The extreme popularity of eCommerce is good news for those in the commerce, wholesale distribution, manufacturing, and retail industries. It’s also good news for warehousing businesses that fulfill the trillions of dollars-worth of orders. The high demand for their services requires a modern warehouse management system, like Acumatica WMS, to help them manage their dynamic needs.
A warehouse management system assists companies with their inventory and supply chain fulfillment requirements. Its superpower is optimizing how companies use their labor, space, and equipment and automating their fulfillment processes. However, warehouse management systems are often stand-alone systems. Because a WMS interacts with every aspect of a business (e.g., purchasing, sales, inventory, accounting, etc.), it needs to share information back and forth with an ERP solution, which is a centralized system that collects, stores, and organizes business data.
Unfortunately, the sharing of data between these separate systems is not always smooth. For example, data may be duplicated or missed as it transfers from one system to the next. There’s also the frustration of waiting for information to synchronize. An integrated WMS and ERP solution eliminates the need for data synchronization and allows for seamless, real-time communication.
Acumatica’s manufacturing, distribution, and commerce customers wanted and needed this functionality, so Acumatica responded with Acumatica WMS. It integrates with and extends Acumatica’s distribution management software. Together, they enhance distribution, increase productivity, integrate with inventory management, and improve the customer experience.
At Acumatica, we’re committed to building high quality, affordable products based on each industry’s unique needs and processes. Acumatica 2021 R2, Acumatica’s latest release, is the result of customer and partner feedback. One of the requests made by the Acumatica community was for increased warehouse picking efficiency, thus directed paperless picking was born.
Before examining this new and exciting feature, let’s look at why there was a need for it in the first place. Many pickers (skilled employees who pull ordered items from warehouse racking or storage to be shipped) currently print their pick list on paper. Picking while holding both the paper and a scanning device is obviously doable (e.g., set it down or tape it on a cart), but it’s an extra step that adds time and inconvenience. It’s also hard to track where you are on long lists, which can lead to errors.
Paper-based processes lack the information warehouse managers need to economize and automate their processes. They are forced to manage the order and priority of picking lists with paper, which is inefficient and ineffective.
With Acumatica’s directed paperless picking, warehouse managers have the ability to prioritize pick lists and determine who will pick which list when through a Manage Picking Queue Screen. For example, walking from location to location within a large warehouse is time consuming (and physically tiring). With the directed feature, pickers can be assigned to pick items that are located in the same section to reduce the back-and-forth.
The system can also be set to fulfill orders via wave or batch picking. In wave picking, each picker (the number of pickers determined by the warehouse manager and the number of items to be picked) receives a consolidated list and picks the items in one pass through the warehouse, collecting and organizing them into totes assigned to each of the shipments and brings them to the packer. The packer verifies the items match the shipment list and then packs the items into boxes.
Like wave picking, batch picking has the picker picking from lists that generally include items from multiple sales orders. They collect the items and bring them to the sorting location. A pack line operator prints packing slips for the shipments and gives the packing slips to the packer who sorts and packs the items.
Whichever picking type is utilized, the new Picking Queue Screen gives a view of open picking jobs based on priority and current status. This information is designed to show on a big screen in the warehouse for real-time visibility to every employee, showing who is assigned to which list, what time they started/ended, and the priority level of each one.
And finally, the directed paperless picking feature allows Pick, Pack, and Ship to operate in paperless mode; the amount of paper warehouses use for pick lists (paper accounts for about 26% of landfill waste) can be reduced significantly with automation capabilities.
Acumatica WMS seamlessly integrates with Acumatica’s distribution management system as well as with Acumatica’s inventory management software and order management software. It’s a comprehensive solution for your manufacturing and distribution needs, and directed paperless picking is another feature designed to increase your efficiency and profitability.
The Acumatica Summit 2021 Day Two Keynote also has a live distribution and retail-eCommerce demonstration that can show you the benefits of an integrated WMS and ERP solution.
If you have questions, please contact our team today.
Since our inception in 1986, OPUS has assisted organizations in selecting, deploying, and integrating the technology solutions essential to achieve their objectives. The goal of our work, our OPUS, is to enable our customers to be highly competitive and profitable.