Wave picking is used to support management and workers via a warehouse management system (WMS) in several ways, to support the planning and organizing of the daily flow of work of a warehouse or distribution center. Wave picking is an application of short-interval-scheduling. Managers, using a WMS, may assign groups of orders into short intervals called "waves", to initially simulate the flow for the day, consistent with the order departure plan and available labor. When the plan is satisfactory, it is accepted. The WMS will then release the waves to the warehouse sequentially throughout the day, to allow managers to coordinate the several parallel and sequential activities required to complete the daily work plan.One of the objectives of wave picking is to minimize the variation of workload in each work function by wave. The wave planning data includes the workload (order lines, cases, each items, value added services, etc.) by order or function (case picking, repack picking, pallet movement, pick position replenishment, packing, etc.), providing management the information to calculate staff requirements (Reasonable Expectancies or Productivity Standards) to guide the assignment of staff by function, with the reasonable expectation that the work in each function, within each wave. Waves are often constructed (based on each day's order characteristics and available staffing) to last between 1 and 4 hours, with resulting 8 to 2 waves in a shift.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution center management. These systems facilitate management in their daily planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the utilization of available resources, to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse.
There are three basic management tasks accomplished and benefits of wave picking.
Material handling methods and equipment are independent of waving. Each set of methods (e.g., order picking, batch picking, bulk picking) and equipment (e.g., conveyor and sorter, ASRS, order picker, pallet jack, fork lift) will yield a different expected productivity rate for management to use in determining the number of staff-hours to assign to each function by wave.
Additional benefits of wave picking include the improved ability to
Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, materials handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.
A forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various companies, including Clark, which made transmissions, and Yale & Towne Manufacturing, which made hoists. Since World War II, the use and development of the forklift truck have greatly expanded worldwide. Forklifts have become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing. In 2013, the top 20 manufacturers worldwide posted sales of $30.4 billion, with 944,405 machines sold.
Logistics automation is the application of computer software or automated machinery to improve the efficiency of logistics operations. Typically this refers to operations within a warehouse or distribution center, with broader tasks undertaken by supply chain management systems and enterprise resource planning systems.
A distribution center for a set of products is a warehouse or other specialized building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products (goods) to be redistributed to retailers, to wholesalers, or directly to consumers. A distribution center is a principal part, the order processing element, of the entire order fulfillment process. Distribution centers are usually thought of as being demand driven. A distribution center can also be called a warehouse, a DC, a fulfillment center, a cross-dock facility, a bulk break center, and a package handling center. The name by which the distribution center is known is commonly based on the purpose of the operation. For example, a "retail distribution center" normally distributes goods to retail stores, an "order fulfillment center" commonly distributes goods directly to consumers, and a cross-dock facility stores little or no product but distributes goods to other destinations.
Workforce management (WFM) is an institutional process that maximizes performance levels and competency for an organization. The process includes all the activities needed to maintain a productive workforce, such as field service management, human resource management, performance and training management, data collection, recruiting, budgeting, forecasting, scheduling and analytics.
Scheduling is the process of arranging, controlling and optimizing work and workloads in a production process or manufacturing process. Scheduling is used to allocate plant and machinery resources, plan human resources, plan production processes and purchase materials.
An automated storage and retrieval system consists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are typically used in applications where:
Backflush accounting is a certain type of "postproduction issuing", it is a product costing approach, used in a Just-In-Time (JIT) operating environment, in which costing is delayed until goods are finished. Backflush accounting delays the recording of costs until after the events have taken place, then standard costs are used to work backwards to 'flush' out the manufacturing costs. The result is that detailed tracking of costs is eliminated. Journal entries to inventory accounts may be delayed until the time of product completion or even the time of sale, and standard costs are used to assign costs to units when journal entries are made. Backflushing transaction has two steps: one step of the transaction reports the produced part which serves to increase the quantity on-hand of the produced part and a second step which relieves the inventory of all the component parts. Component part numbers and quantities-per are taken from the standard bill of material (BOM). This represents a huge saving over the traditional method of a) issuing component parts one at a time, usually to a discrete work order, b) receiving the finished parts into inventory, and c) returning any unused components, one at a time, back into inventory.
A warehouse control system (WCS) is a software application that directs the real-time activities within warehouses and distribution centers (DC). As the “traffic cop” for the warehouse/distribution center, the WCS is responsible for keeping everything running smoothly, maximizing the efficiency of the material handling subsystems and often, the activities of the warehouse associates themselves. It provides a uniform interface to a broad range of material handling equipment such as AS/RS, carousels, conveyor systems, sorters, palletizers, etc. The primary functions of a WCS include:
Material handling involves short-distance movement within the confines of a building or between a building and a transportation vehicle. It uses a wide range of manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment and includes consideration of the protection, storage, and control of materials throughout their manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. Material handling can be used to create time and place utility through the handling, storage, and control of material, as distinct from manufacturing, which creates form utility by changing the shape, form, and makeup of material.
A transportation management system (TMS) is a subset of supply chain management concerning transportation operations and may be part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Order processing is the process or work-flow associated with the picking, packing and delivery of the packed items to a shipping carrier and is a key element of order fulfillment. Order processing operations or facilities are commonly called "distribution centers" or "DC's". There are wide variances in the level of automation associating to the "pick-pack-and-ship" process, ranging from completely manual and paper-driven to highly automated and completely mechanized; computer systems overseeing this process are generally referred to as Warehouse Management Systems or "WMS".
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are computerized systems used in manufacturing, to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES provides information that helps manufacturing decision makers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output. MES works in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process.
Distribution Center Management System (DCMS) is a user friendly Warehouse Management System (WMS), designed to track the activities performed in a Distribution Center (DC)/ Warehouse. It is created and owned by a private company called Eclipse Systems Pvt Ltd. It automates the entire process flow of receiving, managing and shipping goods to customers from the warehouse. DCMS solutions are designed for both large and small scale businesses. In January 2015, the product went open source.
Production planning is the planning of production and manufacturing modules in a company or industry. It utilizes the resource allocation of activities of employees, materials and production capacity, in order to serve different customers.
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES) are computerized systems used in distribution operations (Logistics) and are functionally equivalent to a manufacturing execution system or MES. Distribution operations are a form of a manufacturing operation that receive, store and track inbound material and then select and combine (assemble) various materials to form a finished product, order, or shipment.
Omnichannel Order Fulfillment is a material handling fulfillment strategy and process that treats inventory as fully available to all channels from one location. While the internal fulfillment process may diverge to optimize the operations, the outbound process only diverges at the point of pack out and shipping.
Waveless Order Fulfillment is a methodology used in distribution centers for fulfilling orders, or order picking. Waveless picking is a form of "batch picking" where items for multiple orders are collected, or picked, together at the same time to be divided into separate orders at a later time in the process. The collection of items is called a "batch." Historically, the terms wave picking and batch picking have been synonymous as wave picking is a means of achieving batch picking.