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The cloud's impact on system availability, user access,
resource management and scalability is hard to deny.
MiT mobile warehouse solutions run on multiple operating systems including Android, iOS and Windows
ranging from a rugged handheld to a consumer-based
cell phone, or even a tablet. This flexibility allows warehouse managers to select the device that fits not only
the task at hand but also their price range.
Bakery warehouses operate with devices that come
in many shapes and sizes and may include attachments for Apple or Android phones. Harvest Food
Solutions' goal is to ensure that its systems are optimized and personalized for any device.
"Our HarvestERP solution provides augmented
user interfaces from small devices to desktops," Mr.
VandenBerg said. "Additionally, we know that customized on-screen personas are critical for ensuring
work is efficient and safe. You don't want a warehouse employee looking at a screen designed for an
Full integration can extend routine implementation
of a WMS. Bakers need to consider wired and wireless networks in warehouses as well as PLC-based and
mobile devices on the plant floor. In the office, desktop PCs may be connected to a server, or maybe a virtual cloud server. Either way, they must communicate
with mobile applications such as delivery and route
systems, or web-based order entry systems. Being
aware of all these factors is critical.
"Without performing a comprehensive systems
analysis, the integration and data exchange will fall
short, and the company will wind up with budgetary surprise or have a fragmented data system," Mr.
To streamline this analysis, Focus Works provides
experts in wireless and wired networks, servers, PC
and mobile devices, multiple PC language programming, PLC and processor programming, enterprise
resource planning, accounting systems expertise, and
bakery process and equipment knowledge.
Mr. White said a symbiotic data exchange across all
systems helps avoid manually importing and exporting files between them. Consider the systems in each
of these departments: warehouse, production planning, shipping and purchasing. For the total operation to work efficiently, these separate functions need
to communicate data in real time. To perform efficient
production scheduling from sales or work orders, companies need instantaneous data on raw materials in-
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ventory and placed-purchase orders along with workin-progress and on-hand finished goods inventory.
The future of WMS
Historically, the advances in warehouse technology
have reduced paperwork. These changes have translated into a reduction in receiving/shipping processing time. They have also provided better accuracy for
inventory and lot-tracking capabilities. The future of
warehouse management, Mr. VandenBerg said, will
follow that trend and create an improved workflow.
"Think Google Maps for your warehouse," Mr.
VandenBerg said. "Your technology will provide you
with an optimized path for warehouse movement using the Internet of Things and radio-frequency identification (RFID)."
Employees will know the location of all raw materials in the warehouse without having to physically
hunt them down. Each item will be able to communicate with one another in real-time. Pre-emptive error
notifications for incorrect inventory pulls will bring
accuracy rates up and labor costs down.
Inventory space is a premium in today's warehouses, and WMS technology can reduce its footprint.
Integrated systems manage inventory in a close-space
environment. "You won't deal with sprawl to manage
your inventory, and your pallets, racks and stacks will be
close, compact and accessible," Mr. VandenBerg said.
Using a synergistic product suite ensures that data
is always being presented accurately. For example, if a
program doesn't immediately register that the warehouse received a pallet of packaging, bakers run the
risk of inaccurate inventory - or worse - a stoppage
"Managing these transactions is critical to ensure
you are managing the right metrics," Mr. VandenBerg
said. "Your solutions need to include a business intelligence component that is robust and scalable. It
needs to give you quick views for important KPI's.
You need to trust that the data is correct with the flexibility to dive into it."
RFID offers the potential to significantly reduce
manual data entry errors. The technology allows
products to communicate with trackers without the
need to manually scan barcodes or labels. While this
can cost more, it creates a sophisticated system that
shows exact locations and movement of inventory.