Manufacturing Operational Agility Through System Configurability
Published on 18 November 2022
Implementing a powerful WMS solution enables manufacturers to achieve significant operational gains that have the power to positively transform their entire supply chain. What’s often overlooked, however, is how these transformations can later lock up workflows and processes and deprive manufacturers of the flexibility they need to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.
Of all the WMS systems listed in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, the SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES stands out as one of the most flexible solutions on the market, making it a powerful tool for manufacturers looking to improve their efficiency and maximize their operational agility.
Be Wary of Rigid WMS Solutions
Before you commit your precious capital to a WMS solution, it’s essential that you rigorously assess your requirements in order to select a system that is truly adapted to your manufacturing operation. Paying for functionalities that are sexy on paper but of no real use in your operation is the fastest way to shrinking ROIs.
Another thing manufacturers must carefully assess when evaluating WMS solutions is the ease with which the system can adapt and scale. In today’s highly competitive markets, the better technology solution is the one that gives you the agility to overcome supply chain challenges when they arise, and empowers you to seize every opportunity to grow.
Many powerful WMS solutions make it difficult and expensive to make modifications to the system’s applications. So long as a manufacturer’s requirements do not change, these rigid systems will give them all the support they need. However, if there’s one thing that manufacturers have learned in recent years, it’s that operating conditions rarely stay the same for very long. By depriving themselves of the agility to adapt to new circumstances rapidly, manufacturers are more vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, unable to keep pace with evolving consumer demand, and therefore more likely to see their margins melt away.
How SOLOCHAIN’s Low Code Adjustments Enable Optimal Flexibility
The SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES is a highly configurable and agile supply chain execution solution designed to empower manufacturers as they scale their operation to stay ahead of the competition.
The ability to perform “low code” adjustments to workflows and processes is at the heart of what makes SOLOCHAIN one of the most flexible WMS solutions out there. “No code” or “low code” adjustments enable users to make modifications in an application without having to alter the solution’s source code. In other words, the person making the modifications does not need to know how to code them into the system: inhouse analysts or super users sufficiently familiar with the application can perform the needed “low code” adjustments.
Thanks to intuitive visual editing tools, operators can efficiently adapt their system’s interfaces, mobile processes, and reporting capabilities without involving expensive IT teams. By sparing manufacturers the need to hire teams of engineers and programmers, SOLOCHAIN enables companies to modify workflows “on the spot”. In so doing, the SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES cuts down on turnaround times, drastically improves a company’s operational agility, and avoids the extra labor expenses.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which SOLOCHAIN achieves such levels of flexibility.
SOLOCHAIN’s Page Editor enables users to update the WMS’s desktop interface. As employees become more comfortable with the WMS’s interface, they may come to identify ways to improve the display of information for better UX. After all, there’s no one better placed to know how an interface can be made easier to use than the people actually using it day in day out. With the Page Editor, users can perform modifications on the very page that requires them. In just a few clicks, users can add or delete columns, modify their width, or alter descriptions, names, and the manner in which that data is displayed. Upon approval, modifications can then be implemented system wide by analysts or super users.
SOLOCHAIN’s Report Editor enables manufacturers to effectively modify their reports and labels with just the same ease. Integrated to SOLOCHAIN’s report producing applications, the Report Editor can easily be leveraged by users on the fly to add new sections and modify their emplacement. The Editor thereby makes it possible to meet punctual reporting requirements or satisfy specific customer demands without delays. And just as with the Page Editor, any modification made for one instance can be imported at a macro level with very little effort thanks to low code adjustments.
However, when it comes to system flexibility and operational agility, SOLOCHAIN’s Process Editor is what truly sets the WMS/MES solution in a class of its own.
SOLOCHAIN greatly improves the efficiency of warehouse management processes by supporting workers in their tasks. The WMS can be integrated with handheld mobile devices to guide employees on the floor in their activities – receiving, picking, putaway, kitting, etc. This goes a long way towards optimizing the flow of physical goods across the entire facility.
What distinguishes SOLOCHAIN from other WMS in its category is that it is the only system to come with a Process Editor that makes it so much easier for operators to modify their workflows when they need to. SOLOCHAIN’s interface offers clear and detailed visual representations of all mobile processes. That intuitive interface gives operators the means to quickly and easily adapt their processes when the situation demands it—all that without recourse to expensive external IT teams.
Imagine, for example, that a furniture maker receives a call from a client, informing them that their requirements have changed, taking effect immediately. The client now needs nylon base glides for their chairs instead of the felt pads that had been used until now. To meet this new requirement and ensure that the client’s next order is adequately fulfilled without delaying production or affecting how chairs are assembled for other clients, the manufacturer must quickly and precisely adapt its kitting process. With SOLOCHAIN’s Process Editor, the modifications can be done immediately and relatively easily through low code adjustments.
This also holds for other workflow modifications, whether it’s a question of adapting pick paths, changing the rules for inventory management (FIFO, FEFO,…), etc. What’s more: in every case, the system keeps records of how the modifications were performed so that, should an error occur, support teams may easily identify the proper solution and avoid costly delays.
Download our Guide to the Warehouse of the Future.
About Generix Group North America
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.
Did you enjoy this post about the benefits of warehouse management systems? Here are three to read next:
- Unlock the Benefits of Task Interleaving with the SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES
- 7 Advantages of a Warehouse Management System
- Why Manufacturers Leverage SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES to Minimize Inventory Shrinkage