Food & Beverage Companies Optimize Efficiency and Improve Their Agility with SOLOCHAIN’s Dynamic Workflows
Published on 30 March 2022
If there’s one thing Food & Beverage companies have learned in recent years, it’s how essential operational agility is to the resilience and overall success of their operation. That being said, many operators in the supply chain world still believe that, in order to attain the highest levels of efficiency, companies must necessarily sacrifice on the side of flexibility.
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That may have been true a decade or two ago, when efficient automated solutions could only be obtained via complex physical infrastructure that indeed limited a company’s capacity to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Today, however, Food & Beverage companies have more options when it comes to automating processes in their warehouse. Technology solutions tailored to their manufacturing and distribution requirements now give them the means to significantly improve their productivity levels and optimize their operational agility all at once.
Agility and efficiency through enhanced digital back-office functionalities
One of the ways in which Food & Beverage companies can optimize their efficiency and increase their operational agility is by automating workflows across their entire operation, from vendors to customers. To achieve that, companies require the highest levels of inventory accuracy and a technology architecture that empowers employees to achieve their tasks efficiently across the entire company.
The SOLOCHAIN WMS & MES, for instance, is a best of breed solution that interfaces with ERP, MRP, TMS, EDI, and other systems to provide companies a complete suite of SCE solutions to manage their supply chain. Thanks to powerful inventory management capabilities and interfaces available through mobile devices on the warehouse floor, SOLOCHAIN enables companies to implement cohesive workflows that optimize throughput and lead to higher service levels. The WMS/MES also significantly improves a company’s operational agility by giving them the means to adapt processes and workflows with ease – or create new ones – when the situation demands it.
Integrated SCE solutions unlock higher efficiency levels
By integrating the SOLOCHAIN WMS & MES to its ERP system, a Food & Beverage company vastly expands its back-office capabilities. SOLOCHAIN effectively eliminates clerical tasks and repetitive “cut & paste” operations across applications, which drastically reduces the chance of human error and inaccuracies. An integrated system architecture that involves SOLOCHAIN also makes it possible to structure and automate workflows in the distribution center much more efficiently.
With SOLOCHAIN at the heart of its technology architecture, a Food & Beverage company has the power to optimize its throughput and to achieve much higher levels of control over production and distribution processes.
From receiving to shipping, anywhere in the facility, employees are supported in their tasks by the SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES. Easy-to-read interfaces on handheld devices provide the information employees need to complete their tasks efficiently.
SOLOCHAIN ensures that inventory data is updated in real time across all key systems, effectively eliminating siloed information and inventory discrepancies on distinct databases. With employees and management on the same page at all times, workflows are properly integrated and far less prone to errors.
Thanks to accurate, real-time inventory visibility, management can proactively and efficiently act on volume fluctuations. SOLOCHAIN adds to a company’s back-office capabilities thanks to inventory accuracy levels that enable, for example, their ERP or MRP system to generate POs right on time when quantities reach a defined threshold.
The savings and efficiency gains obtained by implementing SOLOCHAIN are well documented. From lower operational costs to increased productivity levels to improved customer satisfaction, SOLOCHAIN helps companies unlock the means to promote growth and improve their margins. What is easily overlooked, however, is how the SOLOCHAIN WMS achieves these efficiency gains while it also improves a company’s operational agility.
Operational agility fueled by SOLOCHAIN’s dynamic workflows
So just how does SOLOCHAIN empower Food & Beverage companies to become more agile? One of the many ways in which it does so is through Dynamic Workflows. Thanks to Dynamic Workflows, Food & Beverage companies can easily and quickly integrate their processes and adapt their workflows. This empowers them to maintain productivity and service levels even in the face of sudden changes in the demand signal or disruptions in the supply chain.
Traditionally, Food & Beverage companies needed programmers, database specialists, and report writers to configure applications on systems that support their activities. To implement changes to its production workflows on its WMS & MES, for example, a food processing company would have to mobilize employees from their IT team or rely on external professional help.
Involving developers and engineers at every step obviously slows down the development process and incurs significant expenses. Moreover, slow and expensive turnaround times are serious impediment to a company’s capacity to adapt quickly to unforeseen situations. With Dynamic Workflows, SOLOCHAIN solves that problem.
Thanks to “low-code admin adjustments”, Dynamic Workflows makes it possible to visualize, create, and adapt workflows within the WMS with minimal knowledge of coding languages or help from programmers. New configurations are created within the system either by leveraging SOLOCHAIN’s native functionalities or through minimal coding efforts. The company’s super users are often equipped to implement “low-code adjustments” themselves, which avoids the need to assemble a team of engineers and programmers. This, in turns, spares a company from further expenses and development delays, and frees its IT team to focus on more complex development tasks. Moreover, because the solutions are developed by employees who have a keen understanding of the company’s, the newly created workflows are much more likely to fully meet operational requirements right from the moment of implementation.
SOLOCHAIN’s Dynamic Workflows empowers a Food & Beverage company to rapidly and efficiently automate new critical business functions, modify current workflows in the distribution center, and speed up the adoption of new trends within their operation.
A grocer leverages dynamic workflows in the distribution center
A grocer goes live with the SOLOCHAIN WMS at their distribution center. With the help of Generix’s team, the WMS is successfully configured to fully support receiving, replenishment, picking, and shipping operations within the warehouse.
Not too long thereafter, the grocer’s management team is alerted by the WMS to problems in picking activities that are creating bottlenecks and affecting the company’s capacity to ship orders on time. The grocer leverages SOLOCHAIN’s powerful tracking functionalities to obtain precise and accurate data on orders, from vendors to customers. Paired with SOLOCHAIN’s Warehouse Mapper, which has heatmap capabilities, such data is a true gold mine to solve bottleneck issues.
The SOLOCHAIN WMS enables the grocer to rapidly identify that a sudden inexplicable surge in demand for bulky consumer-packaged goods is creating overloads in picking tasks and congestions in certain aisles. Thanks to the data obtained with SOLOCHAIN, operation managers in the distribution center are immediately able to design solutions to better store the fast-moving items, to optimize picking methods and routes, and to make better use of space in the staging area to ensure that bulky items did not create any congestion near the dock.
Using Dynamic Workflows, the grocer’s super users are able to implement the changes right away in the WMS without having to wait on programmers to help them. New picking routes are created, and rules are added to the grocer’s systems to direct employees in their modified staging and picking activities. SOLOCHAIN communicates the modified activities through intuitive interfaces available to the grocer’s employees on their handheld devices. Meanwhile, quantity thresholds are adjusted to prompt the grocer’s back-office solution to automatically generate POs for the suddenly popular items sooner. Thanks to SOLOCHAIN’s near perfect levels of accuracy, SKU locations are leveraged to their optimal capacity and stocks are replenished on time.
SOLOCHAIN’s powerful capabilities and its Dynamic Workflows application give the grocer the means to adapt its operation with speed and agility. Even in the face of an unforeseeable surge in demand for specific goods that threaten the operation’s efficiency, throughput levels are maintained well above KPIs and customers visiting their brick-and-mortar groceries are able to purchase the items they sought and could not find at competing groceries.
About Generix Group
Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.
Learn more by downloading our eBook Post-Pandemic Impacts on FOOD & BEVERAGE Companies