Now, more than ever, warehouse operations are under increasing pressure. The rise of ecommerce sales is forcing warehouses to increase output without additional resources to do so. Meanwhile, the warehouse is a cost center, and as many businesses seek to be more conservative and keep more cash on hand, they freeze or even shrink warehouse budgets.
For businesses that rely on manual processes to run their warehouses, these expectations can seem daunting. Manual processes are time consuming and prone to errors, and thus costly. The use of mobile applications and automation helps optimize day-to-day warehouse processes and increases warehouse efficiency, which is key to keeping up with rising demand.
Warehouses that rely on manual processes to run their operations are at a distinct disadvantage, because those manual processes take time, are prone to errors and thus cost money. Many businesses are looking to face these resource pressures by using mobile applications on the warehouse floor and automating day-to-day warehouse processes in order to boost efficiency and keep up with rising demand.
NetSuite is helping accelerate these moves with new mobile capabilities and more automation functionality in 2022 Release 1 for NetSuite warehouse management system (WMS) and NetSuite Pack Station.
2022 Release 1 New Warehouse Features Drive Efficiency
NetSuite’s warehouse management system mobile app allows warehouse workers to perform all of their daily tasks directly from the warehouse floor. It includes the ability to organize warehouse space, receiving, scheduling labor and fulfilling orders, as well as tracking of goods as they enter, move throughout and exit the warehouse. New capabilities in NetSuite 2022 Release 1 include:
- Zone Picking(opens in new tab) allows pickers to perform their activities from specific zones, avoiding duplication of effort. This provides high throughput, scalability and flexibility in handling both small and large order volumes, and handling different product sizes, with varying picker volume.
- Better usability, including more visibility into data from a single screen, enhanced printing functionality, additional visibility into picking status and waves and additional tally scanning functionality.
Available as a part of NetSuite WMS or as a standalone offering, the Pack Station mobile app makes packing and shipping more efficient, allowing companies to identify picked items that have the same shipping routes and pack them in the same shipment. Other new capabilities include:
- Users can change between pounds and kilograms so that packers can work in the unit of measure they are most comfortable with.
- The ability to bulk pack and unpack “Ship as Is” items, eliminating duplicative processes for like items picked for multiple orders at the same time.
- Packing operators can check for specific instructions on how an item should be packed directly from the packing screen before they start the order.
Increasing Output and Efficiency with NetSuite WMS
Along with these new capabilities, NetSuite WMS and Pack Station solutions optimize warehouse operations in these areas:
Receiving. Inbound logistics allow warehouse staff to manage and coordinate the efficient transportation, receipt and storage of inbound inventory with the NetSuite WMS system. Mobile receiving and pre-defined putaway strategies ensure items are received accurately, and as expected, and all relevant data is captured and added to the inventory record at the time of receipt so items can be used most efficiently. Finally, proper receiving ensures inventory is immediately visible to relevant resources, such as available to fulfill open orders.
Storage. Warehouse space is at a premium and using it efficiently can be an essential means of increasing profitability. This becomes increasingly important as businesses add products to their portfolio and around seasonal peak sales times, such as the holidays. NetSuite WMS optimizes warehouse space, ensures items are stored appropriately and ensures the warehouse does not run out of space when shipments arrive. Additionally, it allows fast moving inventory to be identified so it can be stored conveniently to minimize pickers traversing the warehouse back and forth when filling orders.
Fulfillment. NetSuite order fulfillment ensures orders are delivered to customers quickly and accurately. Simplifying and standardizing processes increases efficiency and decreases the chance of errors.
- Wave release allows warehouse managers to identify the proper orders to release to the warehouse for picking based on criteria such as customer, expected ship date, item/zone, ship method and any or all of the above, and pick all those orders together for increased efficiency.
- Pick strategies enable the system to identify the proper recommended item lots to be used based on concepts such as First-Expired-First-Out (or FEFO), pick to clean, pick to fill or primary bin location.
- The app then guides warehouse pickers through the picking process, ensuring inventory is used when and how you want it to be.
- Furthermore, NetSuite WMS incorporates the concept of pick path and zone picking to both single and multi-order picking, further optimizing the picking process so that pickers are not traversing back and forth throughout the warehouse picking items. And, for multi-order picking, it will identify clustering opportunities, allowing pickers to pick all like items for multiple orders at once.
- Once picked, the Pack Station mobile app helps further optimize the packing and shipping process. Pack Station provides additional intelligence allowing companies to identify picked items that have the same shipping routes and pack them in the same shipment, as well as print customizable carton labels, pallet labels, bills of lading and packing lists and capture weights from a weighing scale all through the kiosk device, helping to decrease shipping costs and increase shipping times.
With NetSuite WMS(opens in new tab), and specifically the development of the mobile application, businesses are poised to automate many manual processes that take up valuable time and resources so that they can increase output and efficiency.
Discover How NetSuite 2022 Release 1 Can Help You
This is just an overview of a few of the notable features in this release. For a more complete picture of what the new features can deliver, read the release notes(opens in new tab).
Most importantly, don't forget to request access to your Release Preview test account(opens in new tab). Nothing substitutes for hands-on access to see how all the new features will work with your data, workflows, and customizations.
The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.