Accompanying the Digital Transformation of the logistics industry in the USA.
From apprentices to experts in logistics software and order dispatch.
The challenge was to redesign and develop the WMS from scratch, which is the heart of Smart Warehousing’s operations. From beginning to end, with modern technology and a solid foundational architecture, the Kovix team developed a customized system to manage warehouses. The key to the project’s success was to understand the complexity of their logistics operations, identifying areas for improvement where technology could have a positive impact and add value to the business.
The Challenge: Modernizing Logistic Systems
Smart Warehousing is a leading third-party logistics and storage company in the United States. It owns and operates 25 warehouses across the country, processing over 10,000 orders and shipments daily. They offer supply chain services, handling the receiving, storing, and dispatching of inventory for large companies. They manage batch control, serialization, perishable and hazardous goods, and order shipping through multiple transportation modes, including TL, LTL, and last mile.
Keeping inventory up-to-date is complex, and managing it for many different clients, each with special needs, is even more challenging.
With the explosion of e-commerce around the world, the demand for parcel and logistics services grew exponentially, and all operators were forced to update their operations to stay in the market. With the commitment to offering the best service in its class, Smart Warehousing needed to modernize its logistics systems, a result of various developments over 20 years and built as a sum of requirements and functionalities.
From Purchase Order to Bill of Lading
It was required that the software drive the entire logistics operation of Smart Warehousing, from order fulfillment to dispatching trucks with loaded shipments.
Partners with a Mission: Working together as one team.
The Smart Warehousing team shared all their business knowledge with us, working together in the project’s requirements engineering phases. We mapped out all the incoming and outgoing processes down to the last detail, identifying efficiency opportunities that had not been considered before and that were taken into account during the design phases. The entire project lasted almost 2 years and the result of our joint work was a customized software that improved business processes, carefully considering the logic to determine each different variation of procedures that logistical activities may require based on inventory characteristics and the requirements of each client who contracts Smart Warehousing’s services.
"They have created unique and innovative solutions for us. They developed a system with a solid foundation, incorporating complexities into an easy-to-use interface that has been well received internally."
Tom Graham, Chief Information Officer
The Solution: Highlights
Kovix redesigned and developed the initial functionality of the warehouse management system used by Smart Warehousing. Functions were added to allow for batch admission, serialization, and other inventory-related information. The system manages and administers a wide variety of clients at each facility, recognizing business models, workflows, and unique order requirements.
An APP (Digital Application) was also developed that allows for the visualization of the supply chain and orders within the network, making inventory information available both internally and to Smart Warehousing’s clients.
Multiple Selection Modes
A personalized experience for each use case.
The product collection and scanning solution works with low cost mobile devices and the app guides the operator step by step through the collection process to reduce common errors.
The digital picking ticket provides different instructions and information to guide the user in the picking process that best suits the specific order needs. The available modes include: full pallet selection, pallet building picking and lot selection for small packages.
Assisted Lot Classification
Improved efficiency when collecting up to 54 orders at the same time.
When several orders containing a low number of items are sent, lot picking is the best option to optimize processing times. At the classification station, the software provides the collector with audio instructions on where to place each product when scanning, and in parallel, another board indicates the buckets ready to pack.
This solution prepared the ground for the implementation of an automated classifying machine in the future using the same logic.
Digital Picking Ticket
The digital picking ticket allowed for instant feedback from the picker regarding issues with inventory or specific conditions about the product to be picked.
If the product is not found in the location, the system assigns it from another, allowing the picking process to continue without interruption. Then, the detected problems are reported to the responsible parties for them to perform cyclic counts and correct any synchronization problems between the actual inventory and the system inventory.
The Ticket allows for different types of inventory to be incorporated into the same picking wave:
> LPN (license plate) inventory.
> Serial number tracking inventory.
> Inventory where specific lots had to be collected.
> Cross-Dock inventory.
The strategic partnership generated between Smart Warehousing and Kovix was the key to the project’s success. The combination of business knowledge and the added value provided by new technologies allowed for the development of a customized software, the heart of the client’s operations, with a solid foundation for continued growth.
> This development laid the foundations of the entire WMS system, the heart of Smart Warehousing s business, defining a scalable architecture that supported an increase of more than 20% in the volume of operations.
> The tool set solid foundations that allow the internal development team to continue customizing and adapting the system according to specific requirements over time.
> By implementing our software, Smart Warehousing has gained additional capabilities to provide its customers with services that cater to more complex commercial scenarios such as order repackaging and on demand packaging.