Robotics & Automation News

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Schaefer launches new warehouse management system

SSI Schaefer is claiming to be ushering intralogistics into a new era of optimized performance and guaranteed maximum information transparency with WAMAS LRM, its new “Labour and Resource Management” system.

The intelligent system is said to look at everything from individual processes to the entire internal material flow in order to optimize procedures and productivity.

It is the latest addition to the range of  IT services based on proprietary logistics software WAMAS, developed by SSI Schaefer, a global provider of solutions for warehouse and logistics systems.

Whether as a standalone system linked to an existing WMS or as a built-in component of WAMAS, the LRM system not only captures data on the total productivity of all intralogistics employees, but also the performance of the warehouse itself.

All the acquired data can be analysed individually, in groups, or by shift productivity. Following in-depth analysis of the data, WAMAS LRM optimises the use of all resources to enhance the efficiency of operations for the day-to-day running of the warehouse.

“WAMAS LRM provides for total transparency in all staff-related warehouse processes,” explains Franz Bauer-Kieslinger, Executive Vice President IT Solutions.

“We anticipate that it will deliver productivity gains somewhere in the region of two percentage points. It will also add procedural and process analyses plus optimisation to our stable of logistics services.”

The new model from SSI Schaefer calculates all distances that have to be covered and the resulting transit and lifting times in the warehouse.

Depending on the transport devices used or the walking speed of the warehouse staff, the system divides every warehouse process into freely definable blocks of time.

Target times for each activity are then compared with the actual times in order to calculate productivity, evaluate it in real time, and to compare and analyze value-adding and non value-adding work.

More than ever the use of efficiency-boosting workforce management systems is proving to be a decisive commercial advantage in highly competitive markets.

Due to the constantly increasing volumes that have to be handled in warehouses and retrieval quantities that vary enormously due to promotional events such as “Black Friday”, the pressure on warehouse operators is also increasing.

“This trend makes the efficient use and swift provision of resources, as well as in-depth monitoring of productivity, more important than ever. It also means that even bigger intralogistics systems and more staff are required,” adds Bauer-Kieslinger.

Generally speaking, the bigger the workforce in the warehouse, the more attractive a sophisticated workforce management system becomes.

The IT experts at SSI Schaefer are pursuing a long-term vision in WAMAS LRM and are working on ways to develop the system further – by ensuring a seamless combination of automated and human performance.

In future, not only will all work processes carried out by warehouse employees be captured, but those of machines too. It will then be possible to take this into account when planning the ideal combination of material handling devices and human workforce.

In the next step, warehouse throughput and resulting workload forecasts will support detailed staff and workplace planning, tailored to every single warehouse.

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