Manhattan Associates Inc. has announced significant improvements to its Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) to help retailers, distributors and logistics companies remaster the art of fulfilment by improving order flexibility, maximising asset utilisation and expanding mobile workflows.
Leading brands that formerly relied on retail partners to distribute their products are racing to improve their revenues, margins and customer relationships by expanding their direct-to-consumer (DTC) business. According to Forbes, the number of manufacturers selling directly to consumers is expected to grow 71% this year. However, traditional warehouses have not been designed to handle small DTC orders.
Manhattan Associates now has improved its WMS solution for today's connected commerce world. The updated solutions provide unprecedented order intelligence and optimisation, unmatched orchestration of man and machine and unrivalled workforce agility and efficiency.
"The need for improved speed, efficiency, visibility and accountability are reverberating throughout the supply chain and are influencing warehouse operations," said Eddie Capel, president and CEO of Manhattan Associates. "Manhattan is proud to enhance our market-leading Warehouse Management solutions with new intelligent optimisation, asset orchestration and workforce agility tools that address these changing needs."
Historically, warehouses have been designed as storage and deployment facilities for large, bulk quantities with wave fulfilment being the most efficient way to process these orders. Because traditional distribution centres didn't fully anticipate today's volume of e-commerce shipping, the industry has coped by building secondary facilities or dedicated areas in the main warehouse. These separate areas carry significant additional cost through their redundant equipment, inventory and labour.
Manhattan has enhanced its Order Streaming capabilities to produce a single, intelligent fulfilment optimisation engine capable of simultaneously processing wave, waveless and flow-through orders in a single facility. Order Streaming dynamically manages different fulfilment methods with reduced order processing times, increased accuracy and higher service levels, using machine learning to orchestrate activities between workforce and automation assets.
Warehouse Execution System
Recent advancements in robotics and automation introduce many efficiencies to warehouse operations, and it is common for multiple brands and types of automation to be used within a single facility. Coordinating the disparate technologies to work together, as well as with the human workforce, requires an increasingly sophisticated integration layer that can anticipate the workload needed from the overall Warehouse Management System. Manhattan is the first company to embed a Warehouse Execution System (WES) within a WMS to efficiently orchestrate workflow across the full spectrum of resources. Manhattan's WES is built to integrate quickly and seamlessly with any automation and can coordinate operations across multiple sites.
"The use of robotic and automation technologies in the warehouse clearly adds value but does not preclude the need for thoughtful and efficient workflows," said Capel. "By embedding WES capabilities into our WMS, Manhattan is leveraging the industry's preeminent warehouse intelligence to orchestrate and maximise the performance of every resource."
Unified Distribution Control
In its newest WMS release, Manhattan is also delivering Unified Distribution Control, a responsive and intuitive user interface (UI) that leverages modern touchscreen technologies and data visualisation techniques to help supervisors see, diagnose, and fix anything from any location. The company's advanced analytics give managers a wide perspective of warehouse performance with actionable insights and respond to trends or issues in real time. The interface also includes an associate version that helps streamline task completion and reduce training times, giving users a consistent and familiar experience on both fixed stations and mobile tablet form factors across all major operating systems.