The Challenge

A major manufacturing company was having trouble with its Materials Handling System (MHS), which is responsible for moving materials between facilities—several manufacturing plants, a warehouse, and a buffer warehouse—on time.

The control system was inefficiently structured and was costing the company a lot of money. The legacy system required process orders to be sent in a loop from the production plant through the main warehouse to the buffer warehouse for preparation and packaging before they were shipped back to the plant. The warehouse schedules were not actually connected to what was happening at the production plant. If the main warehouse did not get approval to ship the materials, or the buffer warehouse was backed up in handling materials, the production lines were idle, the process was disjointed, and customers were unhappy about late or mishandled orders.

Additionally, problems were communicated via emails and phone calls without any method for storing these communications to track how each problem was solved, thus losing track of the solution for similar problems in the future. Data was manually gathered and entered in Excel files, which were shared by all departments involved in the production process (Packaging, Warehouse, Quality Control, etc.). Simultaneous access and accuracy became difficult to track.

The Solution

Using the Warehouse Operations Management solution, built with Decisyon App Composer (DAC), the company developed a new Materials Handling System for both product and packaging production.

The new system provides an optimal, streamlined, pull-based system and warehouse platform that enables collaboration and communication across all facilities and locations. The solution provides:

  • The ability to quickly build and implement flexible and complex processes with no coding
  • Dashboards that display real-time views of key information—from the status and location of materials, to materials transfer requirements, to transfer orders
  • Simple touch-screen interaction that allows supervisors to use the Command & Control Maxiscreen to manage manufacturing scheduling, modify the schedules, and execute next steps

The Results

Today, the company is operating in a streamlined manner and moving materials to the right place on time. With improved access to real-time information, methods for collaboration, and transparency into their operations, the new Warehouse Operations Management solution has given the business the ability to make promises they can keep, thanks to:

  • Dashboards that serve as data-driven collaboration centers for communicating clearly and quickly between facilities, sharing and tracking conversations, and archiving solutions for use in addressing similar problems in the future
  • Schedules shown as a Kanban board with simple visuals so that managers can see quickly how well the system is working
  • KPIs that measure overall cycle times of materials, giving the company the ability to analyze warehouse performance