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Keeping warehousing efficient with storage planning

Warehouse managerAs the requirements for more sophisticated 3PL operations increase, we’ve updated our  warehouse management system (WMS) to accommodate more flexibility and higher productivity.

The last 12 months have been very exciting for Granby on the warehousing front, with the design and delivery of an enhancement package to our fulfilment system (SCOPe).

These enhancements make us more efficient which, for competitive contract packing and 3PL services, has a beneficial impact on client KPIs. In this phase, we tackled storage planning and productivity.

Updates to storage planning, pick faces and replenishment

SCOPe’s WMS is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. It allows us and our clients full visibility of component stock. It’s the best tool you can have for planning large volume contract packing because it makes sure deadlines are met and there’s a fast turnaround.

Fulfilment system features

Features include:

  • Fully tracked inventory management
  • KPI tracking
  • Transport diary
  • Contract pack planner
  • Pick strategies
  • Collation Forecasting
  • Resource management
  • LOT/Batch control
  • Labels to carrier
  • Carrier Integration
  • Returns logistics
  • 360/3D storage planning

Storage planning

Our developers have built a 3D image of our 3PL warehouse facilities that we can use to model and configure our space.

The model is interactive. We can adjust our view, zoom in and out, and see at a glance what is stored where.

Primarily, it’s a clever tool that helps us create more efficient ways of working and storing inventory. It also helps us create and configure pick faces.

Pick faces and productivity

Much of our warehouse resource is naturally given over to bulk storage on pallets. When we need to pick components, we create a custom pick face of pigeonholes.

The design of this area, in and of itself (as well as in relation to the location of the palletised components) should always be angled towards productivity and efficiency.

  • It houses all the components we need
  • It contains sufficient components at a set minimum level
  • For replenishment, these components are located conveniently

Historically, over the decades, Granby undertook a good proportion of promotional marketing on behalf of clients. We still do, but we’ve experienced so much growth in 3PL that it’s been necessary for our warehousing to evolve too (and our WMS too).

As well as updating our WMS with the 3D modelling and everything that supports this, we invested in modern pigeonhole racking.

  • Modular and made from cardboard.
  • Made from managed sources, 100% recyclable
  • Well-organised and flexible to accommodate components
  • Easy to extend, reconfigure or flatten to store
  • Strong and durable the job, light to transport
  • Can create combined pick faces for efficiency

Future plans

We set a (bespoke) minimum stock level for components in the pigeonholes. This is currently manually checked, though we’re eventually looking to develop triggered auto replenishment within the WMS.

Most of our clients use low stock alerts within OrderSure, the inventory management side of our fulfilment system, to check and replenish their stock anyway. Triggered auto replenishment in the WMS side is a non-urgent failsafe.

One of our next priorities is to evolve the mobile experience for the WMS. It works on a mobile but users don’t get a full-view experience; it’s more of a task list. We’ve begun preparing a roadmap for a mobile version with complete enhanced access.

For our warehouse operatives, this mobile-friendly version will mean they’ll be able to seamlessly move from one task to the next without having to check in at a PC station. It also means they won’t have to print out their tasks or lists – saving on paper, ink and electricity.

Curious about our enhanced WMS?

Whether you’re a curious client or potential client, we’re happy to talk you through our warehousing & fulfilment facilities, including the WMS. Get in touch to arrange a demo.

Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash

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