In order to perform tasks to the best of their ability, operational staff must be equipped with tools that can effectively support transactional logistics processes and provide assistance in decision-making for flow management. The range of applications on the market is evolving towards wider integration, providing companies with an end-to-end view of flows for improved anticipation and provision of information to the client.
Transport Management System (TMS):
As part of the day-to-day organization of transport flows, transport units must:
- Sort and consolidate transport requests
- Organize scheduled deliveries
- Allocate carriers according to restrictions (location, access, methods, service rates, etc.) and tariffs
- Optimize filling of vehicles/containers
- Optimize the transportation plan, factoring in costs and service level
- Coordinate and manage transportation
- Maintain the service level
- Carry out administrative management and appointment scheduling
- Track deliveries and event management
- Track costs in real time and verify invoices or pre-invoicing of carriers
- Carry out carbon footprint assessments.
Operational staff can now use software tools (Transport Management System - TMS) to carry out some or all of these different tasks. The Transport Management System (TMS) market has not yet reached the level of maturity of the Warehouse Management System (WMS) market. There is still a wide range of functional cover, with each developer targeting a specific market segment (e.g. shipper or carrier) or providing specific functional cover (optimization of roads or traceability of flows).
The implementation of a Transport Management System (TMS) raises the question of how to manage warehouse operations: are flows pushed or pulled by transport? This can affect the total productivity of operations.
To successfully execute this type of project, a high level of professional competence is required, in addition to excellent knowledge of the organization, transportation and operational logistics.
Warehouse Management System (WMS):
It is hard to imagine a logistics center that does not have effective Warehouse Management [System] (WMS) tools. This makes it possible to optimize the performance of day-to-day operations (receipt and storing, launch of preparation batches, preparation, and dispatch), as well as:
- Optimizing storage (suitability of storage location to the handling unit being stored, optimization of transportation)
- Ensuring the reliability of input/output operations with the implementation of support tools (radio, voice, etc.) and customized methods (order preparation, overall preparation, etc.)
- Managing stock by integrating the different stock types (marketable, non-marketable, client-allocated, etc.)
- Ensuring the traceability of products (lots, Best-Before Date, Use-By Date, Sell-By Date, series number, etc.)
- Managing product specificities (dangerous products, alcohol, etc.)
- Monitoring operators' performances and reacting to changing flows
- Managing warehouse operations
The choice and implementation of a Warehouse Management System (WMS) requires the good comprehension of warehouse process specificities (re-supply, "hot" or "cold" picking, potential to triangulate tasks, stockroom placement algorithms, etc.). These specificities are essential for achieving target production rates and must be assessed against the functionality of tools on the market. Such projects involve a high level of expertise and require prior understanding of operational productivity areas.
How can Argon Consulting help you?
- Identifying their needs
- Defining target functionalities
- Defining selection criteria for software bids (cost/functionality)
- Defining a suitable panel of developers, based on its market knowledge of Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transport Management System (TMS) tools
- Preparing and managing the invitation to tender with pre-selected software editors
- Opening bids and completing the functional, technical and financial analysis
- Making the final selection of the solution
- Implementing the solution
- Identifying the target organization and integrating the new tool
- Defining target operating processes and the related configuration
- Defining the communications and training program
- Selecting the launch and implementation strategy