Use your data from WMS with Business Intelligence

10/05-17

BI transforms company data to clear and easy to access information, provides overview, measures results and give insight into the future.

Most companies have large amounts of data recorded in their warehouse management system. In this data is valuable information that can help make better decisions and be ahead of developments in the business. Data is worth money and for many companies it is an unused source of information. Often the raw data is not sorted or easy to access for the company. This is where Business Intelligence comes in.

Axacon's BI transforms unclear data to easy to understand information and can present it visually in a way it makes sense to the common leader or employee. It could e.g. be by presenting lost goods as a graph over a certain time period. BI is designed to be user-friendly for employees and leaders in the companies, so it is possible to get information immediately and without use of technical help from others.

Companies with a system for warehouse management as Axacon WMS possess incredible volumes of data about themselves. BI uses this potential of the enormous amount of data, which is already written down by WMS.

Nobody can tell what the future will bring, but with BI decisions can be made on data instead of experience and gut feelings. It could e.g. be a growth business needing more storage. It is more reliable figuring out the need for storage space, when you have access to a lot of information on the development in warehouse inventory.

 

And, if I already have a BI-programme?

There are companies who already have BI to some extent to handle data from their ERP. That only increases the functionality of Axacons BI, because all warehouse data can be transferred to the company's original BI. That gives the company assess to both warehouse data and data on economy. This increases the possibilities of comparing and analyzing data. A company misses out on big data volumes about themselves, when BI is only used in the economics management.

 

Mail service

It is possible to set up, so that specific KPIs are send as mail in certain intervals. It could be number of pick lines a week, warehouse output each quarter or a monthly list of lost goods.


The three layers of Business Intelligence

Overview – Self-Service – Forecast

Overview is the most basic element in BI. Relevant KPIs can be continually observed and visualized, so development in the business is clear. E.g. a company with an ambition to pick more per pick line can follow the development and see if things move in the right direction.

Self-Service is an opportunity that builds on the overview. Companies with different goals and different interests in forms of information on their business. BI is a user-friendly platform where leaders or relevant employees can look up different information and combine data as to what is relevant. It saves time and money, because it does not require a call to the WMS-supplier. Also, there is more knowledge locally at the company about how things go together, and what is interesting to know.

Forecast is a way to read information pulled out with BI. It is very different what the companies can analyse from this. It is e.g. possible to create some expectations to how many goods are being shipped from the warehouse based on prior number combined with development over time. It is possible to be prepared on very busy periods in the warehouse, so staffing can be set accordingly. It can save overtime payment and night work, which is an extra cost and probably also not popular with the staff.

 

Examples of use

It is almost only the imagination that puts limits on what BI can be used for. A sharp analytic can find connections that were not obvious before and that are particularly relevant of the specific company.

What can I see in BI?

Overview of KPIs with daily, weekly or yearly measurements

Output and input from the warehouse and the development here

Pick lines per day and number of picks per pick line

Staff productivity (e.g. pick per hour)

Number of work hours at night

Efficiency of temps and new staff

Measure time consumption of different places in the warehouse process

Find expired goods or soon to expire goods

Number of return shipments 

 

What can I use the information for?

 

Find most productive employees

Find bottlenecks at picking and packing

Limit night work and overtime

Investigate loss of goods and other errors

Find out what goods that most often expire (warehouse regulation)

Find out what goods are being send back

Identify goods that are not profitable

 

Concrete examples:

How long does a training take?

You can see the efficiency of an experienced worker and compare with a new employee and see when the new employee approaches same efficiency. It can help predict when it is time to hire new staff, so they are fully up and running when the company expects it to become busy in the warehouse.

 

Create more warehouse room

You want more goods in the warehouse and must consider if there are other goods that most go to create room. You can ask the system to find goods with low output, high volume and a value under a fixed limit. Then you have a list of the less value goods filling up the warehouse and seldom leave the warehouse. From this data the leader can consider if it is a good idea to keep the dead goods, that take up room and not making much profit.

 

Be aware that:

Business Intelligence requires good habits in the warehouse in giving correct data. It also requries knowledge of how employees normally scan goods and register information in the system. It may cause wrong interpretation of data, that BI show.

Example: The company registers goods with expired date as lost goods. The same happens to goods that are only damaged. Let us say, the company wants to know how many goods are being thrown out, because it expires. The numbers will be inaccurate, because the system can not register the difference. This can be solved by registering expired goods and lost goods separately.