Archive for Warehouse Management Systems – Page 3

Driving Labor Efficiencies with a Multi-tenant WMS

I’ve been paying attention to multi-tenant Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) ever since they appeared in the market about five years ago. A multi-tenant system has an architecture where users from different companies and different parts of the world access the exact same Internet-based software. Salesforce.com is the best known enterprise solution based on this architecture. Historically, multi-tenant WMS was an extremely low-cost solution – in some cases as low as $500 per month for an […]

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Rating 3PLs on their IT Capabilities

My colleague Clint Reiser and I recently interviewed twelve logisticians at manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies ranging in size from very large to very small. Our focus was on four key dimensions that should logically correlate with how well a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider is able to perform. Those dimensions include a 3PL’s IT capabilities, their ability to execute, their ability to drive continuous improvement, and their ability to bring innovative solutions to the […]

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Guest Commentary: Invisible Visibility

For well over a decade we’ve talked about how supply chain visibility will help minimize the impact of disruptions, decrease order cycle times and risk, and improve service levels. Yet, after all these years, why are people still talking about supply chain visibility like it’s in the future? About now you may be thinking you’ve had visibility within the four walls of your DC for years via your warehouse management system (WMS). If you have […]

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Guest Commentary: Is Cloud-Based WMS a Real Option for Complex Distribution Centers?

Three years ago, I thought the probability of using an outsourced warehouse management system (WMS) to run a complex distribution center was low. Today, my perspective on this topic has dramatically changed. The pervasiveness of virtualization technologies, which now enable infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), has ushered in a new computing platform, “the cloud,” which is perfect for WMS deployment. A few years ago, SaaS transportation management systems (TMS) were emerging as a credible option for enterprises of […]

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App Stores Come to the Supply Chain Execution (SCE) Market

HighJump Software, a leading Supply Chain Execution (SCE) software vendor and an ARC client, announced yesterday the launch of its “HighJump App Station,” where customers can browse supply chain workflows and add them to their warehouse management system (WMS) anytime, similar to the way iPhone users can download apps from Apple’s App Store. HighJump actually previewed the App Station at its user conference back in October, but with everything else going on at the show, […]

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Bonded Warehouses Can Save Global Companies Money

If you import goods, bonded warehouses can save you money. When you exports goods to Europe, you usually have to pay a tariff on those goods. By storing goods in a bonded warehouse, you can delay payments of the duties until the goods are released from the warehouse. In other words, bonded warehouses improve a company’s cash flow. For example, consider an American company with a bonded warehouse in Rotterdam. The company ships goods to […]

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Creating Waves of Work for the Warehouse

When companies implement a Warehouse Management System (WMS), the primary payback they receive typically comes from improved labor productivity, and wave management functionality is often critical to generating that productivity. Wave management is based on intelligently grouping a batch of warehouse activities together for later release to the floor. This batch of work (or “wave”) will be executed concurrently in a particular set period of time.  When I think about wave management, I always think […]

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Takeaways from HighJump User Conference

HighJump Software (an ARC client) held its Innovation 2010 User Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this week. HighJump sells solutions in three areas: Supply Chain Execution (WMS, MES, and TMS); Direct Store Delivery; and EDI, after its recent acquisition of TrueCommerce. However, when I think of HighJump, I think of the flexible Supply Chain Execution software company. That notion was reinforced at the conference, where I heard user case studies of implementations that are not quite […]

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Labor Standards in the Warehouse (Part 6): Are Time Studies or Predetermined Time Systems Better?

(Editor’s Note: This is the final part of a series on warehouse labor standards. Click here to read Parts 1-5). The most granular labor standards are based on time studies or predetermined time systems (PTS). MSD and MOST, in turn, are the two most prevalent methodologies used to develop PTS time standards for the warehouse.  I talked to subject matter experts at several consulting and software organizations active in this area (enVista, Kurt Salmon Associates, Manhattan […]

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Labor Standards in the Warehouse: Single and Multi-variable Standards (Part 2)

Companies can use several different types of standards to set goals for how long it should take employees to complete different tasks in a warehouse. Today I want to describe how single and multi-variable standards are developed, and their pros and cons. (As in Part 1 of this series, Al Gagnon and Tom Stretar of enVista provided me with information that was particularly helpful in writing this article). Labor standards are typically characterized as being “single […]

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