Event-Driven Replenishment and Warehouse Workforce Management

Today’s support activities, from replenishment and priority waves to receiving and shipping in the warehouse, need to evolve under B2B/B2C convergence. New methods and labor processes that are event and customer driven are more crucial than ever before.

The advent of Omni-Channel eFulfillment and eCommerce sales, such as web orders tendered by 2PM (requiring same-day dynamic pick and ship), are prime examples of new requirements that are having a direct impact on replenishment. This Dynamic Real-Time Order Dispatch clearly impacts Cluster Picking (defined in Part 2 of my blog series) since additions/changes to an order that has been prepped, or is inflight, will require real-time interdiction into picking and fulfillment workflows as well as employee tasks. All of these event-driven changes surrounding orders and fulfillment have a corresponding impact on replenishment.

The leaders, as the top 30% performers, stress integration of dynamic event processing solutions to the often overlooked replenishment functions (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Replenishment eCommerce Event-driven Capabilities Compared

Replenishment eCommerce Event Driven Capabilities Compared
On average across the advanced tasks listed in Figure 1, the leaders are as much as 2.8x as likely as their peers to have capabilities in place to handle the various event-driven process flows required of their operations as it pertains to the often overlooked replenishment tasks.

  • 2.08x – Hot replenishment (an unexpected shortage can trigger an immediate replenishment of a given bin)
  • 1.94x – Hold replenishment tasks and release only when it is known that the required amount will fit into the pick location (time replenishment to coincide with picking)

The ability to dispatch a Hot Replenishment or Hold Replenishment task in real-time to a worker cannot happen in the absence of a dynamic event-driven mobility solution. With the recent advances in multimodal scan and voice technology, the leaders are proving that such event-driven dynamic processing requirements for replenishment no longer need to go unaddressed. These capabilities are enhanced with a discrete and predetermined engineered standard which can optimize replenishment activities by minimizing travel distance via synchronization to regular and priority replenishment plans from the warehouse management system as well as XYZ layout grid.

Beyond replenishment standards for indirect labor, functions can likewise provide medium to high levels of labor as indicated in Table 1.

Table 1: Ranking of Medium to High Gains in Productivity by Functional Area:

48% – Receiving
54% – Put-away to warehouse storage
55% – Picking-Each
55% – Picking-Case
50% – Picking-Pallet
49% – Replenishment
46% – Packing
56% – Shipping
40% – Value-added service

Three key distinct areas of labor management productivity, beyond pick/replenish, are receiving, shipping, and putaway with gains in the 49% to 58% range. Even areas such as QA, value-added services like DC level garment on retail-ready hangers, and reverse logistics have an adoption level in the 40% range amongst companies currently using labor-management

In a series of blogs that follows we will further discuss best practices and solutions for enterprise-wide labor and workforce management (LMS/WFM).

Don’t miss my previous posts in this series –  “Omni-Channel Commerce – Event-Driven Labor and Workforce Management” and “Key Capabilities Required for Omni-Channel and Direct to Consumer Fulfillment.”

If you would like to learn more, please register for our upcoming webinar featuring Aberdeen and DSC Logistics.

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