Category Archives: Satellite Warehouse

Extend Latitude WMS Functionality to Your Smaller Facilities

Many of our customers love Latitude WMS and want to get all of their locations and employees using it. But, for small warehouses with just a handful of employees, the added expense of installing a dedicated RF terminal can be prohibitive. By “small” warehouse, we mean one with a small number of employees. They’re usually physically small as well, (under 10,000 square feet) but the limiting factor is the number of people working there and the hardware options they have available. Often these warehouses are remote branches in secondary locations, physically separated from the main distribution center or retail back rooms.

Version 10.0.112 of Latitude, released in June, includes a new module designed to solve this problem. The Satellite Warehouse Module allows our customers to extend Latitude into small warehouses for considerably less than full price.

PathGuide customers wanting to implement this module can now purchase a Small Warehouse Branch License for the additional location, which gives the warehouse staff access to Latitude via the new Latitude Activity Station. This will enable them to perform putaway, picking, inventory adjustment, inventory movement and cycle counting tasks using Latitude and paper forms instead of an RF terminal. All of Latitude’s basic inventory functionalities, including lot and serial numbers and employee metrics, will still apply. In order to maintain inventory accuracy, receiving is the one main function that still needs to be done using an RF terminal or by using the RF emulator with a wedge barcode scanner.

So, here’s an overview of how our small warehouse functionality works:

Putaway

This assumes that employees use a putaway cart or have a load that was received into inventory. To start, select the current inventory cart or load and create a Putaway Batch Job. A batch report will automatically be printed. During physical putaway, changes can be noted on the report and then keyed into the Putaway Batch Completion Screen in Latitude.

Inventory Adjustment and Inventory Movement

Latitude creates a form for each of these tasks and allows users to enter information about the item, bin, quantity, lot and serial numbers, a reason code, and additional notes. This can be flagged to adjust the host or not. Errors will be noted and any transactions that fail will not adjust inventory.

Cycle Counting

This is similar to Putaway. Latitude prints out a count sheet, which can be used to conduct the count and enter into a form in Latitude once complete. Note that counting emulates Directed by Bin or Directed by Items within the Latitude RF Terminal framework.

Picking

Latitude presents a list of orders in the Activity Station, similar to the way that auto batching of orders are currently assigned. When the orders to pick are selected, a pick batch is created and bins, lots and serial numbers are hard committed. Non-lot controlled items are assumed to be picked out of the primary bin if one exists, or based on a pick path if one does not. Lot controlled items will allocate picks based on current lot rules (shelf life, stock, etc.). Again, Latitude prints a paper Pick List to direct users during picking, and any changes can be entered into a Pick Completion form in the Activity Station after finishing the job. If the system is configured to auto-ship, the order will then be considered shipped and a final packing slip will be printed. If not, a Pick Load Contents report will be printed for each order.

If you’d like to learn more about this module, or wish to discuss your warehouse’s specific needs, you can always reach our Support Team at 1-888-627-9797.

 

Announcing Latitude 10.0.112 and the Satellite Warehouse Module

The next version of Latitude, which has just been released, features two new major features and several smaller updates. First is the Inbound Transportation Management module that helps customers manage incoming deliveries in Latitude WMS. Most warehouse management systems do not include this capability, but it’s a forward-thinking function that we are confident small and medium-sized distributors will benefit from. You can read more about that module here.

The second addition to Latitude WMS is our Satellite Warehouse Module, which extends Latitude into smaller satellite warehouses and lets them access the same inventory without the hardware investment. Like most of Latitude’s recent enhancements, it was created to address a need expressed by customers. Many of our customers have a distribution center with a few remote branches in secondary locations or retail back rooms. These satellite warehouses are usually too small to justify investing in on-site Latitude installations, but employees still wanted access to the system. We agree. You shouldn’t have to buy another full version of the software for three or four employees.

The Satellite Warehouse Module gives remote locations access to a ‘light’ version of Latitude, where most processes are “exception” based. As usual, employees will use an RF terminal for receiving. For all other processes (putaway, cycle counting, picking, packing and shipping) they will print a form and note any exceptions to their normal workflow. For example, in putaway a worker would make a note if he or she puts a product in a different bin than normal. After finishing the job, the worker would log into the Latitude Activity Station, key in the exceptions from the sheet and post them to the system. This gives all employees better insight to what happens at these locations.

The latest update also increases the number of zones allowed in Latitude, adds the ability to set different time zones for each Latitude Branch, and has a new Quarantine Window feature that prevents an item from being pickable in a user-defined time frame.

You can see more details about Latitude 10.0.112 in its release notes here. If you’d like to learn more about this module, or need to discuss another specific problem you’re trying to solve in your warehouse, you can reach our Support Team at 1-888-627-9797.