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Central availability of inventory data with ERP

IoT Use Case - neoception, e-Kanban
4 minutes Reading time
4 minutes Reading time

When developing a warehouse strategy, the type of goods supply and withdrawal as well as the design of the transport routes are decisive for process efficiency. Time is often lost in these tasks, yet there is great potential in improving these processes. Stocks are frequently checked by manual warehouse inspections, which involves travel time and also physical effort. But access to all necessary material inventory data without manual on-site inspection is no longer a pipe dream.

The challenge: High effort due to lack of transparency

In the withdrawal processes themselves, the planning department often lacks transparency. This process is often carried out by employees on the basis of manual recounts of the units of measure. These inventories, which have to be recorded retrospectively, generate a great deal of work.

Comprehensive accounting is also part of an ERP system. This not only relates to the existing stocks in the warehouse, but also regulates the receipt and issue of goods, documents changes and creates forecasts of future requirements based on the current order situation. In general, the warehouse management system or the inventory management system integrated into it serves as a tool for intralogistics inventory. The monetary valuation of the inventories determined on the basis of the inventory is usually carried out in the ERP system. In the case of subsequently recorded inventories and differences, these have to be transferred manually from paper into the system. This affects data records such as stock figures, minimum quantity, safety stock, order trigger stock as well as the maximum stock of the item. Similar time losses also result from regular manual inventory corrections. The lack of central availability of this data also leads to challenges in subsequent processes.

The solution: a digitalized Kanban process

Here, access to all necessary material inventory data without manual on-site checks no longer has to be a pipe dream. After all, digital innovation provides the necessary solutions to optimize material-related search efforts, inventory checks, replenishment processes as well as cycle times – ideally also in conjunction with lean management methods such as Kanban.

This is where Neoception steps in. Located in Mannheim and surrounded by large tech companies, highly qualified experts in software development, engineering, cloud technologies, business development and product design work together with customers and partners on future-oriented digital solutions. With its process consulting, Neoception supports its customers in every step of connecting products and systems with the digital worlds. The process consulting accompanies the company from the initial brainstorming, through an analysis of the current situation and value stream analysis, requirements definition, mapping and definition of processes, concept development, implementation and integration, to the development, connection, to the development of completely new business models. With the Neoception solution, the operator/worker are supported by visual assistance on both the filling and withdrawal sides. 

By using automation technologies such as RFID or barcodes, the individual parts bins are uniquely identified. Smart labels are used at shelves and integrated into the existing warehouse management system. These smart labels display information about the material (e.g. material number and material name) and can be adjusted centrally if the material changes. By pressing a button on the label, various functions in the warehouse management system can be triggered, such as material removal, reordering or replenishment – but also in production processes in the plant. With the help of optical sensors in the labels, combined with the use of RFID technology, a pick-by-light and put-to-light process can also be implemented to support employees, for example.

The solution includes customizable Kanban logic as standard, is cloud-based, scalable and can be centrally maintained, which means that the Kanban workflow has finally and completely been raised to the digital level. As a result, cycle times can be shortened and the entire process can be made more transparent, which increases overall process quality. It also optimizes working capital and integrates seamlessly with leading ERP systems.

The result: 100% transparency through automated material bookings and complete digitalization

This Kanban solution from Neoception is part of the Neoception ® Intralogistics Suite and is used to get more potential out of the processes. The solution is modular and extensible and can therefore be adapted to different challenges. Replenishment cycles are significantly improved so that working capital can be reduced by around 20%. And thanks to optimized inventory management in real time, manual inventory times are reduced to a minimum, with 100% transparency over the entire Kanban process.

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