Supply Chain & Logistics / Global Cold Chain Alliance

Best-of-Breed Supply Chain Solutions

July 7, 2014
Trans

Whether it’s managing one location or 100 facilities, today’s refrigerated and frozen food processors require the best of the best in order to effectively manage their supply chains. That’s why today’s software providers offer best-of-breed supply chain solutions.

Cloud-based
JDA Software, Scottsdale, Ariz., launched Distribution-Centric Supply Chain Suite (DCS Suite), an integrated set of cloud-based supply chain planning and execution solutions that solve inventory planning, replenishment and order fulfillment challenges, says Thomas Kozenski, global vice president, industry strategy.

“JDA recognizes that companies everywhere are facing an unprecedented set of supply chain challenges that are driving the need for significant change,” he adds. “Omni-channel complexity, growing competitive pressures and tightening margins are forcing organizations to rethink their supply chain strategies, tear down silos and rethink network execution. To help companies strategically address these challenges along their supply chain journey, JDA is launching its DCS suite that empowers retailers, manufacturers, 3PLs and wholesale distributors with the necessary elements required for intelligent and profitable distribution decision making.”

DCS Suite is built from point-of-sale data and shaped by factors such as price, promotion and other events to automatically drive optimal inventory distribution decisions. DCS Suite also eliminates silos, provides enterprise-wide inventory visibility and detects changes and disruptions along the supply chain.

Meanwhile, Accellos’ latest 4.0 release focuses on cloud-based e-Learning, complete with a customer video library, user-defined inspection workflows and embedded document imaging with optical character recognition capability.

“eLearning enables 3PL logistics professionals to more effectively on-board new employees, enabling them to become productive quickly and cost effectively by learning the system online and having to successfully complete each module,” says Joe Couto, general manager and senior vice president of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company. “Our customers can create how-to videos that compliment standard operating procedures, so that 3PL logistics professionals can ensure that their employees are following customer specific processes. Today’s employees can respond better to learning from a short video vs. reading documentation.”

Track and trace
In a world where fast returns are just as important as fast deliveries, track-and-trace solutions are must-have in any facility, says Chuck Fuerst, director of product strategy for HighJump Software. That’s why the Minneapolis-based company launched HighJump Warehouse Advantage Express, complete with lot tracing enhancements, embedded voice upgrades and a new interface with streamlined navigation. Trace-and-trace enhancements include revamped reports and metrics, a new datamart for track-and-trace data, vendor receipt trace pages, customer shipping trace pages and eEnhacements to item/lot/DIA tracing pages. Furthermore, this application runs on 64-bit versions of Windows servers and supports an expanded portfolio of configurable voice solutions, including distribution voice-enabled workflow for picking, receiving and replenishment.

“The product and service improvements to HighJump Warehouse Advantage Express are in response to the growing demand in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) marketplace,” Fuerst adds. “It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, giving SMBs the choice of deployment that best suits their business needs.”

3D technology
Meanwhile, Power Automation Systems (PAS), Lathrop, Calif., presented a soft launch of PASWare 3.0 (a full launch is expected in August). PASWare 3.0 includes complete inventory tracking, order management logic, put-away rules, picking rules and sequencing logic.

“A major distinguishing feature of PASWare 3.0 is the complete three-dimensional presentation of all product and equipment information,” says Cory Hypes, executive vice president. “Using 3D gaming development technology, the new software provides users with a three-dimensional real-time look at their actual system from any screen or mobile device. Product can be visualized individually or by groups, giving the system operator the ability to make on-the-fly changes in real time to manage the flow of product in to and out of the system quickly and efficiently.”

The system also delivers 360-degree fly-around views, giving the operator unparalleled access.

Visibility, flexibility in real time
Rather than release new solutions each year, MAVES International Software continuously works to improve its existing suite through new version releases. Its latest development to the ViewPoint Logistics all-in-one 3PL solution bundles storage, handling and distribution into one management function.

“Centered around the warehouse management component, ViewPoint Logistics offers robust functionality in transportation management, demand planning, vendor-managed inventory, order fulfillment, event management and visibility and inventory management,” says Errol Gonzales, sales and marketing executive for the Canada-based software provider.

ViewPoint Logistics helps increase operational efficiency, control costs and improve customer service. Additionally, it integrates seamlessly with a TMS module to provide optimized tracking and analysis. The browser-based, spreadsheet-style interface provides data-mining capabilities and a complete view for monitoring, organizing, analyzing and manipulating large quantities of information.

“From small to large 3PL operations, the latest version of ViewPoint Logistics is a great option to consider when looking for a fully integrated suite that will streamline processes within the warehouse to the handling and distribution of materials, while providing visibility and flexibility in real time,” Gonzales adds.

Pick to light
Synergy North America, Charleston, N.C., launched “Snap-to-Light,” designed to enhance and support the power of the Snapfulfil SaaS warehouse management system.

“The ‘Snap-to-Light’ cart not only drives the material handlers on the shortest walk sequence, picking multiple orders in a single pass, but [also] through the use of a robust lighting harness, [which] indicates to the material handler which orders/totes/cartons the items need to be picked into, [thus] lowering the number of visits to a pick face, but also increasing accuracy,” says Simon Sterland, marketing executive.

Different sized carts can be used for the “heavyweight” shippers. A PTL harness can be retro-fitted to existing carts. And, the pick-and-pass or multi-zone picking functions allow the use of multiple carts to pick from different areas of the warehouse, all with full visibility and control of each stage.

In-cab tracking devices
TMW Systems, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, debuted a couple new developments to its routing and scheduling software. First, are some enhanced in-cab tracking and communication devices that provide compliance and verification of all inspection steps at the final destination. Secondly, is the monitoring and tracking of temperature-controlled trailers.

“It’s not uncommon for a carrier’s dispatch system to track single temperature trailer status, but companies like Wal-mart do not permit orders to be split on separate bills of lading, even when different temperatures are required for different food products on the load,” says Monica Truelsch, director of marketing. “Moving such orders in trailers that support multi-zone temperature control is necessary. TMW enhancements addressed order entry, load tracking, mobile communications and trailer control system integration, along with exception monitoring and alarms to assist in compliance and reporting.”

Today’s warehouse management software providers hold the key to offering best-of-breed supply chain solutions.

For more information on each of these new software solutions, go HERE.

Top 10 Features Necessary in Today’s Software
The growing demand for flexible warehouse management systems has prompted today’s software providers to introduce best-of-breed supply chain solutions. Here’s a Top 10 list of features necessary in today’s logistics, warehouse and order fulfillment software.

  1. Profit and loss statements by customer.Logistics providers are requesting the ability to easily compile profit and loss statements by customer within the system.
  2. Mobility. Mobile solutions (tablets, etc.) are being requested for supervisors to view work activity on the floor real-time.
  3. Single partner solution provider. Logistics providers are looking for a single solution provider that can handle each area of their business, including transportation, warehousing and value-added services without having to go to different vendors.
  4. Integrated document management. The ability to catalog and store internal and external documents, such as bills of lading or invoices, in addition to the ability to take and attach photos.
  5. Easier training. Onboarding new employees more effectively through training videos accessible within the system is an increasingly common request.
  6. Traceability and recall management. Knowing the where and when of a product as quickly as possible is critical for acting fast and accurately in a recall scenario.
  7. Inventory visibility. The key is maintaining accurate inventory counts at every stocking location from which fulfillment can occur, as well as understanding what inventory is on its way into those locations and when it will arrive.
  8. Voice picking/hands-free operation. For instance, instead of taking the time to remove gloves to key in information by hand, the employee simply takes direction via voice technology and responds when tasks are completed.
  9. Improved labor efficiency. This is critically important when working in refrigerated and frozen environments that have very compressed picking and storing areas.
  10. Agile and seamless integration. Cold food processors and cold storage providers need a system that is agile enough to add new technologies, e.g. cloud-based solutions, radio frequency and web portal environments, as well as integrate with existing enterprise resource planning programs and/or a specific hardware platform.

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