SOLOCHAIN’s Dynamic Workflows, the Key to Agile and Efficient Manufacturing Processes
Published on 30 March 2022
Manufacturing companies have learned in recent years just how essential operational agility is to the resilience and overall success of their operation. Nevertheless, many operators in the supply chain world continue to think that the highest levels of efficiency can only be reached by making sacrifices on the side of infrastructure flexibility.
A decade or two ago, automated solutions generally required a rigid and complex physical infrastructure that indeed limited a company’s capacity to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Today, however, manufacturers have more options when it comes to automating processes in their facilities. Technology solutions now exist that are tailored to their manufacturing and distribution requirements and that provide the means to improve productivity levels and optimize operational agility all at once.
Agility and Efficiency Through Enhanced Digital Back-Office Functionalities
Technology solutions are a profit efficient way for manufacturers to optimize their efficiency and increase their operational agility across their entire supply chain, from vendors to customers. The key to a solid technology infrastructure is to ensure that all systems rely on the highest levels of inventory accuracy and that solutions empower employees to achieve their tasks efficiently across the entire production process.
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. Its powerful inventory management capabilities afford manufacturers the highest levels of accuracy, above 99,6%. Designed as a mobile solution, the system’s intuitive interfaces are available to employees anywhere within the facility via handheld devices, supporting them at every step of the production process.
Thanks to these capabilities, SOLOCHAIN makes it possible for manufacturers to implement cohesive workflows that optimize throughput and thereby achieve 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
Manufacturers can vastly expand their back-office capabilities by integrating the SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES with their ERP and MRP systems. SOLOCHAIN effectively eliminates clerical tasks and repetitive “cut & paste” operations across systems and 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 across the entire operation much more efficiently.
With SOLOCHAIN at the heart of its technology architecture, a manufacturing company has the power to optimize its throughput and to achieve much higher levels of control over production and distribution processes.
From receiving to manufacturing execution 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 faster and avoid costly mistakes.
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, communication is immediate, and production processes are far less prone to interruptions and bottlenecks.
Thanks to accurate, real-time inventory visibility, management can proactively and efficiently act on volume fluctuations. SOLOCHAIN thereby adds to a company’s back-office capabilities by enabling, 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 manufacturers 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 manufacturing company’s operational agility.
Operational Agility Fueled by SOLOCHAIN’s Dynamic Workflows
So just how does SOLOCHAIN empower manufacturers to build a more flexible operation? One of the many ways in which it does is through Dynamic Workflows. With Dynamic Workflows, manufacturing companies can easily and quickly integrate their production processes and distribution activities and adapt them when the need arises. This empowers them to maintain productivity and service levels at all times, even in the face of sudden changes in the demand signal or disruptions in the supply chain.
Traditionally, manufacturers had to rely on teams of programmers, database specialists, and report writers to configure applications on the systems that support their activities. To implement changes to its ice cream production workflows, 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. Slow and expensive turnaround times are serious impediments 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 very little 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 generally able to implement the “low-code adjustments” themselves, which avoids the need to assemble a team of engineers and programmers. This, in turns, spares manufacturers from further expenses and development delays while freeing 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 culture and operation, the newly created workflows are much more likely to fully meet requirements right from the moment of implementation.
SOLOCHAIN’s Dynamic Workflows empowers manufacturers to rapidly and efficiently automate new critical business functions, modify current workflows in their facilities, and speed up the adoption of new trends within their operation.
A Sports Equipment Company Leverages Dynamic Workflows in the Distribution Center
A sports equipment manufacturer 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 production processes on top of receiving, replenishment, picking, and shipping activities within the warehouse.
Not too long thereafter, the manufacturer’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 back-office 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 sports equipment maker to rapidly identify that a sudden inexplicable surge in demand for large home-gym equipment is creating overloads in picking tasks and congestions in certain aisles. The surge in demand is also threatening to leave the manufacturer with an insufficient quantity of the components required for the continued production of the home-gym equipment.
Thanks to the data obtained with SOLOCHAIN, operation managers in the distribution center are immediately able to design solutions. Using Dynamic Workflows, the manufacturer’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 manufacturer’s systems to direct employees in their modified staging and picking activities. These new rules are communicated to employees through intuitive interfaces available on their handheld devices. Meanwhile, quantity thresholds for the components required to manufacture this SKU are adjusted to prompt the company’s back-office solution to automatically generate BOMs sooner and avoid any unnecessary interruptions.
Thanks to SOLOCHAIN’s near perfect levels of accuracy, changes are implemented quickly and efficiently within the facility: stocks are replenished on time, production continues to run smoothly, and SKU locations are leveraged to their optimal capacity. Even in the face of an unforeseeable surge in demand for specific goods that threatens the operation’s efficiency, throughput levels are maintained well above KPIs and orders are fulfilled on time.
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.