Business Finance
SUSS Warehouse Management System Research Paper

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Question Description

I don’t know how to handle this Business question and need guidance.

Question 1

Continuing from Study Unit 3 Activity 2, you are the warehouse manager for a logistics SME based in Singapore. This company has been using a paper and spreadsheet system to manage its warehouse operations. Volume of business has grown. You find it difficult to cope with the increase in transactions and keep track of inventory.

Incoming products are received and put-away in a haphazard manner. Your warehouse staff find it a challenge to retrieve items. On many occasions, order pickers find no stock when they arrive at the pick face. Productivity is low and so is staff morale. Yet, you have big plans for your warehouse. You plan to offer value-adding services to your customers such as special production, labelling, tagging and bundling.

(a) You are looking for a warehouse management system (WMS) that can improve speed, productivity and accuracy in the warehouse. Compile of a list of key functions that the WMS must have. Give reasons for choosing the key criteria.

(20 marks)

(b) Shortlist 3 WMS that can meet the needs of your warehouse. Review the features of each WMS you have shortlisted based on your criteria. Recommend the best WMS for your warehouse. Give reasons to support your recommendation.

(20 marks)

(c) What lessons can you learn from this? How will you put what you have learnt into practice (to your study, work or life)?

(10 marks)

Unformatted Attachment Preview

LOG207 Warehousing and Material Handling Group-based Assignment January 2020 Presentation GROUP-BASED ASSIGNMENT This assignment is worth 20% of the final mark for LOG207 Warehousing and Material Handling. The cut-off date for this assignment is 6 April 2020, 2355hrs. This is a group-based assignment. You should form a group of 4 members from your seminar group. Each group is required to upload a single report via your respective seminar group site in Canvas. Please elect a group leader. The responsibility of the group leader is to upload the report on behalf of the group. It is important for each group member to contribute substantially to the final submitted work. All group members are equally responsible for the entire submitted assignment. If you feel that the work distribution is inequitable to either yourself or your group mates, please highlight this to your instructor as soon as possible. Your instructor will then investigate and decide on any action that needs to be taken. It is not necessary for all group members to be awarded the same mark. Note to Students: You are to include the following particulars in your submission: Course Code, Title of the GBA, SUSS PI No., Your Name, and Submission Date. Grading of GBA Submissions Marks awarded to your assignment are based on the following guidelines: 1. 80% of the marks are allocated to the content of your answers: The marks awarded to what your answers cover depend on the extent to which they cover the key points that correctly and comprehensively address each question. The key points should be supported by evidence drawn from course materials and, wherever relevant, from other credible sources. 2. 20% of the marks are allocated to the presentation of your answers: Wherever applicable, the marks awarded to how your answers are presented depend on the extent to which your answers: form a sound reasoning by developing those key points in a clear, logical and succinct manner; provide proper and adequate in-text citations and referencing to content drawn from course materials and other credible sources; strictly follow APA formatting and style guidelines, in particular for: in-text citations and end-of-report references; the identification of figures and tables; SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (SUSS) Page 2 of 5 [You can find a short tutorial on the APA formatting and style guidelines here: https://apastyle.apa.org/6th-edition-resources/basics-tutorial. Additional details (pertaining to tables and figures) can be found here: https://is.gd/O4vDdT.] use, wherever relevant, the specialised vocabulary and terminology commonly used in discussions about the topic(s) covered by each question; provide a reference or bibliography at the end of the main report; include the less relevant details in an Appendix; use sentence constructions that are grammatically and syntactically correct; are free from spelling mistakes; present the workings, numerical formulations and results in a logical manner that follows the APA formatting and style guidelines; design and present graphs, diagrams and plots that follow the APA formatting and style guidelines; are highly original; have proper formatting, which may: include a properly formatted cover page; respect the answer length/word count set out in the assignment guidelines, if any is prescribed; present answers in paragraphs with proper spacing and page margins; include page numbers and appendices, if necessary SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (SUSS) Page 3 of 5 Study Unit 3 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Learning Outcomes By the end of this unit, you should be able to: 1. Describe the considerations when planning for a WMS. 2. Comment on the WMS solution that is most suitable for a company. 3. Outline how data analytics can support warehouse decision-making and improve operational efficiency. 3. Recognise how technological innovations such as wearables, automation and robotics can drive improvements in warehouse performance. Overview This study unit highlights the importance of information and innovation in warehousing operations. Chapter 5 focuses on the warehouse management system (WMS) as an IT tool that can control and manage product and information flows within a warehouse. We look at the considerations when choosing a WMS and attributes of a WMS that can help companies improve warehouse productivity and efficiency. Chapter 6 reviews the technological innovations in warehousing. We look at how data analytics can support warehouse decision-making. We review the potential applications of wearable devices, automation and robotics that can help companies improve warehouse productivity and efficiency. SU3-2 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Chapter 5 Warehouse Management Systems As today’s customer becomes more sophisticated and the competition more intense, the need for accurate, secure and fast data exchange becomes crucial. Staying ahead of the game has become a necessity for successful warehouse management. Companies need the IT tools to provide better control and security of information flows to allow the warehouse to maximise effectiveness and efficiency. This is where the warehouse management system (WMS) comes in. Let’s check out the following case study. Activity 1: The Cotswold Company and Snapfulfil WMS Read the case study in textbook pages 247-248 and watch the accompanying 3minute video clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXtU_xXE0b4. (a) What role does the Cotswold Company play in the furniture supply chain? What is the company’s value proposition to its customers? (b) Why do you think holding stock is so important for the Cotswold Company? (c) Before the Cotswold Company implemented the Snapfulfil WMS, how did the company manage its warehouse operations? What levels of inventory and location accuracy of its warehouse operations were mentioned in the video clip? (d) Why did the Cotswold Company decide to look for a WMS? What features did the company consider when selecting the WMS? (e) How did implementing the Snapfulfil WMS benefit the Cotswold Company? (f) What lessons can I learn from this? How can I apply this to my work, study or life? SU3-3 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Read Richards (2018). Chapter 8, pp 233-249. So what really is a WMS? Simply put, WMS is a software application that:  Controls and manages the day-to-day operations in the warehouse in real-time, i.e. receiving, put-away, cross-docking, picking, replenishment, dispatch and inventory cycle counts - see Figure 2.1 to recap  Supports real-time data transfer between the system and warehouse personnel through various technologies, e.g. barcode scanning, RFID readers and tags, voice picking, etc.  Communicates with other company systems  Can be stand-alone or part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. 5.1 Choosing a WMS There is a wide range of WMS available in the market to choose from. Snapfulfil is just one of them but there are many more, e.g. InfoLog, JDA Software, Manhattan Associates, TradeGecko WMS, etc. Best-of-the-breed WMS don’t come cheap. Before implementing a WMS, you need to understand the current and future business needs of your company. You need to be clear about your company’s strategy. You need to be clear that the company will achieve significant benefits with a WMS by calculating the return-on-investment (ROI). Figure 5.1 summarises eight practical steps that can guide a company to choose the right WMS for its warehouse operations. SU3-4 LOG207 1. Form a Project Team 2. Analyse Current Processes 3. Create a List of Key Functions 4. Include Growth Plans 5. List the Benefits of WMS Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations •Assemble project team and leader to decide what the company needs from a WMS •Team should have members from finance, sales, production, IT and warehouse •Collect information about the company's current processes and procedures •Get the processes right; get rid of cumbersome, redundant or inefficient processes •Decide which processes can be improved by WMS •Compile a list of key functions required of the WMS •Prioritise the functions, e.g. by importance or by "must-have" and "nice-to-have" •"Must-have" list forms the basis to request for information from vendors •Consider future business growth plans when specifying a WMS •Examples: Increase in SKUs? Need for value adding services? Single or multiple sites? What systems to interface with? What new technologies to introduce? •Identify the benefits the company will achieve with a WMS •Examples: Real-time stock visibility and traceability; improved productivity; accurate stock records; fewer picking errors; automatic replenishment; fewer returns; accurate reporting; improved responsiveness; remote data visibility; improved customer service; minimised paperwork •Short list around 3-5 WMS vendors •Arrange to meet vendors to discuss requirements; get a feel of how professional they are, how they respond to your needs, how well they answer your questions 6. Create a •Ask for a demo; ask for overview of their company, products and people Short List of Vendors •Visit vendors office to understand their culture and management 7. Visit Reference Sites •Request vendors for reference sites where WMS is implemented; sites should be comparable or slightly larger in size/scope compared to your setup •Visit reference sites to look at their operational effectiveness; discuss with existing users on benefits achieved since implementation (where possible) •Justify the cost of what you want to do by calculating Return on Investment (ROI) •What are the expected savings with a WMS? Examples: improved stock accuracy, increased productivity, improved traceability, improved customer service 8. Prepare a •What will a WMS cost the company? License fee, professional services, software ROI Report development cost, support cost, hardware and infrastructure cost Figure 5.1 Eight Steps to Select a WMS SU3-5 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Textbook pages 240-242 summarise the key points on what to look out for in a WMS:  Ability to interface with other systems  Modular and scalable  Accessible  Ease of operation  Standard system  Meets specific needs  Capable of supporting warehouse best practice  Reporting capabilities 5.2 WMS Solutions For third party logistics (3PL) companies, WMS software plays a big part in their operations. WMS solutions may be grouped into three basic types: (1) stand-alone WMS, (2) cloud WMS, and (3) ERP software. Stand-alone WMS Stand-alone (or on-premise) WMS is a system developed by the vendor that runs warehouse management features and nothing else. Stand-alone WMS uses proprietary software and hardware installed at the company’s premises. Since the system is proprietary, you should expect the WMS vendor to offer the functionality and value you are looking for. This solution would suit SMEs that don’t have much IT budget. Downsides are there is no guarantee that you can integrate the stand-alone WMS with other systems, you incur additional cost to upgrade the system and regular support for the WMS would cease to exist if the vendor ceases to exist. Cloud WMS In contrast to stand-alone systems, cloud WMS operates through the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This means you need not use a proprietary system. The cloud WMS vendor hosts the software and hardware for you. You can access the WMS from SU3-6 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations any desktop, laptop, mobile device and tablet via a web browser. You can choose different tiers of service and benefit from a WMS without upfront software costs. This solution would suit growing companies looking to sync their WMS data with other digital tools since no proprietary system is involved. There is no need to pay for system upgrades as the cloud WMS vendor updates the system on a regular basis. ERP Software Many enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools offer WMS as part of their overall package that can include customer relationship management, human resource management and accounting services. The plus point is ease of integration with all tools within the software suite ensuring that information presented is accurate, up-todate and consistent. Downsides are the significant upfront cost of the ERP software and the ERP suite is inherently not a dedicated WMS. Activity 2: Finding the Right WMS for a 3PL Company Suppose you are the warehouse manager for a logistics SME based in Singapore. So far, this company has been using a paper and spreadsheet system to manage its warehouse operations. Volume of business has grown. You find it difficult to cope with the increase in transactions and keep track of inventory. Incoming products are received and put-away in a haphazard manner. Your warehouse staff find it a challenge to retrieve items. On many occasions, order pickers find no stock when they arrive at the pick face. Productivity is low and so is staff morale. Yet, you have big plans for your warehouse. You plan to offer valueadding services to your customers such as special production, labelling, tagging and bundling. Each group selects one of the following WMS available in the market: SU3-7 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Astro WMS Bright Warehouse In-DEX WMS InfoLog JDA Software Manhattan Associates Netsuite WMS Snapfulfil TradeGecko WMS Do an online search to suss out the attributes of your chosen WMS to the best you can. Be objective. Summarise your findings using the following table and make a brief presentation to the class. Item Remarks WMS Type (stand-alone, cloud, ERP-based) Ability to interface with other systems? Modular and scalable? Accessible? Ease of operation? Proprietary or standard system? Meets specific needs? Capable of supporting warehouse best practice? Reporting capabilities? Industries served by the WMS? Recommend to short list, KIV or reject? SU3-8 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Chapter 6 Innovations in Warehousing The digital age has changed the way consumers purchase goods and services as well as the way retailers sell their goods and services. The past two decades has also witnessed significant advances in technology. Today, there is a wide array of innovative technologies available that have the potential to improve warehouse productivity and efficiency. 6.1 Data Analytics for Warehousing Data, data, everywhere. The sheer volume of data available today is so massive that conventional methods of collection and analysis don’t work well or fast enough for decision-making. Data available to companies can come from multiple sources: Internet of Things (IoT), social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blogs), web data, manufacturing data, customer orders, point-of-sales, barcodes and RFID tags, GPS, mobile apps, etc. Read How to Use Analytics for Better Warehouse Operations by Mark Perkins (2016) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-use-analytics-betterwarehouse-operations-mark-perkins/ Mark Perkins (2016) sums up nicely the ways data analytics can make a difference in warehouse operations:  Better visibility of demand; reduces instances of stock-outs or idle inventory  Better awareness of inventory location; speeds up picking and loading operations and improves labour utilisation SU3-9 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations  More meaningful data for better decision-making  Better insights from knowledge-sharing reduces possible supplier risks  Faster response to supply chain issues  Better understand how warehouse operations influence financial objectives  Better manage the increased complexity from multiple channels Read Five Reports That Should be on Your WMS Dashboard by Shane Starr (2016) https://www.explorewms.com/five-reports-that-should-be-onyour-wms-dashboard Think of the data analytics dashboard as a visualisation tool that displays the realtime status of warehouse operation metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) on a single screen. Shane Starr (2016) gives his take on five principles when designing a real-time WMS dashboard:  Resource-led reporting: Displays whether resources (e.g. people and equipment) are in the right places  Efficiency measurement: Indicates whether the assigned resources are performing at expected norms  Warehouse overview: Shows whether overall process in the warehouse is in balance, e.g. if inbound is greater than outbound, you will run out of warehouse space; if outbound is greater than inbound, you will run out of stock  Inventory reports: Indicates current backorders, stock-outs or below-target inventories  Customer-facing metrics: Shows warehouse performance from the customer’s perspective, e.g. % on-time orders, % accurately shipped orders, etc. SU3-10 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Activity 3: Operational Dashboard for a WMS Watch this 2-minute video clip that shows real-time dashboard views of warehouse operations using In-DEX BI Business Intelligence software from Principal Logistics Technologies, UK and Ireland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbjrWhxRkOQ. (a) How many warehouses does this particular client have? (b) What information does the dashboard show for the warehouse view? What do the colour codes mean? (c) What technology is used to update the status of the dashboard? (d) What information does the dashboard show for the storage location view? (e) How would such a dashboard help the warehouse manager to run the warehouse more efficiently? (f) What lessons can I learn? How can I apply this to my work, study or life? 6.2 Wearable Devices Smart phones. Smart watches. Siri. Google Assistant. Runkeeper. Endomondo. You have probably used wearable and voice-activated devices without thinking much about it. Let’s look at some wearable technologies that may improve warehouse efficiency and interconnectivity, and reduce the risks associated with human error. (1) Wearables on the head e.g. voice technology and smart glasses (2) Wearables on the wrist e.g. wrist-mounted terminals, finger scanners, smart watches and fitness bands (3) Wearables on the body e.g. powered exoskeletons SU3-11 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Voice Technology Voice technology uses a wireless headset to deliver spoken instructions to warehouse employees and captures their responses with a microphone. See textbook pages 180188. This technology allows employees to be hands-free, eyes-free and improves productivity greatly by removing the need for personnel to frequently stop, look at a RF screen and key in information. Here’s a 3-minute video clip showing Demantic’s voice picking solution deployed at a US cold chain logistics company. Watch Voice pick video at Americold https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt0r-ZYR_fA Smart Glasses Smart glasses use augmented reality (AR) for warehouse picking and packing. See textbook page 200. And no, there are no hidden Pokemon creatures to encounter, no Pokestops to spin, no Pokegyms to raid. Smart glasses with navigation features provide visual and voice cues to guide personnel around the warehouse. The visual display of information and target location ensures error-free picking. Watch the following 3-minute video clip of SAP’s vision and voice picking solution. Watch SAP Vision and Voice Warehouse System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ-SDVU1JO8 SU3-12 LOG207 Information and Innovation in Warehouse Operations Wrist-Mounted Data Terminals and Finger Scanners Wrist-mounted data terminals allow personnel to receive instructions, scan bar ...
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Running Head: WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Warehouse Management System
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Course

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WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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Key functions of the WMS
According to the management challenges facing the warehouse, which include poor data
management, extensive data to be managed as a result of expansion and keeping track of the
inventory, the firm requires a warehouse management system that will be able to solve these
challenges. In view of these, the first function that the appropriate warehouse management
system should have is the picking function. The picking function would be very beneficial to the
warehouse management because it would help the warehouse staff to make efficient follow-ups
on orders received and have them filled up. The picking function will be beneficial in ensuring
that there is no challenge in tracing orders and that the process is timely and convenient. The
picking function will be facilitated through some tools like mobile scanners support.
Another important function that the WMS should have is the receiving function. The
receiving function will be beneficial in the warehouse because it provides for efficient and
convenient management of reception of goods from customers and partners (Chen,...

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