Operations approach: Manufacturing-centric WMS fosters agility; drives Lean initiatives

Leveraging a wealth of manufacturing operations knowledge, Apriso's new warehouse management system (WMS) offers an innovative approach to supply chain execution from a manufacturer’s perspective.


Apriso , a vendor of adaptive software solutions for global manufacturing operations management, says its newly launched warehouse management system (WMS) is designed and built specifically for manufacturers. Rather than delivering yet another WMS product to better manage distribution centers, FlexNet Warehouse Management for Manufacturers delivers a unique approach to improving manufacturing agility and operations performance. These benefits are accomplished by natively integrating warehouse operations with production processes to eliminate idle inventory, provide complete traceability across production and the supply chain, increase quality, and drive Lean initiatives as a comprehensive material flow management system.
“The implementation of a warehouse management system built from a manufacturer’s perspective offers a differentiated approach to extend Lean initiatives into the warehouse,” claims Steve Banker, director of supply chain management at Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group . “Pull systems such as kanban, just-in-time, and just-in-sequence are common within best-in-class manufacturers. The implementation of a platform supporting business processes spanning production and material flows adds a new level of performance improvement, driving further waste from already Lean processes.”
As a module of the FlexNet Operations Execution System, FlexNet Warehouse Management for Manufacturers delivers a comprehensive solution to synchronize raw materials, components and semi-finished goods with production, manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly operations. By leveraging the benefits of FlexNet’s Global Manufacturing Suite, this material flow management system can be deployed locally at the warehouse while being managed globally across the enterprise to allow Lean, quality, and other continuous improvement initiatives to spread from a pilot site across the global enterprise.
FlexNet Warehouse Management for Manufacturers is an advanced solution that allows manufacturers to:
• Enhance efficiency and accuracy within the warehouse and production line for improved operations performance;
• Increase manufacturing agility and throughput, supporting a demand-driven supply chain;
• Reduce inventory and WIP, extending Lean initiatives in the warehouse;
• Provide comprehensive dock-to-dock traceability and genealogy to cost-effectively achieve regulatory compliance;
• Improve customer satisfaction by addressing market changes with agility across warehouse and production operations; and
• Decrease the cost of quality and Six Sigma through smart sampling and inspection processes.
“Achieving tight integration between production and warehouse operations has provided full traceability for materials and finished goods flows while enabling the highest level of responsiveness to changing demand conditions within our production line and supply chain,” says Rustam Sanaev, IT operations manager for British American Tobacco . "The FlexNet platform is vital, facilitating performance improvement within both warehouse and production operations, allowing us to significantly improve our production ability within an increasingly complex operations environment to best serve multiple customer segments.”

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