Planning Integrated by Scenarios: What it is and How It Helps Cope with the Impact of COVID-19

Facing the new realities generated by COVID-19, unknown and not possible to prevent, has required, on the part of the executive levels, a practically immediate reaction and response to lead their teams in making decisions and promoting the direction of their business in these troubled waters. It is a priority to effectively mitigate risks and also take advantage of the opportunities that these circumstances can offer, mainly those who are in certain segments such as Health, Protection and Food.

This has had an impact on the industries by requiring strong business leadership, rather than traditional executive leadership.

Effectively managing the supply chain requires that each business-link of it be comprehensively managed, that collaboration conditions are quickly identified and accepted at each node and that win-win relationships are created from executive levels to ensure synchrony of changes, savings, value generation and speed throughout the chain, in response to the rapidity in which new expectations from markets and consumers have been emerging.

Strengthening the competencies of the management teams, supported by their tactical teams, to manage their businesses through scenario planning has been one of those new demands, now considered a necessary condition to navigate these new waters.

What is ISP

It is necessary to understand scenario planning as an integral part of the strategy generation processes, the IBP (Integrated Business Planning) management process and the short and medium-term tactical processes. Consequently, its name is “Integrated Scenario Planning“, ISP (Integrated Scenario Planning), whose main characteristics are:

  • “Provide a structured framework for organizations to think ahead and manage change”
  • Answer the question “What if …?” and enable senior leadership to consider what future events are likely and important, what the impact would be, and how they might respond to or benefit from the possible situation
  • Identify alternative scenarios with clear assumptions, simulations, roles and responsibilities and with defined trigger points to develop and implement agile responses
  • Provide executives with credible information in real time to facilitate decision-making in short times of uncertainty or in longer planning horizons.

As a process, the ISP must be established in the organization, formalizing its objectives, inputs, managers & roles, sources of information, frequencies of review and monitoring and the deliverables, which will be the action plans decided as a result of the analysis of the scenarios proposed to the direction.

ISP works at two levels: planning and implementation. In the first, one or more scenarios are identified, analyzed and outlined as a response to mitigate risks, leverage opportunities, and define action plans. In the second, the mitigation and / or leverage plan is approved, execution is monitored and results are controlled, to also ensure a learning curve.

ISP, integrally leverages the planning and Integrated management of each business-link in the chain. The integrated management of the chain, now increasingly strengthened in each of its links with the incorporation of integrated planning by scenarios, ISP, ensures effective Integrated control of operations.

ISP Contributions to the Comprehensive Control of Business Operations

Traditionally, a meaning has been assigned to the control of Operations as well as to the control of the execution of Operations of the production and distribution of products. The current meaning, now with a comprehensive scope, provides a holistic – systemic vision and understanding, which links and integrates to the strategic & executive IBP process all the tactical activities of the business, that is, those related to: a) planning; b) programming; c) execution & control. These extend both to the field of Demand (commercial and marketing processes) and to the field of supply or “Supply”.

In the monthly cycle of the management process, (IBP) in its Executive Business Review stage, reviews, questions and approves, in executive consensus, a single company plan, which contains the strategy, decisions and guidelines of senior management .

The single plan, thus revised and approved, is communicated to the entire organization; it constitutes the authorization and is the “trigger” of all the actions or “Operations” of the planning, the consequent programming and its execution & control, both in the Demand (planning, execution & control of the Sale), as well as in the “Supply” (planning, execution & control of Production, Purchase and Distribution).

From this perspective, Operations control acquires an integral scope to the entire business, being now more strengthened with the greater competition for Integrated Planning by Scenarios, ISP, that business leaders are focused and defined to develop in their organizations.

The current practice of excellence implies, therefore, that responsibility for the operations of a business begins at the executive level, which is the one that gives the guidelines and the one that sets the strategy; and it continues at the tactical level, in which it is ensured that these guidelines and strategy are integrated into the plans that will become detailed programs, to then be executed and controlled at the Operational level.


Alberto Fonseca

Principal Consultant,  Oliver Wight Latam


Agility is the Magic Word. Urgency is the Driving Force

Today’s global economic uncertainty has put more pressure on the supply chain. Today more than ever the food, mass consumption, medicine, retail (e-commerce) sectors must be able to respond quickly to changing market conditions, adapting to the different restrictions that each government is establishing in order to safeguard the well-being of its population.

Fortunately, with proper information management and the inclusion of technology that enables remote real-time reading, companies can increase their agility and ability to manage their supply chain.

Supply chain overview

In countries such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, the economic crisis due to the effects of the Coronavirus is being treated as an induced coma, that is, governments are supplying the amount of cash necessary for the local economy to suffer as little as possible and with the Over time, the economy can be reactivated easily. This is at least the plan until June.

In contrast, companies in Latin American countries need long-term stability and planning to adjust processes and take advantage of opportunities, but it is clear that political decisions can dramatically trigger scenarios that were not contemplated.

However, the challenges stimulate innovation, hence the tools that promote greater capacity to mitigate risks, greater control over their supply chains and a simplification in decision-making, will be competitive advantages that companies must consider.

Time for action

Making predictions about market behavior and the impact it will have on supply chains would be irresponsible and imprecise, especially when logistics is not a “plan and forget”, changes must be monitored and strategies must be adapted. What can be predicted is that companies that prepare, that contemplate omnichannel scenarios will have an advantage. Agility is the magic word. Urgency is the driving force.

If you want to know how to orchestrate your supply chain and establish a healthy logistics ecosystem that is receptive to change from a holistic point of view, in order to make more effective decisions in real time and generating value for all the actors involved, leave us your data and we will send you the Whitepaper “THE PATH TO THE AUTONOMUS SUPPLY CHAIN” with the steps to take and the basic questions to ask.

Preparing your Supply Chain for the New Age

Let us begin by understanding that the only thing that is known with certainty is that there will be a global and local uncertainty of multiple variables that will impact our businesses. Of course, each organization experiences specific circumstances and delving into each of its variables would be like putting a very long list as a task. However, the huge questions are:

When and how will demand be restored?

What resources will be available, when and at what cost?

And consequently, how can we prepare our business?

According to a Harvard Business Review article (Carsgtem Lund and Thomas Ritter), the actions of each company will be defined by the analysis of each of the following five topics that are understood around 5 P’s:

  1. Position: Analyzing the organization in the market and its supply chain
  2. Perspective: Deciding how the organization will operate
  3. Projects: Defining to study, execute and coordinate
  4. Plan: Based on assumptions and changing variables
  5. Preparation: Planning and execute


Organizations will then need to define what their position will be in the market, considering the offer of products that will remain; how it will compete and the strategies it will carry out, considering the capabilities it has or will have in the future and, which management technologies will support for decision-making and execution.

The restoration of market and supply forces will be gradual and geographic. This involves defining assumptions of expected dates and available capacities that will be gradually (or not) being incorporated, which will require two main strategies: quickly determine the assumptions over time and assess the risks to make cost decisions – benefit.

It has been commented that there will be no return to normality, that we will enter a new way of doing business, and that there will foreseeably be changes in:

  • The internal work culture
  • Internal collaboration and with business partners
  • Redefinition of trust agreements

The pandemic caught many organizations unprepared to work from home, and in many cases the maturity of their planning and implementation processes will determine their resilience.

Today organizations face a list of initiatives and each one must be analyzed in depth in order to gather enough information to determine priorities according to:

  • The analytical strengths of each organization
  • Resources: Working capital, physical capacities
  • Cost-benefit
  • Risks
  • opportunity

Each process in the supply chain will be subject to careful planning and its degree of maturity will determine its survival capabilities.

It is possible that some organizations know their limitations to face one and the other projects, but all can start to prepare according to their position, perspective and projects, with two specific actions:

  • Understanding the capabilities that the organization will require
  • Analyzing business processes and information technologies

For both tips at Cerca Technology we make ourselves available, bearing in mind that we offer solutions to simulate and optimize your supply chain model, allowing you to have your digital twin to quickly and accurately define possible scenarios and support decision-making, as many times as the situation in your supply chain changes.

Models allow you to develop optimal, feasible plans with analysis of demand, distribution, transportation, manufacturing, and purchasing decisions. In addition, they give visibility over time, considering randomness, assumed changes in the variables and interventions in the assumptions. Optimization scenarios allow you to comprehensively determine, with the required level of detail, specific action plans that maximize and / or minimize key indicators.

We know that these are challenging times in many ways, but we are convinced that with a conscious planning process and an understanding of technological solutions as enhancers and facilitators, we will be able to transform our organizations so that they have an interesting panorama in this new era.

Improving Productivity: Just a Matter of Time in Times of Crisis?

We are in times of crisis, where increasing productivity is one of the main challenges in logistics management. Today doing “more” with the same resources and maintaining security protocols is the goal.

Over time, companies have faced different business challenges in logistics management, one of the most significant has been the evaluation of the level of productivity, which impacts the final objective of the supply chain specifically in the speed of response, is say having the “right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the lowest possible cost.” Today after the current crisis, making processes more agile and identifying the cost of an operation, where it is won, where it is lost, becomes vital to keep a company afloat.

Productivity is defined as the result of the implementation of methods that allow a better performance of the available resources. Frederick Taylor was one of the pioneers in the evaluation of productivity, contributing at the end of the 19th century to the development of a “task” -based system, where the standard time it took the best operator had to be measured through a stopwatch qualified to carry out an activity, determining maximum, nominal and proven capacity.

The results of Taylor’s studies brought about the reduction to a third of the personnel and a profitability of almost 50% to the companies that applied it, however Frederick has not been the only one to study labor productivity, the Gilberth husbands, Adamiecki and other European authors have also made their contributions.

Defining the time that should be invested in an activity allows identifying which tasks can  negatively influence the productivity of a process and with this, resources can be better controlled. At the logistical level, all the activities carried out in a distribution center can be measurable and quantifiable, however, “What is not defined, cannot be measured. What is not measured can not be improved. What is not improved is always degraded ”(Lord Kevin, S XIX). Therefore, defining measurement indicators will provide a complete overview of the processes, with which commitments with clients and final consumers can be established, which will even result in optimizing the use of resources. All this translates into cost reduction for the company.

There are manual and technological productivity measurement tools, your choice will depend on the size of the equipment you want to measure and the possible integration that can be generated with other systems. Labor Management System (LMS) or Workforce Management for example, is an excellent technological tool that allows you to have real-time information on the performance of your employees through the condensation of productivity assessment methodologies.

To implement such a tool, the following methodological steps must be taken into account:

  1. Identify the main processes. In a distribution center the main operations are the receipt, storage, preparation and dispatch, however, it must be identified which one or which activities have the greatest impact on your organization. This depends on the logistics model that is implemented, it is not the same, a warehouse that only handles pallets to the office, where possibly the main impact may be the receipt, to a warehouse that is only responsible for dispatching units, where preparation should be considered. of orders. Analyze process diagrams, identify key processes using engineering tools, analyze function manuals and identify operation metrics such as number of items, number of receipts, number of units dispatched, among others.


  1. Establish the activities of the processes. The direct and indirect activities of the processes must be identified. In a distribution center you have the step by step of each process, for example, a receipt, it can be broken down into various activities, taking items, counting, registering LPN, among others. Likewise, indirect activities such as rest times, change of uniform, industrial safety routine, among others, should be established.


  1. Define standard process times. Once the activities have been identified, it is important to establish a time standard, for which different techniques can be used such as: decomposing the tasks into different activities, identifying a sample size, taking records through timing; analyze the conditions and environments for carrying out the activities defined in the distribution center, taking into account personal fatigue or delay; perform average calculations, carry out pro rata if necessary, and finally as a result, type-times can be set which will be the point of analysis and evaluation of productivity.


  1. Establish the plant layout. It involves the identification and, if necessary, the reorganization of the physical distribution of the distribution center where the reception and office doors, hallways, storage areas, order preparation areas, among others, are contemplated. Take into account in the design, the importance, frequency and safety of the areas for the definition of CeDi workflows (routes) and spaces. Now, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, due to the current crisis, the distribution of human resources will be essential, taking into account the distances for the safety of its employees, ensuring that the routes and process times are not affected.


  1. Identify the equipment. It is important to list the equipment that is available in the CeDi, considering the corridor spaces to define equipment restrictions, resources that said equipment will use, capacities and movement times. Keep in mind that a forklift is not the same as an electric forklift in times and movements. Additionally, it will be important to consider handling equipment that ensures quality in product handling. It may be a good idea to start contemplating new voice-assisted product management technologies.


  1. Identify the staff plant. It is important to know the number of resources that are available for each process, there are multiple time and movement evaluation tools among them, the basic and normally used, list the activities and sub-activities of each process and take time, taking into account account for the most and least qualified operators, and also identify tolerances.


Now, once the methodology is understood, the key to improving productivity in CeDi will be in the integration of the information previously collected, that is, first when defining the main processes with the plant design, the result will be the process flow, likewise, establishing a new distribution between areas will generate a reduction in the dead times per route and will allow establishing the safety distances currently required to care for human resources during these times.

Subsequently, the equipment (machinery) that will allow the flow of materials, products and operators to be more dynamic must be included, as well as the production capacity being increased, since one of the effects of the current crisis is that contemplating the right inventory it is not safe, on the contrary a large security inventory must be kept. It should be noted that it is essential that the staff identify who or who are the most efficient in the processes, often qualitative evaluations are not the best option.

By now you will have built an operating model and the next step will be to pilot test to ensure that the expected savings and increases in productivity are achieved; it is here where the organization methods acquire all their importance that will allow showing a victorious result in these times of crisis, doing “more” with the same resources, faster and now including one more variable, security.

Once the pilot tests are finished, it can be said that the live start is given way, and it is where you can assess whether implementing a methodology such as Labor Management was a good decision. Thus, through the different reports and management indicators that can be viewed in the required periods, the final result of this implementation can be evaluated, where the main advantage for its use will be the almost immediate increase in CeDi productivity. . Improving the performance of employees and physical resources through control and monitoring.

Labor Management sees not only the evaluation after, but also the before, that is, the planning, where weekly activities can be established and the required resources can be defined according to the activities that must actually be carried out, possibly before This implementation if a number of employees were considered to work a shift, the decisions were made in a qualitative and visual way, now they will be quantitative and real.

Many times, it is thought that the main disadvantage for a company to implement it as a practice is the high investments that the implementation of technology implies, but frequently at the end of a project of this type, management manages to demonstrate and compare the return on investment.

Since the focus of the functionalities of a Labor Management system are planning and reporting of work, including calculation of goals and ability to determine operating costs, even by specific clients, associating them directly with orders, you can even motivate the work team through an incentive payment plan.

Therefore, keep in mind that implementing a system or any methodology to measure productivity will allow you to have cost control, increase or maintain the operating margin even in times of crisis, and finally, demonstrate that the final result will be the definition of fair and measurable standards that will increase job performance by retaining the best employees and developing best practices. Given that this implementation not only generates efficiencies immediately, but long-term visibility will be maintained to continue making adjustments as the needs of the company, the market or the environment change.

By: Ana Katerine Benitez, Solution Consultant at Cerca Technology

In Times of Crisis, Responsiveness and Speed ​​are the Gold

The worldwide impact that Covid -19 has had on public health, society and the economy simultaneously, has been the differentiating factor of the crisis that today involves more than 170 countries, including world powers. Although all economic sectors have been affected, there are industries that have not had the same levels of damage.

The automobile, tourism, consumer goods, and service delivery industries, to name a few, have been highly affected, for example: in Korea, a market-leading automaker had to close 7 of its factories due to the inability of its Suppliers deliver components to produce wire harnesses for their vehicles. Well, the city where these providers are located was completely closed by the government.

The company that was in charge of launching a new model, estimated that 40% of its production was affected. It is here that planning and purchasing professionals must evaluate various strategies that balance the cost and risk that companies have by applying planning models and leveraging technology to support rapid responses.

In this situation, what actions should companies take in relation to their value chains?

Traditionally, the methods used in value chain planning have been based on time series techniques based on the sales history, however real-world events, climate change, market trends, natural disasters, among others are factors that take away weight from these values.

Now, taking up the current situation in the world and taking into account the teaching of the Korean company that is only one of the cases worldwide, it is essential that companies direct their eyes and efforts on strengthening their supply chains:

  1. Carrying out supply chain risk assessments from start to finish, engaging each part of the ecosystem, i.e. suppliers and suppliers of suppliers, in order to identify risks, define common objectives and short-term resilience strategies. deadline and deploy action plans.
  2. By developing solid risk management processes and diversifying the digital logistics network, a map must be drawn that involves each of the nodes present in the supply chain, including final consumers, in order to establish risks and methodologies for each actor, increasing responsiveness.
  3. Involving the use of technology in processes. Companies must take advantage of technology by putting it at the service of their interests, implementing tools that facilitate and support decision-making and allow a quick reaction to contingencies.
  4. Innovating in the way of doing things, it is necessary to evaluate to what extent the processes can change maintaining quality standards, production capacities and response, for example through the use of automation or IoT.

This is the moment in which companies must assess whether their business model is capable of responding to impending generational changes, increasingly versatile competitors and historical events such as the one we are experiencing.

Source: EY Building a Better Working World.

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Infor SCE a World Class WMS according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a tool that allows us to know what position the best management system providers occupy worldwide, their characteristics, the points of innovation, optimization and relevance and how their products and systems can contribute to a center of distribution maximize your efficiency.

Gartner has carried out numerous studies in relation to technological advances and their influence on organizational environments, especially with regard to companies’ suppliers. That is why this quadrant works as a list where only the best systems on the market worldwide score, complying with high standards of efficiency, effectiveness, optimization and management. One of the systems that has met Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Leaders category standards is the Infor WMS solution: Infor SCE.

One of the great advantages that Infor has and that makes it remarkable in the Gartner quadrant, is that it allows the respective cost structures to be carried out in an automated way, which becomes a considerable saving since many companies will not have to invest in a Public accountant in charge of managing said work.

Therefore, Infor SCE has been classified as a warehouse management system with an extremely high positioning, to the point that it is now part of the quadrant of market leaders, since the wide number of functions it has offers to the centers of distribution work more orderly and quickly.

Why is Infor SCE a leading solution?

In Gartner’s magic quadrant there are different evaluation points, but the most important are the characteristics that systems must have to be considered leaders. Within the study, the systems that score worldwide must have aspects such as:

  • Strong execution ability and customer retention
  • Solid brand positioning
  • Functional, robust and innovative
  • Global scale
  • Participation in a high percentage of new businesses
  • Have a high-quality implementation
  • Reliable and efficient processes
  • Multiple functions, with a large customer database
  • Proven success in medium and high complexity operations
  • An ecosystem of allies

Infor SCE’s strengths

The main strengths that have made Infor SCE one of the leading solutions worldwide are the following:

  • It adapts to a large percentage of ERP systems. It is also a good fit for companies that want to have the same provider for WMS and ERP.
  • It has remained one of the most competitive and solid suppliers internationally. The Infor SCE solution is present in nearly 40 countries with a strong presence in the United States and Asia, having its main facilities in China and Japan. Likewise, it maintains a large percentage of indirect and direct sales, as well as centralized support that allows it adapt to emerging markets.
  • Infor’s vision of cloud and strategy is one of the strongest among WMS system providers.
  • Infor SCE is the only one on the market that has an effective extensibility support method known as Mongoose, which allows end users to make changes or improvements without code, meanwhile, it offers technicians the option to upgrade with full code, allowing for more advanced application changes. This point certainly helps the constant customization and advancement of the WMS, focusing on the requirements and needs of the client.
  • The intersection of the SMS Cloud and Virtual Work WMS with Infor Nexus (GT Nexus) is unique and highly differentiated.
  • Infor SCE leverages and benefits from Infor’s latest technology investments such as: Birst for analysis development, Coleman for the establishment of Artificial Intelligence and ION for integration between Infor with external applications. Its remarkable user experience constantly improves the UI and allows you to visualize the distribution center in 3D.

WMS market considerations:

To assess the level of each system, one of the key points that the quadrant analyzes are the current market considerations, therefore some of the solutions that are evaluated are the reception, storage, packaging, transfer of merchandise and selection of inventories . This means that leaders like Infor manage to satisfy the needs of the majority of clients who tend to focus more on providers that are functional and efficient, mainly due to the time factor that is vital for them.

Now, it is important to mention that the general WMS market is divided into three types of providers that are part of the magic quadrant, which are:

  • Application providers: These types of providers offer a large portfolio of applications that will allow us to increase the productive development of the organization. Some of the functions it brings are human capital management, production, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management.
  • SCM suite providers: These providers have a logistics WMS, plus two applications specifically focused on storage, international trade or transport.
  • Specialized providers in WMS packages: These types of providers focus mainly on the use of the Software, some of which are part of this group are: Vinculum, Generix Group and Softeon.

It should be mentioned that, to be part of the magic quadrant, a series of elements must be evaluated that greatly influence the positioning of the suppliers and, of which, clearly Infor SCE fully complies:

  • Global reach: The WMS trade is getting bigger and more influential in the world, therefore, those providers that have worldwide recognition, excellence and satisfaction must be taken into account.
  • Feasibility: The commercialization of products is becoming more comfortable and is always a concern for customers, which is why it has become a factor of utmost importance for achieving the stated objectives.
  • Innovation: The changes that it experiences in the market in a technological and informative way have a notable influence on the way in which activities are developed, therefore, those WMS that are adapted to current work methodologies will have great importance within the magic quadrant. Automation: Corresponds to the methods used by suppliers to carry out their respective activities quickly and easily, in order to streamline and optimize work times.
  • Employee engagement: The fact that the employees of a WMS are committed to meeting customers is a crucial element in the success of suppliers, since the human capital and motivation that workers have to carry out their activities will lead to the success of the organization in achieving the objectives.
  • Intelligence: When we talk about intelligence, we are referring to the ability of WMS providers to solve any problem that arises quickly and easily, without wasting much time that may well be invested in other activities.

For all the above, Infor is in the list of world-class WMS systems, offering companies the opportunity to have an effective, strategic and constantly developing support.

What are the 5 Planning Metrics Your Radar Planner Must Have?

Demand planning is a very important task in any organization, which is why planners must be attentive to the constant changes in the market, the real speed of sales and the insights they receive from the processes of the chains. of supply.

In order for the company to be at the forefront, demand planners must track key, smart indicators that are easy to interpret, save time but most importantly, assertively support decision making. These are the 5 most important planning metrics:

  1. Early warning indicators for demand variation
    The variation in demand in a ratio of +/- 15% at SKU level and product category. Factors driving demand variation need to be discussed to align the supply chain and reduce stockout or shortage scenarios.
  2. Paretos Demand Analysis
    The Paretos principle proposes that 20% of customers represents 80% of a company’s sales, which is why the demand planner must timely report any deviations that occur to mitigate the damage.
  3. Difference between sales forecast and actual sales
    The best way to keep the team aligned with the objectives is to know the current state of sales results vs. the estimated outlook.
  4. Forecast error
    This comparison should allow the drivers that lead to forecast errors or deviations to be identified by analyzing whether the market method or behaviors are altering planning.
  5. Market intelligence on competitor activities
    Knowing closely the activities that the competition is carrying out is important, which is why all forecasters must keep in mind the performance of launching new products, sustained exhaustion of the competition. Quality problems of competition or product recall.


** The choice of indicators to be monitored will depend mainly on the needs and nature of the business as well as on the commercial objectives pursued by the company.

Robotic Warehouses, an increasingly Real Futuristic Scenario

In 1961 the first robot to work in a General Motors car factory was sold, transferring parts from one side to the other; Since then the industry has advanced by great strides and the world of logistics is not far behind.

Dreaming of a secure, faster and more productive supply chain is a reality thanks to the robotics technology developed today for warehouse logistics. Different companies have turned their attention and designs to logistics applications that were not previously thought possible in distribution centers, stores or e-commerce businesses.

Robots are proven to improve work productivity, enabling companies to reach and set higher goals in precision and safety. This concept was understood very early by giants like Amazon, Google and DHL, creating a trend in the sector which has been followed by companies like, who allied with Mujin to carry out the complete robotization of their warehouse in Shanghai, a 200,000 daily order operation operated by robots and 5 maintenance people. DHL, for its part, has 15% of its mechanized distribution centers, where container towing processes and robotic stations for picking tasks are involved.

A study by Forrester determined that e-commerce will present an annual growth of 10% in Europe and America and estimated that this figure will be higher in Asia, where they predict that the Chinese retail market will become the size of France, Germany, Japan, UK and USA combined. For this reason, some governments have started to promote stimuli (the EU will give more than € 2 billion for research in the sector), and they have allocated risk capital investments to large companies such as the case of Fetch Robotics, which received USD $ 23 million in venture capital for the production of robotic arms specialized in picking tasks.

What is new in the industry this 2020?

Robotics will impact all logistics companies regardless of size, with solutions such as autonomous transport vehicles, human-trained robots to support packing and merchandise customization processes, and robots for direct order deliveries, among others. DHL, for example, is betting that its distribution centers operate 24 hours, dispatching multiple waves with daily deliveries to the final customer. This vision also links the connectivity of the robots to the information in the cloud, which will allow them to process data, even from the planning software upon receipt. The North American giant is clear that the advantages of these futuristic distribution centers will offer speed, flexibility, and greater productivity, which translates into better service for end customers, achieving faster delivery at a lower cost. Being an example of innovation for the entire industry.

Maylen Uparela, Customer Support Consultant at Cerca Technology

Three Ways an Omnichannel Business Can Improve Its Operation through a WMS

Without a doubt, a transcendental decision that companies in the retail industry must make to optimize their warehouse or distribution center is the choice of a WMS system, the reason ?, simple, a retail company to stay competitive needs to establish a flow of goods Fluid, precise and timely, allowing you to run your business at a good pace and provide greater customer value at a lower cost.

These companies need a comprehensive and scalable software solution that efficiently executes critical distribution processes while maintaining inventory in real time at the specific location.

An advanced WMS is that solution. A world-class WMS enables high volume orders to be generated and e-commerce and traditional shipments to be processed through physical stores from the same inventory. Additionally, it provides the flexibility and configurability that retailers need to agilely operate an omnichannel business.

Therefore, below, we will show three ways in which an omnichannel business can improve its operation through a WMS.

1. High-level adaptability
An advanced WMS is a flexible solution that adapts to the different flows of consumer purchases and shipments (example: online shopping and home delivery, click and collect, store purchases and home delivery, among others). Adapting to this new range of possibilities will allow distribution channels to carry out their work in an easier, faster, more effective and automatic way, avoiding manual and unnecessary processes that will result in cost overruns for the final consumer.

2. Manage multiple types of orders and volume fluctuations efficiently
An advanced WMS allows you to manage and optimize the replenishment of different sales channels, for example, brick & mortar, e-tailer, brick & click, among others. Additionally, this solution enables a precise replenishment process during peak seasons and intelligently manages orders according to the type of order (units, mixed pallets, etc.).

3.Totally synchronized supply chain technology and systems
An advanced WMS allows communication with different technological solutions so that the supply chain is synchronized.

Three Ways to Achieve a Greater ROI with a WMS vs. an ERP Warehouse Module

Every company must have within its objectives the growth, which is demonstrated in the fulfillment of goals and in the management indicators that the success of the strategies established in the different procedures. One of these indicators is the ROI or Return on investment, which is the representation of the economic gain generated by the implementation of different strategies. Now, if the company’s priority when implementing a technological solution is to achieve a higher ROI, which system should be chosen, a WMS or an ERP?

ERP vs WMS: how do they work?

While enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, automates activities in all departments of an organization, including accounting, customer relationship management and inventory management, for its part warehouse management systems o The Warehouse Management System (WMS) manages the resources involved in the TOTAL operation of a distribution center (CEDI) in real time, a detailed record of each product movement that occurs in the warehouse and optimizing operations of entry and exit of products.

Three ways to achieve a higher ROI with a WMS

  1. Increase productivity and reduce cycle time

In each of the processes present in the CeDis, advanced WMS improves productivity in comparison to the warehouse modules that an ERP has because it a) plans the needs thanks to the historical collection of times, users and movements, information that It is essential when making decisions; b) optimize the space automatically and recommend modifications according to the rotation of the product; and c) improves the flow of choice taking into account the route, location, characteristic of pollution, picking by wave, among others to optimize productivity.

2. Achieve mayor precision taking more detailed control

A WMS offers greater visibility and control over more details than an ERP warehouse module, as a result the management team can improve the accuracy and efficiency of orders, for example, by knowing the expiration dates; integrate teams that facilitate data capture and picking processes; reduce product identification errors, facilitate process changes such as cross-docking; recorder automatically the variable weight of units or pallets; bill services offered in case of being a 3PL; among others.

3. Improve visibility

Most of the ERP warehouse modules focus on quantitative control and inventory availability within the four walls of a CeDi, on the contrary the WMS provide a holistic view of the supply chain, this is done by example through proactive alerts, simultaneous consultation of the inventory status by managers, consultation of the status of an order by customers, viewing and downloading reports from different mobile devices, among others.

This vision on the advantages of a WMS over an ERP, as well as the idea of ​​the benefit that a company can have when acquiring a specialized and robust solution that manages all the processes and resources of the distribution center, facilitates decision making at the moment of starting a project

Although each company according to its nature identifies identifications are its needs and therefore the indicators on which its ROI will measure, it should be remembered that part of the success is in identifying the actual starting values ​​before having a WMS.


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