At a recent conference, supply chain software providers Manhattan Associates offered a new solution to warehouse automation systems.
Chris Cunnane of Manhattan Associates spoke at the company’s 2018 Momentum conference about how his new software is changing the rules of warehouse logistics.
There are several processes common to many warehouses. Sometimes a large number of items need to be packed on pallets ready to be shipped to a client. At the same time, there may be demand for online orders of just one or two items.
There are also waves. A wave could be when a courier’s truck needs to be packed and leave or could be the end of business when all same day orders must be picked and dispatched. There are also goods arriving at the warehouses, and goods may need moving from pallet racking storage areas to warehouse shelving pick locations.
The challenge of logistics software is to be able to handle all these processes efficiently. Some software may be good at ecommerce orders, but not be fully optimised for pallet dispatch. Furthermore, software may not be able to respond to wave operations.
Manhattan Associates approach is to prioritise tasks. For example, if there are 500 outstanding tasks, only 50 may need to be actioned straight away, and the other 450 orders are left until capacity is available. The software alters its strategy according to changing conditions. Cunnane explains:
“Any new order arrival, or change in the execution state and performance, are factored into the new plan which results in an adaptive work planning process.”
The software can help businesses deal with these processes more efficiently.