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Supply Chain Management

Globalization and extended supply chains have increased product and transportation variability, while customer expectations continue to put more and more pressure on the delivery of perfect orders.

Shorter product lifecycles mean inventory is obsolete sooner, which makes it vitally important that you have precise control over and visibility into your inventory. As complexity continues to increase, warehouse managers are still expected to do more with less. They need to lower warehouse management costs and increase volumes without expanding distribution center facilities or the number of associates.

In short, this mandate to do more with less in a more interconnected supply chain continues to force warehouse management solutions to adapt to improve business agility, lower the total cost of ownership, and provide faster return on investment. These changes are reflected both inside and outside the four walls of the warehouse.

Inside the four walls of the warehouse, the warehouse is expected to provide more than just the typical receive/store or pick/pack/ship activities. Today, warehouse needs to:

  • Place an increased emphasis on labor and task management, since labor is still one of the highest areas of cost with a distribution center.

  • Track multiple inventory ownership within a single facility and warehouse management application, while enforcing different handling rules for the various inventory owners or shipment destinations.

  • Lower the total cost of ownership by providing the ability to make changes to business processing without programming changes.

  • Support value added services, deferred manufacturing, assembly of store ready pallets (display units), light assembly, kitting, and the support of marketing services as part of the order fulfillment process.

Outside the four walls of the warehouse, the responsibility of the warehouse has been extended from the receiving or shipping dock to the fence surrounding the warehouse yard. Activities include:

  • Improving multi-site visibility of inventory at the global, facility and bin location level

  • Scheduling of carrier appointments and scheduling of dock doors

  • Facilitating the check in and check out of trailers entering and departing the yard

  • Locating trailers within the yard as well as providing visibility to the contents of trailers.

  • Moving trailers within the yard to support scheduled dock activities

This commercial reality serves as the fundamental driver to the future direction of Infor SCM Warehouse Management.