Managing Smart Replenishment Orders Within Your Supply-Chain

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When a warehouse is out of stock, or immediate replenishment is necessary to be able to serve customer orders efficiently, then a replenishment purchase order must be created.

Replenishment purchase orders are therefore purchases from a supplier that are intended to supply a warehouse, i.e. they are linked to a physical warehouse to replenish goods that are in short supply. 

What is a warehouse replenishment order?

A warehouse replenishment purchase order is a document that reflects the goods to be purchased from a supplier to replenish a warehouse that has shortages, while a warehouse replenishment order is a document that reflects a movement of goods to be carried out in a warehouse, from one location to another, usually in order to facilitate picking operations.

There is a lot of confusion with this type of orders but in this article we will try to clarify them. The first thing is to differentiate between warehouse replenishment order and warehouse replenishment purchase order.

Benefits of Efficient Stock Replenishment Process

In logistics, robotization and new technologies are helping to improve the supply chain and warehousing processes.

Today, product inventory management methods benefit greatly from these advances.

We talk about ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning), WMS (Warehouse Management System) and WCS (Warehouse Control System).

These software programs enable the various stages of the supply chain to be monitored with precision, particularly order preparation, a key factor in customer satisfaction.

From procurement, to delivery, to safety stock, all aspects of the supply chain are reviewed by digital inventory management tools.

With Unilog, discover the main advantages of such a computerized operation.

1 – Save time 

Our digital platform “Logivice” offers all users visibility on inventory management. The listing of products in stock is optimized. The inventory is carried out in an easier and faster way. This time saving allows you to move more quickly to the next steps (order preparation, packaging, delivery, returns management…). 

The competitiveness of the entire organization is thus improved. 

 2 – Limit errors

When it comes to calculations, an automated inventory management software like ours is more reliable and efficient than an operator working on Excel. The risk of error is thus limited, and stock shortages or disproportionate restocking are more easily avoided.

Inventory management thus becomes more precise. 

3 – Avoid unsold stock with a predictive solution

Unsold products are synonymous with an unprofitable investment (or one that is too slow to be profitable). They are expensive in terms of storage and take up space that could be dedicated to fast-moving products, which are easier to sell.

An ERP or WMS can be associated with a WCS such as the Unilog Software system. In this case, it visualizes the future orders taking into account the quantities of products to be disposed of according to :

  • the used stock
  • the time spent in the storage area of the SKUs (stock keeping units)
  • the amount of the last orders

7 – Sustainable development

Thanks to efficient software, a company can increase its resilience and competitiveness. As a vector of the improvements mentioned above, Unilog packages allow your company to set up a new organization.

Inventory management is optimized, more profitable in the short term, and able to cope with unforeseen events: the rise of e-commerce, covid-19, omnichannel flow…

The improvement of the quality of your services translates into customer satisfaction which contributes to the sustainability of your business. In addition, for companies with multiple warehouses, inventory management software is able to synchronize data from different sites. 

In the warehouse, any time saved, no matter how small, contributes to reducing lead time (the time between the establishment of the order and the actual delivery). 

What is the objective? To be able to deliver in the shortest possible time by responding accurately to the order placed.

To achieve this, technological developments are at the heart of the future of the automated warehouse. The combination of ERP/WMS and WCS software helps to optimize the warehouse and its various tasks.

In addition, the IoT (Internet of Things) will gradually become a standard in the sector. In logistics, IoT refers to the interconnection of the Internet and objects in order to carry out ever more precise operations with security and speed. 

Researchers from MIT attest that :

“human/robot collaboration is 85% more productive than human or robotic work alone”.

Unilog already offers you a complete solution that includes :

  • a WCS, to be combined with your internal management software,
  • and mobile systems, which support your logistic operators’ work.
  • For any logistician, these evolutions greatly facilitate decision making.

Thanks to Unilog, you can now be ahead of your time, benefit from a serious competitive advantage, and better apprehend the challenges of the years to come.

Stock Replenishment Process through Supply Chain

To understand the scenario, let’s imagine that we have a relatively large warehouse, i.e. it has different shelves, with different locations on different levels. If we follow good practices, we should have in the row closest to the floor (those that are more accessible to our operators) the picking locations, that is, the locations to which our operators will access to pick the goods during the picking process in the fastest way, since they will not need to climb a ladder to pick them, they have them at hand. In the higher rows we can have more goods of the same type, but what does not make sense is that they are all located at the top and there are none at the bottom, forcing the operators to climb the stairs. If we have our system properly configured, there should always be units for collection in the bottom row. In this way, when the system generates the list of locations where the operator has to go to pick the goods, it will always suggest picking from the row closest to the floor, facilitating and speeding up the picking process (it would not make sense for the system to order us to pick the goods from the top if there is stock at the bottom).

Moving on with our example, let’s suppose that during the day there has been a lot of demand for a particular product, and we have left the lower bins empty, or almost empty. In the night supervision process, the system generates the picking orders for the next day, but realizes that there will not be enough stock in the lower rows to serve the orders, which will force the operators to climb the stairs, with the consequent loss of time. At that moment, the system will check the upper bins for materials to replenish the lower bins, if found, it will automatically generate replenishment orders, specifying the operators to pick from the upper bins materials to replenish the lower bins. In this way, the operators preparing the orders will still have the materials at hand and will not waste time climbing the ladders.

Therefore, a warehouse replenishment order does not specify which materials from the more inaccessible bins are to be moved to the more accessible bins, or picking to facilitate order assembly tasks.

What do we do?

So far so clear, we already know how to organize ourselves so that part of the team reorganizes the stock in advance so that the other part of the team, the one that picks the materials to prepare the orders, does it in the fastest way. But …. what if when we go to get the products from the upper areas, there are no more? Or we are simply below the stock lines that we have defined for security of service.

In that case we will create a warehouse replenishment purchase order. The document is not for our operators, but for the supplier to send goods to our warehouse. Unilog generates the replenishment purchase orders automatically depending on how the system is configured. The most interesting thing is that this type of document also automatically generates orders for receiving goods in the warehouse, so that warehouse operators will know at all times when goods arrive at the warehouse, from which suppliers, how many units, etc… and the system will automatically inform them after receipt of the locations to which they have to take them.

That said, this all sounds great, but you need a platform to help you manage it. Unilog does all this and more. When it comes to automating inventory management and providing exception-based shipping monitoring, Unilog’s powerful digital platform Logivice can help. This frees us up to concentrate on finding solutions and taking corrective action when disruptions happen. Unilog also takes into account your company’s global fulfillment goals and uses technology to help you meet them.

Unilog is a platform that offers you all this and much more. We are a 4PL / 3PL Logistics & Supply Chain Management platform that will provide you with all the functionality your business needs in a synchronized way and in a single tool. 

Contact us for more information, a consultant will be happy to answer your questions.

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