms the items and quantities as well as adding any additional required details like batch and serial number before posting the goods receipt. This can all be done in as little as 2 steps! A label is printed with all the product information as well as the putaway barcode for efficient putaway.
Real-time putaway and stock movements
The user scans a barcode and is presented only with the options for that specific order based on status, skipping several steps compared to other warehouse systems. The mobile computer presents the user with the next steps for that order. Scanning a goods receipted order will direct the user to a system directed bin for placement. If there is a problem with the bin, the user can skip it and will be either directed to the next bin for that product. All movements and bin quantity updates are real-time and detailed reporting capability assist in tracking any exceptions.
Order picking with mobile devices
ezStore displays items to be picked on the mobile device assigning them either to an individual or team for picking. Sorting and colors are used to indicate priority and urgency for specific pick orders. The users selects the 1st order and is directed to the relevant bins in best picking sequence. ezStore lets the user scan or tap the next bin, then the product, and then confirm the quantity. Items are allocated to the user’s basket for putdown in the dispatch area.
All discrepancies are captured in process and assigned to a supervisor for corrective action.
ezStore provides easy to use continuous count capability and assigns cycle counts to a user based on ABC principles. Electronic count sheets appear in a user’s task queue and once selected will direct the user to the relevant bins for counting. Additional counts can be triggered as and when required. All counts are done on the mobile devices and uses scans to confirm bin locations and products being counted.
In all the SAP implementations we have done, our customers always end up using SAP Inventory Management for the smaller stores/warehouses, especially the production, maintenance and service stores due to the complexity and cost of implementing SAP WM or EWM. The SAP warehouse management solutions are good for fast moving dynamic storage situations but overkill for the smaller warehouses. So many of our customers have developed ABAP programs on top of SAP Inventory Management to provide them with some bin capability, and most manage the smaller stores on paper/spreadsheets.
We have developed ezStore with a very clear brief in mind: address the white space between SAP Inventory Management and EWM/WM. We have leveraged our experience implementing SAP warehouse solutions for 20 years and addressed all the key challenges in ezStore.
As its name implies, a key design principle of ezStore was to make it easy, like a consumer app. Why does an RF screen have to look like it belongs in the Flintstones? We used SAP’s Fiori concept with great success to develop a robust but easy, some say fun, app.
Your warehouse workers will love you for making their lives easier whilst you bask in the glory of having full control of your warehouse, high accuracy, reduced entry errors and lowered costs! Instead of putting out fires all the time, you will now have time for all those continuous improvement initiatives you have had on your list for years!
Contact us to experience warehousing in the 21st century. We have an amazing offer until the end of June 2017.