Weaknesses in the Manufacturing Support
The customer manufactures and internationally distributes confectionery products. Business operations cover both Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumers (eCommerce customers).
Food grade manufacturing requires highly sterilized environments. This restricts the areas that an operator can perform a system hand–off process. Communication between the manufacturing operators and the inventory transfer operators is limited as well.
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Constrained to eliminate the errors which are almost impossible to catch until after the production run or already to the customer.
Any weaknesses in the Manufacturing support logistics affect Customers and brings manufacturing processes to a halt costing time/money. Collectively, these errors are almost impossible to catch until the material is sold to a customer or the production run is complete. Both require manual intervention and are tedious to resolve after since it breaks automated flows.
Material management supporting lineside with a physical hand-off is a simple move of the materials on a forklift within the facility. Unfortunately, the systems still require a formal “shipment” and receipt confirmation of the materials to maintain inventory ownership tracking. Returns of unused raw materials further complicate this.
Manufacturing operators track production output through work order completions. This is done before the material can transfer ownership and cannot be done pre-emptively because the work order completions are real-time inventory updates. This presented several opportunities for material to be passed to the transfer area without having system ownership changed. Since the handoff area exists externally to the manufacturing area, there is no formal communication between the inventory transfer operators.
To compensate, receivers scan the manufacturing pallet tag to confirm ownership into the Warehouse Management System.
Timing delays in work order completion or any incorrect scans created multiple opportunities for desynchronization between systems. The design also creates redundant processes as items enter and exit each system- once as raw materials and a second time as finished good.
UCBOS augmented the current capabilities to a unified data stream across environments to minimize redundant human interactions, maximize cross-system visibility for end-users, and validate business operations to actively track, and reconcile in real-time Transfer Order progress, Work Order progress, inventory levels, and corresponding storage locations.
Key results include:
- By isolating the manufacturing transfer orders and tracking pick status of those materials, UCBOS automated “shipping” out of the Warehouse Management System as individual pallet shipments. These shipments can be immediately converted into a raw material receipt in the ERP system since the transfer operator is responsible for both the pick and the drop as a business process. If the material is missed, a detailed accurate history record of who performed all the picks and when they occurred is used.
- Re-entry of information became unnecessary for example palletization of the finished goods by quantity, lot number, expiration date, and quality level.
- UCBOS leveraged the work order itself to create an advanced shipment notice for the warehouse team, increasing receipt visibility for the warehouse team and enabling them to track the ongoing manufacturing runs within their system.
- UCBOS leveraged the work order completion automatically transfer ownership to the Warehouse Management System and allows single scan confirmation of the finished good pallets. If the pallet isn’t received within two hours of its work order completion, it gets flagged and reported to the inventory control team via email.
- Additionally, a secondary output was better tracking of waste and material returns to the warehouse. Three operations can be lined up sequentially and monitored as a single process. Utilization metrics can be accurately tracked with no additional system interactions by the end-users.
The customer technical environment was NetSuite ERP (NS), Oracle Cloud Warehouse Management System (OCWMS), SPS Commerce, Versapay, Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC), and several homebrewed applications. Expansion into a second facility, remodeling of the original facility, complex manufacturing processes, and exploration of 3PL services prompted concerns for additional capabilities.
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UCBOS, Inc. is a USA-based business composable technology firm with the mission to augment the supply chain through semantics. Its vision is to let enterprises self-learn, adapt and glorify dynamic logical business data models for interoperability to fast track solutions, and embrace new technologies including AI, ML, and IoT in days or weeks to achieve supply chain clarity, customer promise reliability, and business agility.
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