| EVS Mobile Warehouse Optimization

by : Thomas Cutler

Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler profiles the importance of mobile warehouse optimization in the current issue of

By minimizing the learning curve on new processes and technologies employees will adopt to the new culture more easily and rapidly, thus increasing the return on investment of the new application. Evan Garber, President of Escape Velocity System ( suggests, "Effective warehouse automation systems can navigate, lookup, and validate entries with the scan of a single barcode. Warehouse and plant functions handled by these mobile technologies eliminate the need for employees to hit a series of keys and commands to get to a function within the system, lookup selected data, and risk putting the correct information in the wrong field." No longer will the lot number accidentally end up in the location field. By Increasing the visibility and accuracy of warehouse operations lean efficiencies are realized.

Increase the accuracy, speed, and effectiveness of the receiving department with a Mobile Warehouse Smart-Barcode technology quickly teaches employees how to perform the receiving function. With a couple scans from a barcode reader, inventory is received, compared to the purchase order, and validated against the receiving rules that have been clearly defined; labels are then printed with desired information. By empowering receiving personnel to enter inventory receipts at the dock lean efficiencies are realized.

According to Garber, "The benefits of real time data entry with a Mobile Warehouse, empowers employees to capture data at the point of origination providing faster and more accurate inventory reporting."

Creating a Pull environment - caps the amount of WIP in the system, and ensures that processes are driven by actual demand. In a near to overcapacity environment, controlling the release of work into a work queue is equivalent to controlling the "gas pedal" on the lead time of a process. Garber suggests, "By regulating how work is released into job-specific work queues, companies can greatly reduce lead time variability, which is shown to lead to higher work efficiency in a near capacity environment. The relationship between amount of WIP and lead time is described by "Little's Law", a cornerstone of Lean understanding. Controlling WIP can also can increase velocity of cash flow by prioritizing inputs, and making sure that the higher value processes get priority."

Warehouse management often serves as one of the most costly components of a growing organization. Centrally managing orders to reduce costs, automating the receiving and put-away process to improve productivity, achieving optimal inventory control, keeping customer commitments with error-free order fulfillment, integrating shipping operations, and increasing productivity with mobile computing are central to cost-containment and short-term ROI of mobile warehouse technology investments. While change is often difficult, a change in technology systems, processes, and culture need not be difficult for employees. Adoption of new lean solutions must be a central element of strategic planning and operations automation excellence.

The term escape velocity refers to the speed that is necessary for an object to overcome gravity and soar into space. EVS provides direct applications for businesses looking for a catalyst, not just a software package. Process manufacturers require the best software solution coupled with industry experience that will accelerate the velocity with which they race towards their goals. The gravity of status-quo opposes aggressive, cutting edge organizations as they strive towards high quality and short lead time delivery while reducing inventories and operating costs.

The entire article may be read at