Tag Archives: materials management

Latitude Tips & Tricks for Manufacturing and Production Tools

Welcome back to “Tips and Tricks for Latitude,” our series of blog posts to help make you a Latitude power user. This week we’re highlighting new tools for our manufacturing and production customers.

One Screen For Everything

Latitude now offers a production order web management screen that gives a one-page view of all information on a particular production order and its status. Many of our customers have production lines or manufacture chemicals; before they ship product to customers, it goes to their internal DC first. They told us that they need a way to track the status of orders across multiple shifts, since most of them run manufacturing facilities 24 hours a day. We had some functionality here before, but now we’ve expanded it to a one-page view that gives the status of the order and all the details the new crew needs to know when they come in to work.

Bonus: Print Item-Specific Documents While Shipping

Here’s a bonus feature that didn’t fit into any of our other blog posts. Latitude can automatically print item-specific documents at shipping. Manufacturer lot information, MSDS, hazmat labels or certification information are common uses. To set this up, follow these steps:

  1. Create a directory in Latitude where electronic copies of your item documents can be stored
  2. Go to Application Setup in Latitude Management Console, click the Other tab, check the box marked Print Item Documents? and enter the path to the documents
  3. Go into System Settings and enable the Print Items Documents at Ship and/or Print Linked Lot Documents at Ship options
  4. Edit the Item master record in Latitude under Documents to specify the document that will print.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to check back soon to learn how a Latitude System Audit can improve your warehouse efficiency. As always, if you have a suggestion for a new Latitude feature or a specific problem you’re trying to solve, please let us know. You can reach our Support Team at 1-888-627-9797.

 

Competing With Giants

This feature article from the latest issue of Inbound Logistics profiles several small and medium-sized businesses that are using information technology to stay competitive with industry giants. It’s a good read and highlights an important fact about the modern warehouse industry. These days, every distributor is competing with worldwide e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Alibaba and Snapdeal. How can small and medium-sized businesses remain competitive without the resources of these huge companies? Customer service is one big differentiator, but there are also many ways that even small companies can use information technology strategically to achieve similar levels of speed, efficiency and flexibility as their bigger peers.

Here are some PathGuide customers who implemented Latitude WMS to solve specific problems and put themselves on even footing with larger industry competitors.

HUB Industrial Supply keeps up with e-retailers like Amazon and Fastenal by focusing on exceptional customer service and just-in-time delivery. After several years of strong growth, executives were concerned that HUB couldn’t keep using small-company processes as it grew into a medium-sized company. HUB chose Latitude to “future-proof” its warehouse, knowing that the WMS would easily scale with them.

Fisheries Supply, located in Seattle, Washington, relies on the local maritime industry for much of its business. They used some of the features in Latitude WMS to build its own will-call system that can have orders ready in as little as 15 minutes. Latitude WMS automatically prioritizes these orders for picking and sends the customer a text message when the order is ready. Fisheries Supply has built a loyal following among local mechanics and boat owners who depend upon this system for its quick turnaround.

One of the specific goals that Jensen Distribution Services had for implementing a WMS was to reduce training time for new employees. By replacing an outdated paper-based receiving process with a paperless one and implementing hands-free voice picking, Jensen was able to reduce weeks of training down to a matter of days, and decreased picking errors by 95%.

C-A-L Ranch, a chain of farm and ranch supply stores, had seasonal spikes in product demand that turned the distribution center floor into a bottleneck. Hiring seasonal labor was not a feasible solution, so Latitude WMS helped C-A-L Ranch be more productive with the same number of workers and get through busy periods without product piling up in the distribution center.

What is inventory management and how does it work?

Watch how a single product enters a warehouse, is received, tracked, and then later picked and shipped. This is how inventory management works with a Latitude Warehouse Management System.

Track how inventory is managed through both handheld scanners and Latitude Web (a web-based management tool that gives you real-time insight into where inventory is and where it’s not). From the time that a product is received into the warehouse until the moment it is shipped out to a customer, Latitude WMS makes the management of inventory easy.

Whether you sell small, inexpensive goods or large, industrial machinery (or both), Latitude Warehouse Management System will help you automate your inventory management, so you won’t have any nasty surprises when an order is placed.