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Technology

Early adopters of warehouse automation gain a competitive advantage

If your company has already selected and implemented a warehouse automation system, congratulations, you are an early adopter! Research shows that 80% of existing warehouses are still, for the most part, operating without automation.

Why are companies making the move? Warehouse intralogistics is complex - especially for companies with 1,500 or more warehouse (pallets) locations, 1,000 or more delivery note items per day, and/or 300 orders or more per day. There are two other scenarios driving companies to make the move to warehouse automation. Either they are building new warehouse facilities or they recognize it’s time for a warehouse system upgrade. Managing the complexities of coordinating humans and robots, cranes or forklifts, or moving parts or products from one place to the other, requires a robust warehouse management system (WMS).

Warehouse automation is the key to optimizing warehouse intralogistics.

Whatever the impetus is, installing a modern warehouse automation system holds the potential to transform your business. If you are in the automotive parts manufacturing business, you have thousands of parts in your inventory. Finding and transporting those parts when you need them is a must-have. If pharmaceuticals is your business, your medications and other treatments likely require strict temperature control and more. Or, if you run an eCommerce business, efficient order processing and speedy delivery is a key to beating out your competition.

Do any of these scenarios resonate? That’s where companies like viastore SOFTWARE and First Line Software enter the picture as your solution provider and implementation experts.

German-based Viastore SOFTWARE built the comprehensive viadat systems WMS to simplify the complexities of warehouse intralogistics and streamline warehouse operations. Implementation partner First Line Software customizes and finetunes installations of viadat WMS to meet our clients’ precise requirements and optimize their business processes.

Viastore solutions are optimal for warehouses with complex intra-warehouse logistics. Many projects implemented by the First Line Software team have received a lot of market attention.

An example is the integration of WMS viastore systems via viastore Partnership at a Liebherr tower crane plant in Germany.

The production of tower equipment is carried out at a plant with an area of 850 thousand square meters without a dedicated storage area. Parts ranging from small items to giant assemblies weighing several tons are made in various workshops and stored throughout the plant. Hence the complexity of automation. Prior to the project, the stored parts were accounted for by means of "paper" records.

Viastore systems specialists delivered the viadat WMS system, handheld terminals and desktop workstations. The customization and configuration work on the hardware was carried out by First Line Software specialists.

The project took six months. During this time, the viadat WMS system was deployed at the plant and integrated with the ERP system. The project allowed the Liebherr plant to eliminate paperwork and streamline the unloading and temporary storage process. The system combines parts in such a way that they are unloaded to an assembly shop from one location. This automation process covered more than 3,000 of the plant’s storage locations.

One of the most challenging implementations was during the COVID pandemic. Our client needed to launch their WMS as soon as possible which required that First Line complete the implementation without visiting the site.

Attend our webinar on November 19 to hear about how we worked with our client to overcome the challenges of a 100% remote WMS customization, implementation and launch. We’ll share best practices and tips for communication and collaboration to capture and deliver on the client’s requirements, and the innovative thinking that led to an insider’s view of the system launch for all remote stakeholders, including the First Line Software team.

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David Tedford
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