Single-stream warehousing option. Forget separate invoices

March, 2016
proto$ gen VI mod 3FFECA (Londinium)
How to organize the goods acceptance at the warehouse so that the first items from the delivery note were available for sale before the acceptance of all the items is completed.

We continue with the topic of the diverse bin location warehousing options as applicable to the itemized needs of an individual business, that we took up in the Strongly personal case study.

Just.ru implemented their own schemes, quite different from those previously discussed (some of its implications were discussed above, under Heijunka in Delivery).

First, the BEFORE situation.

Goods arrive at your warehouse from a number of sources: ordinary purchases from suppliers, movement from other warehouses, goods refused by customers on delivery, received from the assembly department, warranty goods returned by service centers or suppliers. Thousands of items.

Historically, they had been using their own warehouse acceptance scheme that differed from others by some significant details.

The basic scheme included the following stages:

  1. Pre-processing
    For example, for ordinary arrivals from suppliers, pre-processing is (a) acceptance proper — by quantity and quality; and (b) bar code reading — or printout and sticking on.
  2. Distribution among storage areas
    The heap total of the goods accepted is divided into sub-heaps — according to the storage areas (individual sections) allotted within this warehouse.
  3. Layout in Sections
    The section employee accepts his respective sub-heap and places the goods on the racks/shelves/in containers.
    In choosing the layout places he is guided by his competence, work ethics, and common sense.
  4. Reflection in the Database
    After laying everything in the right places inside the section, the warehouse man comes up to his computer and advances the section arrival document into the final "Accepted" stage.
    At this very moment, the goods item becomes available for reservation on the website/at the shops. Each section accepts the goods independently of others.

Stages 3 and 4 were ridden with chronic problems.
Goods could be scattered across the sections lackadaisically. The next shift would have difficulty finding things, but it would probably be someone else’s trouble.
The process of laying goods out in sections could be protracted into hours (many other arrivals or just working to capacity).
For example, a section arrival document with five goods items and a total of 230 pieces took 1 hour and 38 minutes to process. And there were just five goods names; more diverse arrives might take more time in proportion. The warehouse man could even forget to enter a waybill as accepted.
Naturally, that is when the goods could not be sold at all.
The average daily amount immobilized used to exceed a hundred thousand dollars on most days.

The problem was addressed in the following way.

  1. The schemes of goods acceptance from all the sources were fully unified. There remained one scheme, to be more precise.
    Now all the incoming goods first arrive at an intermediate warehouse, the "acceptance area".
  2. Then dia$par auto-generates a document for flow movement into warehouse sections.
  3. Inside the sections, goods are now laid out using mobile terminals.
    The exact address where each goods unit is stored (and even the exact time when it was put there) are now known.

    The flow movement document mentioned in the preceding paragraph is not accidentally called so: in this case, not the whole document as usual but each goods unit contained in it is a quantum of information.
    So the goods unit is available for sale once placed in its cell.
    All is done automatically.

In the End.

  1. The amount of money frozen in the acceptance function has decreased by two thirds.
    The total inventory turnover rate increased by 9% at no additional costs.
    A million here, five million there do make a mickle.
  2. The warehouse men’s labour (and non-labour) activities have become absolutely transparent. Big Brother is watching you.
  3. The non-productive order assembly delays, that had occurred when a goods item could not be found, have virtually been eliminated.
  4. The required warehouse men’s qualifications dropped from merchandiser level to something like "can walk and make out Arabic numerals".
    The mobile terminal shows them where to go and how much of what to take from which cell:

    And even if a cell contains more than one goods items, dia$par will keep the assembly man from taking the wrong thing: as he beeps on the bar codes, dia$par will automatically check if the bar code scanned matches the right goods item; also, dia$par will keep the waybill open until all the goods ordered have been beeped on (=assembled).

Being inside dia$par. Some stories
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