Axional Mobile WMS

A mobile Warehouse
Management System

Axional Mobile WMS is a warehouse management system (WMS) that allows the control, management and automation in real-time of the processes involved in the handling of items from entry to shipment.

The best communications technology (RF, Wi-Fi, 3/4G) is used to maximize warehouse operational efficiency through proactive management, thereby fulfilling its supply requirements and customers’ needs in the fastest and most efficient way. It is easily adaptable, which allows the flexible updating of business processes through configurable work-flows.

This module is integrated with Axional ERP/WMS, forming a complete solution for warehouse management. This solution optimizes each one of the operational steps and minimizes the work of the staff responsible for executing them throughout all the logistics steps, from reception planning to shipment. It enables warehouse tasks to become agile and stream-lined allowing best performance on order delivering.

The operations are always managed in real time ensuring that the work is carried out according to the most efficient start-up sequence. The system is designed to operate on different technologies: classical RF terminals (RF), mobile devices (Wi-Fi, 3/4G) and voice systems.

The system provides all the information in real time, using automatic identification systems connected to radio frequency or mobile terminals.

The system is designed to provide service to both one’s own warehouses and logistics operators too. In the last case, operators can automatically bill their customers for all the performed tasks.

It supports combining different types of storage, regardless of whether these storage procedures are dynamic, based on manual handling, robotic or a mixed system that combines several technologies.

Its technology enables the complete integration of operations from the warehouse to other ERP areas using market standard protocols. This makes it a fully integrated platform across which unique data is shared between the warehouse management system and other areas of the company, without the need for complex systems interfaces.

Features

The Axional Mobile WMS includes the latest innovations in warehouse management and deploys the most complete task optimization technology, featuring the most efficient algorithms. It can manage any logistics platform taking advantage of RF technology, mobile devices, with standalone paper documents or mixed systems, when considering different scenarios: own use or as a customer of logistics platforms or cross-docking facilities.

It also has mechanisms to manage warehouses in duty free areas, free or mixed ports, and it integrates customs clearance as well as allows the generation of many documents for export and the foreign trade sector as well: Cargo manifest, Customs tariff, Notices and other dispatch documents.

Easing the automation of warehouses processes through radio frequency/ mobile devices, from the reception of goods to their shipping and the delivery of information to the final customer; including the processing and management of docks, with the allocation of boarding gates and organization of personnel.

Menu
These automatic processes include optimization algorithms for operator routes, warehouse forklifts as well as for the generation of tasks for relocation and placement consolidation, thereby maximizing the available space in the warehouse. It also allows for permanent inventory planning, rotating, programmed or due to incidence.

Stored materials can be classified by all kinds of categories, such as: available for sale, quality control pending, inventory breakage, location pending, etc.

Its real-time operational approach allows instantly validating that each task performed by the staff is correct, providing a full survey of the movements of each operator and his specific productivity.

In the reception area

  • Control of features upon reception (check sell-by date, batch, weight, format…).
  • Optimum allocation of storage spaces according to multiple location algorithms.
  • Reception process optimized by RF, mobile or voice devices.
  • Cross-docking or exchange on docks. Direct assignment of planned goods-in forecast for dispatch, reducing the need for handling and storage resources.
  • Returns processing.
  • Quality control and ISO standards.
  • Integration with robotic storage.

In the dispatch area

  • Calculation of optimum warehouse movements.
  • Smart picking by areas or proximity to docks.
  • Wave picking or extraction in phases/ waves.
  • Automatic replenishment orders for picking locations.
  • Perpetual inventory, by way of confirmation of inventories by location.
  • Preparation of processes, the picking report and dispatch.
  • Treatment of complex items or kits.

In managing staff

  • Determination of standard times for storage tasks.
  • Control of shipment preparation time and other warehouse duties.
  • Statistics and monitoring of operations by operators and terminals.
  • Real time task reallocation, adjusting resources to the circumstances.
  • Optimization and dynamic prioritization of tasks.
  • Unified management of the store, without the need for separate circuits or compartmentalized areas.

Receptions

Operation on mobile devices

One of the most advanced features of Axional Mobile WMS is the integrated use of mobile devices (Android) for warehouse management. From devices and tablets, warehouse processes centrally-defined can run with a native interface.

Taking advantage of the mobile forms creator, even non-specialists can generate displays and work-flow circuits, and deploy them in traditional radiofrequency (RF) environments as well as Android tablets, where designs are deployed as native applications, improving user experience and allowing the incorporation of new graphic elements helping processes.

This functionality also allows solving the problems of specialized warehouse management, customer service in stores or act as an element that enables the organization to provide applications with a graphical user interface.

Functions

All warehouse management functions are available in Axional Mobile WMS:

Warehouse inbound process

Manages the receipt of goods from suppliers and resulting customer’s returns in any workplace scenario.

Activate Ubication
From the issue of purchase orders the system informs the inventory and sales systems on the stock pending to be received. The user also has a system for inbound planning and allocation of goods-in transportation, based on delivery times and unloading docks.

Before the goods arrive at the warehouse deliveries can be controlled through the reception units that the set of delivery notes and packages delivered by the carrier comprise.

During the process of receiving goods labels are printed for each container received, which allows control of package ‘track and trace’ in goods-in circuit. Being able to perform these verification tasks through RF/ mobile terminal or by voice, leads to a decrease in errors in the location of stock.

With the generation of identifiers for each type of container, the stock can be placed in the delivery area waiting for the inbound system to offer the best location to place each container, in accordance with the algorithms assigned to the goods-in process:

  • Inventory of goods with checking of goods-in (sell-by date, batch weight, format…) and automatic deployment of an incidents flow for lack of stock or merchandise in poor condition.
  • Choice of the most appropriate location during the inbound process using multiple location and optimization algorithms for warehouse space.
  • Guided receipts (automatic placement) to improve the distribution of warehouse space, manage the automatic preparation of picking orders, taking into account the properties of each item (sell-by date, FIFO, status). Thanks to this, the best route is created inside the warehouse for the optimization of time and resources.
  • Returns processing. Work Order assignments directed by the control system that takes over stock taking, evaluation, change, disposal, and treatment of returned products.

The system also supports a cross-docking functionality, i.e., the direct allocation of goods-in to their forecasted shipments, thereby reducing the handling and storage needs.

The system’s technical architecture also facilitates the integration with storage systems and automated carousel systems. To do so it is equipped with mechanisms that issue the receipt and picking orders, transfer of master data as well as the remaining data interfaces required.

Quality control

The goods-in process includes integral quality control. Moreover, it is possible to pre-define by product and supplier should the stock need to be automatically blocked upon the arrival of a good.

It can also manage lock status related to any container, item or location, attending the total or partial quantity, and registering the reason beneath each blocking action.

The stock that remains blocked pending quality control and remains unavailable to any other process.

The unlocking of the stock can be done manually, by the quality review process or automatically linked to unattended business rules.

Inventory management

It provides real-time visibility of all operations in progress, as well as those pending execution. Furthermore, it has a control system that optimizes the monitoring, movement, handling, storage and, if necessary, the removal or the blocking of products.

Highly-configurable, it can be adapted to the needs of each client. It provides the technology and the experience to effectively manage inventory, increasing the overall performance and reducing costs.

General Invetory
The stock is registered and managed taking advantage of many features such as:

  • Lot number and sell-by date
  • Registry of weight and volume
  • Serial Number
  • Controls on temperature or hazardous materials (flammable, corrosive, …)
  • Stacking limitations
  • Logistical variables
  • Complex items or kits
  • Shrink wrapping parameters and the features for organizing pallets.
‘Track and trace’ control

The system offers complete ‘track and trace’ control in the warehouse management of products. To do so, it includes an advanced design of key logistics operations, among those which are covered in the registry of all movements, lot control, sell-by date monitoring, preferential use or best-before dates and serial numbers. It also supports the use of logistical variables to track down and manage storage units.

Product labelling and packaging

It produces information in the form of bar codes for the fast and agile identification of items, packaging and locations within the warehouse.

Furthermore, the customization of all labels can be issued to fit the most efficient format in each case.

Label types:

  • Of the pallet to the moment of reception, in order to provide traceability for each package received
  • Of the pallet in the dispatch flow (mono or multi-pallet)
  • Management of goods-out or executing waybills
  • Of Packages / Bundles
  • Of the consumer item
  • Of the location

Stock mangement

The built-in features of Axional Mobile WMS allow for the organization, planning and control of the assembly of stocks in the warehouses.

Stock
To accurately reflect the status of inventory, stock can be classified into logistical accounts, which depict the stock status within the cycle of supply and distribution of the materials as well as their condition (damaged, retained, available for allocation, ready to be sent, etc.).

Axional Mobile WMS has a system of rules and circuits that can be adapted according to multiple criteria. In this way it will prevent the dispersal of goods across the warehouse and the operations shall be optimized.

Some of the major characteristics of the inventory management system are:

  • Management of multiple warehouses and companies.
  • Tracking, ensuring full control of each and every one of the products stored, and the insight by the history of any of them to check their movements.
  • Types of locations (storage, picking, mixed, dynamic picking, multi-reference picking).
  • Map of locations by premises or warehouse.
  • Management of the stock in deposit from customers or suppliers.
  • Proposed placement and picking based on LIFO, FIFO or FEFO.
  • Location of fixed bin or random goods, with allocation of characteristics such as measures, limitations of use or sharing for each location.
  • Weight and volume control.
  • Stock management in multiple measurements, such as units and kilos.
  • Suggested replenishment of the picking location.
  • Ability to manage information in EAN-14, GS1-128, DUN-14 codes.
  • Management of multi-product or mixed pallets.
  • Support for warehousing systems based on storage stacks or carousels, thereby automatically managing the allocation and placement of packages.
  • Definition of the features of each warehouse location: measurements, limitations on usage, sharing, etc.
Zones management

The system supports the definition of all kinds of areas, including:

  • Physical storage areas, site areas
  • Storage work areas
  • Picking physical areas
  • Areas for picking work
  • Dock areas for loading/ unloading
  • Loading dock proposals according to the delivery route
Optimization

The placement algorithms and routing calculation include several optimization criteria:

  • Optimization of routes taken in the warehouse.
  • Optimization of space (volume occupied by the pallet and at its location).
  • Proposed replenishment of the smart picking locations.
  • Relocation of products to bring them closer to their picking location.
  • Consolidation of locations to improve the number of free spaces.
  • Possibility of carrying out both goods-in and goods-out simultaneously.
  • Cross-docking management to avoid accommodating products that should be shipped out immediately.
Picking replenishment

Optimization of replenishment by retaking advantage of the operators’ routes.

Assign picking ubication

  • Differing replenishment levels according to location.
  • Automated system for continuous replenishment or via manual release.
Operational Control/ Inventory

Axional Mobile WMS provides full monitoring both at source and destination by lot, by logistical variable, by serial number/ item for the storage units.

Using radio frequency or mobile devices allows the maintenance of a perpetual inventory system. However, if so desired, the system has several procedures for inventory counting cycles, which can be set by the storage area, product type or family, ABC, type of packaging, etc., interspersing stock taking tasks with daily activities.

Cyclical inventories may be partial or general, allowing the blocking of locations for inventory and the implementation of different types of detailed inventory: blind, guided, by confirmation.

All operations update the stock instantly, allowing real time inventory analysis. The use of warning systems allows the creation of reports and warnings for the efficient management of inventory and of critical warehouse situations.

Management by mobile terminals

For those warehouses or logistical centers that may handle part of the operations manually or by forklifts, Axional Mobile WMS has the capacity of using radio frequency terminals, mobile devices and voice systems combined with traditional paper procedures. It also provides for the progress of warehouse activity with the radio frequency or mobile devices operating “off-line” as a response to failures in the communications system.

Furthermore, it also allows the combination of different types of warehouse: dynamic warehouse storage, blocking of storage, manual warehouse, multi-level plant or a warehouse equipped with forklifts. In all of them, the correct execution of circuits and processes is guaranteed.

The visibility in real time of the execution of tasks across the whole warehouse and in the supply chain allows an instant response to events, analyzing trends and detecting and anticipating ‘bottle-necks’.

The advantages are clear:

  • Capacity for staff planning and simulation of the order’s progress.
  • Assisted configuration by lay-out dialogs or the warehouse lay-out, storage areas, etc.).
  • Assisted configuration via forklift guidance system dialogs (routes, authorized zones, authorized loads, height of its location, etc.).
  • Calculation of incentives according to operator performance.
  • Determination of standard times for storage tasks/extended statistics.
  • Control of order preparation time, etc.
  • Multiple storage capacity.
  • Full cross-docking functionality.
  • Capacity to issue labels and read GS1-128 codes as well as to transfer their values to the corresponding attributes.

The system has multiple pre-configured processes, both for warehouse management and for commercial management, including:

  • Closed circuit monitoring of operators and tasks
  • Goods-in
  • Storage and location
  • Picking
  • Reservation
  • Repacking
  • Replenishment
  • Returns
  • Stocks checking
  • Labeling
  • Shipment
  • Classification
Task optimization

It ensures that all tasks are assigned and executed in the appropriate sequence at the same time that workloads and orders are balanced to maximize efficiency and service quality.

Orders are assigned automatically to the most suitable operator according to the optimum route around the warehouse, capacity, the current location, the operator activity level and the workload.

The system continuously optimizes the picking sequence basing itself on the real positions of the products within the warehouse, sending instructions to the mobile data or voice terminals.

Flexible definition of circuits

Designed with in flexibility in mind, the circuits and screens of the radio frequency/ mobile system can be created or modified from a centralized graphic environment without the need for advanced programming knowledge and without complicated deployment or updating mechanisms.

Being a warehouse management system completely integrated into the ERP, circuits controlled by mobile devices that go further than the own warehouse functions can be defined, allowing their integration in RF circuits corresponding to other ERP modules.

Shipments processing

From the processing of the order to the delivery confirmation, Axional Mobile WMS optimizes each step of the expedition operations to guarantee precision, punctuality, efficiency, compliance and service.

Among the main functions included are:

  • Different picking methods. An unlimited number of picking procedures and extraction circuits can be implemented simultaneously.
  • Packaging and shipping. The packaging process is run by the system with the distribution of packages, quality control verification, package assembly and management.
  • Dispatch documentation. The system generates the shipment labs and the documentation necessary to satisfy legal and customer requirements (certificates, technical specs, etc.).
  • Merging and task management. It allows the assignation of the most efficient tasks for the work, with the introduction of tasks integrated into and controlled by RF or voice.
  • Picking consolidation by delivery routes or destinations (wave picking).
  • Package substantiation. Online labeling of packages and management of units for dispatch and shipment schedules, with the identification of stop-offs and packages.
  • Invoicing of logistical services. Carries out a follow-up of the logistical activities and calculates the expenditure or costs allowing for their invoicing and analysis.

Management of operators

  • Operators’ master data, employment data, personal data, studies, etc.
  • Profile allocation, with the aim of determining which operations can be carried out.
  • Optimization of operators and tasks carried out to achieve maximum productivity.
  • Optimum management of operators’ locations within the warehouse, avoiding that the coincidence of more resources than those allowed in a same aisle or zone.
  • Control panel for the manual allocation of tasks: stacking onto pallets at reception, location, picking, replenishment, inventory tasks, etc.
  • Dynamic reallocation of tasks due to delays in picking, replenishment needs, modification of priorities, etc.
  • Online follow-up and control of productivity.
  • Management incentives for packages handled.

Warehouse invoicing

Invoicing of associated warehousing and logistical services:

  • Invoicing based on a series of parameters (by period of time, by m3 occupied, by merchandise handling, etc.).
  • The said automatic invoicing can be customized for each client, such as the payment method, discounts, tax deductions.
  • Management accounting of invoicing, taxes registration and notification of accounts receivables.

Transport / fleets management

The system is integrated with the transport fleet management module, either for one’s own or subcontracted fleets. This module has the following functionalities:

  • Management of dispatch/ pick-up routes.
  • Picking consolidation per delivery routes or destinations.
  • Transport expense control: price list management and self invoicing, both for own and external carriers.
  • Invoice reconciliation and verification of the transport tariffs applied.
  • Management of shipping units. Proposal of units based on their volume and freight characteristics.
  • All around management of dangerous materials regulations (ADR, IMDG, IATA).
  • Truck load control (at goods-in and shipment).
  • Fleet GPS tracking. Position tracking, location on the route, status of delivery through the use of mobile devices and Axional Mobile.

EDI

Besides being entirely integrated with Axional ERP also available are the EDI protocols that allow the integration with external systems and the optimization of the staff’s resources.

Through EDI systems the availability and reliability of data as well as one’s own resources needed for their processing is improved.

EDI messages implemented in Axional WMS are:

  • ORDERS: reception and dispatch of orders
  • DESADV: reception and dispatch of delivery notes
  • INVOIC: reception and dispatch of invoices
  • SLSRPT: reception of sales
  • STOCK: reception and dispatch of the stock

Integration

So that the set-up of the warehouse management system is a success it must be capable of adapting to the range of business systems involved.

Axional Mobile WMS is able to integrate with any system, using different methods of data exchange in several formats: CSV, TCP/IP and ODBC, supplying the connectivity between the WMS itself and the client’s external systems.

Furthermore, it can integrate itself with the automated or robotic storage systems, or weighing systems, becoming a natural extension of one’s own warehouse management.

Benefits

The Axional Mobile WMS solution allows that a company may obtain benefits in a variety of areas:

  • Real-time information, with a wide variety of management and administration capabilities, designed to improve the work flow and procedures.
  • Improvement in the accuracy of goods-in, inventory counts and stock picking.
  • Mechanisms to ensure the availability of materials, at the same time as minimizing stock levels.
  • Efficient work load management and operating resources planning, empowering customer service and the global warehouse productivity. It constitutes a support for the changing distribution agreements, the multi-position operations, and an increase in the number of goods-in and dispatch orders.
  • Allows the definition of systems resources, such as equipment, workers, groups of workers and their availability, establishing flexible management rules. The result is the optimization of productivity, resources and customer service.
  • The use of mobile terminals on the site to manage the tasks of location, picking, replenishment and withdrawal of articles in a warehouse, they help to minimize the unproductive times and allow proactive operation management.
  • Unique data between the warehouse management system and the rest of the ERP. Simplifies administrative work, improves productivity of operators and resources.
  • Complete traceability of all operations from the moment of receiving a product to its shipment, offering a high-level service to customers.