Honeywell Logistics Solutions provides flexible and integrated warehouse management for leading cold food industry customer

Established in 1993, our customer, is now one of the leading enterprises in the cold food industry in East China. It is a large-scale cold food manufacturing enterprise integrated with R&D, production, storage, transportation and sales.

The company has established 19 sales branches and more than 130 direct business departments in East China, including Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, etc.

What were our customer’s requirements?

Following a sustained period of company growth, our customer began to experience operational bottlenecks, resulting in the need to optimise and upgrade internal systems and technology. In addition to the drastic reforms in the production area, Wufeng introduced information systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), KOA, Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) as its core measures to improve internal management.

In 2014, they also began a warehouse renovation project and upgraded their hardware and software. With their previous management experience and transformation goals, their logistic department compiled detailed warehouse management requirements.

For food companies, food safety is the lifeblood of development, so every link in the supply chain must be strictly controlled to ensure food safety. For frozen foods, warehouse management requires a balance between precise batch management and operational efficiency to optimise intensive storage space.

The efficient scheduling and collaboration of hardware devices such as shuttle cars, RFID, LED displays, and on-site leanness operations required the support from a WMS which is highly intelligent and flexible.

How did we meet our customer’s order?

With Honeywell Logistics Solutions Warehouse Management System (HLS WMS), we were able to refine the management of intensive storage operations in its main warehouse. The warehouse includes one-way access to deep shuttle shelves that hold 43 pallets, gravity shelves, single deep shelves, complex and diverse storage forms with different stacking standards and rack heights, making the general racking strategy and turnover rules unsuitable for on-site operations and batch management requirements. To solve this challenge, HLS WMS optimised the warehouse to have multiple deep positions that are sorted by production date to meet the batch management requirements for one-way access shuttle shelves.

Operational effectiveness and hardware integration were also a high priority for the project, as the cold storage environment had strict temperature requirements. To meet these requirements, during the planning process work tasks in each temperature zone were fully considered to ensure overall product picking operations would be smooth and efficient. HLS WMS also needed to drive the hardware devices such as handheld RF terminal, vehicle terminal and RFID, ensuring that all devices worked in unison.

HLS WMS needed to be able to adapt to multiple sets of operation procedures across peak seasons and quieter operational periods. With that, we identified and defined multiple sets of operation procedures to address the differences, and effectively manage operating costs and increase inventory usage and operational efficiency.

Considering that our customer’s warehouses are located nationwide and the conditions and environment of each warehouse are different, tracing all products and having accurate records of containers from production to customer delivery is critical. To accomplish this, HLS WMS now provides a unique ID to manage multiple warehouse containers throughout the entire process. For whole palletised SKU transferring between warehouses, the container ID from the original warehouse is automatically recorded to avoid repeated scanning of the collected pallets by different warehouses. This creates a container-to-container binding relationship, which can trace all container ID inventory movement information, which also makes SKU tracing easy as the container ID can be defined when needed.

In the future, our customer’s production bases, regional warehouses and transit warehouses across the country will feature unified container ID management and traceability throughout the entire process.

HLS WMS has also provided features that provide our customer with enhanced operator performance management. The WMS records workload data of high-fork workers, front-shifting operators, rear-shifting operators, front-end transceivers, loading and unloading operators, and code pallet operators. The system calculates the workload statistics for single or multiple employees by order, type, and region, then according to different operation time intervals, can calculate the operator workload statistics.

HLS WMS has configured multiple LED display screens for our customer’s warehouses and each LED displays real-time information such as loading conditions, vehicle parking information, replenishment information to guide different warehouse operators. The LED displays highlight operations in different colours according to different working conditions so that the operator can better recognise the completion of the task.

What was the end result?

The integration of HLS WMS system has provided our customer with improvement in efficiency and accuracy with their inventory movement.

Furthermore, now that our customer has shifted its operations toward multiple warehouses collaborative management, HLS WMS has unified and standardised the management of their logistics centre for different storage types and different locations, helping them achieve intensive, lean and integrated management.