Decision Support for Work Flow Control in a Warehouse Management System
As volatility and customer demands increase, companies are simultaneously trying to reduce their logistic costs. Distribution centers are being forced to increase their agility and flexibility in order to rapidly execute on continuously evolving logistics plans. One proven way of gaining warehouse efficiency and create visibility into processes is through implementation of a Warehouse Management System (WMS) – a leverage technology that introduces automation in warehouse processes. With system directed task assignment work can be optimally balanced and distributed to available resources and auto-generate tasks with high quality. A critical aspect of this have shown to be prioritization of tasks in the dynamic terminal environment. To introduce a new work flow support into an existing organization requires changes in routines, roles and organization to harvest the real efficiency gains. In this report these problematics are applied to the distributing terminal of SCA Transforest, Tunadal, Sweden. A benchmarking study of a terminal in the same business, the Stora Enso terminal in Zeebrügge, Belgium, is the object of comparison. At the latter terminal system directed task assignment has been successfully implemented. Based on the findings from the benchmarking study and other research this report present important success factors as well as specific solutions to issues regarding automation, flexibility and process visibility - with the purpose to guide SCA Transforest in the future system development.
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