The WMS module addresses the receipt, putaway, and entry of goods towards the intermediate bins or towards the end user.
Mago.net WMS is perfectly integrated with the other product modules, allowing a thorough navigation within the sales, purchase, inventory and warehouse documents, ensuring a complete tracing of the information flows.
Each Mago.net storage can be enabled for the management of the WMS. For the organisation and rationalisation of the work, within the storage, to reach the optimisation and risk reduction objectives, the area used as storage is made available according to a multi-level hierarchical logic organised in the following way: storage, area, section and bin.
Warehouse Management System - Warehouse Graphic Navigation
The physical sub-divisions of the areas within the storage allow to distinguish, for example, the goods acceptance area, the quality control area, the bay putaway area, the scrap material area, etc. For each area, different sections can be defined should there be the need to position, for example, on a bottom level the heaviest material (or the material having the highest rotating index). Different bins can be defined for each area.
The address of a bin is normally determined by a systems of coordinates, as for example 01-02-03, where 01 stands for the lane, 02 for the bay and 03 for the level.
Mago.net WMS shapes itself to any type of company and storage structure. In fact, the number of sections and areas is free, and the bin structure is fully parameterizable: for each area the end user can define the number of coordinates as well as their length.
The optimal path definition happens in a totally independent way from the mapping of the bins, throughout a different priority order of the coordinates and manual tweaking also for the single bins when necessary.
Movement in WMS
The entry management within the WMS environment takes place throughout a new type of entry known as Storage Mission. The storage missions have nothing to do with the "typical" storage entries. The storage missions are simple entries within the WMS that in do not cause any type of slowing down in the management of the storage entries.
The storage missions are grouped in such a way as to be assigned or distributed on one or more operators.
The missions' independence from the inventory entries make the management more flexible and agile.
Mago.net WMS has been made to ensure a total coherence with the warehouse balance and fiscal storage balance. This is achieved through the definition of logical areas (Interim) that act as point of contact and verification of the correspondence of the two systems.
Generally speaking, within the WMS, the bins cannot turn negative. This is because the information in the system have to always be fully corresponding to the physical situation of the storage.
However, it could happen that for internal organisational reasons, pickings have to be carried out before the payment document has actually been registered in the system: in this case, it is possible to indicate on a single area level, of negative amounts are allowed, hence providing for an on time and precise control of the financial situation. For example, the interim areas, not corresponding to physical areas, normally allow negative amounts.
Receiving and storing goods
The phase relating to the receipt of goods addresses a number of needs including:
- the fulfilment of the Purchase Orders;
- the verification of the incoming material, which will be eventually sent to Quality Control or become returned material;
- generation of the Bill of Lading for the load registration in inventory;
- packing of the incoming material ready to be putaway (i.e. pallets);
- identification of the optimal putaway bins in relation to the management guidelines of the WMS.
The goods receipt procedure is highly flexible in order to satisfy all organisational needs of the company.
The goods are positioned in a determined entrance area (GR_ZONE), or be putaway directly into the bins.
The system is able to determine automatically the optimal bin, taking in consideration weight, capacity, and eventually hazardous material.
Thanks to the "putaway strategy", Mago.net WMS can identify the optimal bin in which the incoming goods are to be stored: firstly, the area is determined in relation to its priority. Hence, the bin is selected by applying one of the defined strategies: fixed bin per item, add on to an existing stock, next empty bin, etc.
Both the priority and and strategy can be set according to a zone level.
Units of Measure and Storage Units
The stocked material is almost always packed: also the correct management of the packing types is important towards the optimisation of the WMS processes.
Mago.net WMS offers the possibility of managing two types of packaging, that can be used jointly:
- the alternative measurement units, already found within the Mago.net modules;
- the storage units (load unit, discharge unit) for the putaway and shipping.
Alternative measurement units. Similarly to the rest of the product, the goods in Mago.net WMS can be transferred in alternative measurement units (e.g.: items, boxes, cartons, etc.), that are connected by a proportion relationship (e.g. 1 BOX = 12 ITEMS).
The material positioned in each bin is characterized by the measurement unit, hence it is possible to know that in a determined bin there are 40 Items of which there are 3 BOXES and 4 loose Items. During the Picking phase, the measurement unit requested will be suggested.
Storage Units. In many cases, the goods being putaway are positioned in specific structures (e.g.: pallets, cartons, etc.), which are then transferred as units.
Mago.net WMS allows to create and identify (throughout code/unique barcode) the storage units along with their transfer as a single unit, maintaining the traceability and identification of the goods contained within.
Each storage unit can contain heterogeneous material which is then packed into further storage units (99 packing levels are available).
The packing/unpacking of the storage units can be accomplished in a transparent way both during the receipt and shipping phase, or throughout specific options for internal transfer needs.
Identification and traceability of goods
The goods positioned in WMS are registered with a consistent number of attributes and details, useful both in the transfer and picking phases.
Besides using the item code, the goods can be distinguished according to lot, measurement unit, stock type (e.g. subject to Quality Control, unusable, etc.) and possible assigning to third parties (e.g. client or suppliers material).
A further material attribute is the Storage Unit in which the material is actually contained in, this needing the transfer and/or opening before the picking action.
The availability analysis can take in consideration that the material, also if positioned on rack, can be picked because needing to be checked, or because deriving from a lot/s which was not requested.
Stock transfer and Replenishment
In order to ensure top efficiency and a fast transfer of material, the WMS module includes a series of mechanisms able to re-organize and optimize the stocks.
One of the most frequent needs is to manage the supplying of the picking zones. More than often, not all materials available can be kept in the most accessible point for picking, being stored instead elsewhere (e.g.: high racks, front square).
Mago.net WMS provides tools that allow the planning the supply of the picking zones (the so-called "lowering"), with a minimal stock management per bin and zone.
Specific operation procedures allow to prepare the internal storage transfer orders, the latter being set manually or according to the planning programme.
The management of the daily storage operativity includes also the possibility to disable or even block single bins or entire zones when they are in need of maintenance.
Picking and shipping
The shipping preparation phase brings together the need to control and organize the storage and the need for a simple procedure to be performed in order to speed up the operations and minimise the error risk.
Throughout the above are accomplished the following actions:
- Sales orders fulfillment, indicating the quantities defined as available for the order fulfillment and the quantities actually available;
- Creation of picking orders, which can be subdivided and distributed amongst various workers
- Confirmation of the material actually picked, correcting or integrating the actual request
- Support in the preparation of the packing (shipping unit), with relating documents (e.g. packing list);
- Bill of ladings creation, and relating transfer to warehouse of the unloaded consignment
The system is able to determine automatically the optimal bin from which the merchandise is to be picked according to the set picking strategies. Firstly, the area is determined according to its priorities, hence the program will select the bin by applying of the available strategies: FIFO, global or on a storage level, first quantity without Storage Unit, lot expiry date, global or level storage, fix bin per item, first stock available, etc.
Both the priority and the strategy are set on a zone level.
The merchandise, once picked, will be positioned in an according issue zone. When the merchandise is ready in the goods issue zone, the packing operations can be accomplished.
The Bill of lading document creation is automatic in correspondence to the actually picked. Should it be decided that not all the picked material is to be shipped (e.g. problems relating to space, weight, etc.), the goods will remain positioned in the issue area for a future shipment or placed on rack along with a specific mission.
Periodic and continuous inventory
The warehouse inventory is with no doubt a fundamental function of the WMS module, since is allows keeping under constant control the quantities that are effectively present within the storage, and eventually amending the latter.
Mago.net WMS includes different inventory management modalities, which can be enabled on a zone level.
Periodic Inventory: performs an overall control of the storage. Useful also for the initial inventory.
Continuous Inventory: allows to physically control the merchandise available. Unlike the Periodic Inventory, it is normally carried out for a limited Zone and Bin interval without hence requiring the stoppage of an entire Storage, this making the procedure particularly fast.