Microsoft Azure for WMS

As you might expect, Microsoft's cloud platform Azure is a power platform to deliver the next wave of technology to warehouse management solutions like WithoutWire. 

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Outbound Overview

What is Picking?

Picking is the main process that allows inventory to be removed from a warehouse. Pick requests include transactions such as sales orders, site transfers, manufacturing pick requests and replenishment picks to primary pick locations. These pick requests flow directly to and from your ERP system, CSV import/exports, or API calls.

If your using ERP Integration, Integration runs on a scheduled basis, picking up sales orders that have been added in your ERP, and importing them. Once an order is imported, anyone with access can pick against it.

Access to a pick requires:

  • user is authenticated
  • user has the correct role permissions for picking
  • user is in the assignment pool either manually assigned, or automatically depending on the configuration settings of your system.

If nobody has started picking product against the pick request, and edits are made to it in the ERP system or the pick request is re-imported through CSV or API calls, then integration will update the order for picking as well. Of course if someone is already picking against it, or the pick request is closed, no updates will be made.  If picking is already in progress, then the pick request must be either partially staged, unpicked, or the pick request must be deleted from the outbound web console.

Picking Devices

There are two major options for picking and they can be used together or separately to move product around or out of a warehouse. They are listed below with a brief description of their functionality.

  • Web Console:
    • Picking Console: The console where Orders can be managed. All the relevant details for an order can be seen here, including customer information, and date information, as well as specific lines on each order. The functionality for filtering, sorting, and grouping orders is very powerful, and can be used to manage orders effectively by almost any parameter. This is also the screen where Orders can be assigned to handheld users, so they can be received on their device.
    • Manual Order Fulfillment: This allows a web console user to pick an order via the web, instead of through a handheld device. This is typically used when there is an issue with handheld picking, or in other special cases, since the user picking is most likely not at a picking staging or shipping location while using this feature. Because of this only a subset of the full picking features are available when using this method.
  • iOS or Android Device
    • The iOS or Android devices allow a user in the warehouse to accomplish picking. Scanning is required for picking to occur.  There are four ways to scan barcodes using these devices:
      1. Bluetooth integrated Barcode scanners such as Socket Mobile
      2. Built-in camera
      3. Warehouse purpose made device such as Zebra and Honeywell provide
      4. data is manually keyed in

Picking Flow

flowimg1

The chart above is a general order in which the parts of picking take place in WithoutWire. Below are the basic flow of events in picking, and a basic description of each. Of course, this flow can happen independently for each pick request.

The process is flexible in that it allows for stopping and starting at any point. This means that a user can pick half of the product for a line, or half of the lines on a pick request, and exit out of the picking module and come back to it later to finish it up.

  1. Sales Order/Pick Request is Created:
    • A pick request can be created in various ways:
      • Import from an external source such as an ERP system
      • Auto created based on min/max levels in primary bin locations, manufacturing locations, or offsite locations
      • Site transfers generated via intelligent bin transfers such as with field service techs moving inventory
  2. Integration Imports Orders/Pick Requests:
    • This usually does not require any user interaction in the case of ERP or API integration.  CSV Imports of pick requests are done manually.
  3. Web User Assigns Pick to User:
    • Your system is setup to either auto-assign incoming pick requests to all users with picker roles set, or a user with web access can assign pick requests from the Web Console. They then choose a user or users that will be assigned to the order (Unless they are using Manual Order Fulfillment. In that case the order is not assigned, and is picked on the Web).
  4. iOS and Android User Picks
    • The assigned user picks against assigned the pick request when product is ready to be picked for the customer or destination site.
  5. Staging the Pick
    • The user may stage an order in a designated staging location based on Customer or Route.
  6. Shipping the Order
    • The user may choose to ship the pick request directly from the Web Console.

Throughout the Outbound Features section of the Support Center are several pages that have been created to help familiarize the user with the outbound operations within the system.