Cooper Software have a long-standing relationship with Harland & Wolff having...
Hamamatsu Photonics had recently upgraded their IFS ERP platform to version Applications 9. Following this, they entered a period of business improvement reviews to drive more efficiencies and leverage the use of IFS across more of the business. At their site in Herrsching am Ammersee, Germany, Hamamatsu Photonics were constructing a brand-new warehouse to house their supply chain processes and wanted to ensure the efficient use of IFS to underpin these processes for increased traceability and stock visibility. More specifically, they wanted to implement a mobile data capture solution to allow their warehouse operators to make use of barcodes for the handling and tracking of inventory/sales parts and reduce the manual burden on the order processing team.
“Cooper software was a great help with our first steps into a location-bound warehouse system. The High-Level Unit solution they have provided is a real game changer for our logistics.
Stephan Kalkschmidt, Warehouse
Cooper Software worked with Hamamatsu Photonics to undertake a Business Information Review (BIR) to review their supply chain related processes, from procurement and purchase order receipt, through to customer order fulfilment. The BIR examined the key business requirements and data workflows. Based on the outcomes from this, a solution would be proposed for the use of mobile data capture where appropriate.
The BIR was carried out through a process-focused workshop which was conducted on-site at the Herrsching am Ammersee facility, including a walk round of the current stores and of the warehouse currently under construction.
The BIR and its workshop covered the following:
• Review of the current business processes
• The main processes and the issues and challenges
•How these processes worked
•Who carried out these processes and why
•How much of the process was in the current IFS solution
•How much of the process was performed outside of IFS
•What manual processes existed and the paper documents that were used
• What improvements could be made
Based on our analysis of the key business requirements, we discovered that Hamamatsu Photonics existing data capture process was very manual therefore the chance of error was high. What’s more it was heavily paper based. Stock levels were also updated offline therefore there was a lack of accuracy.
We recommended that Hamamatsu Photonics implement the ACQUIRE™ mobile data capture solution. Whilst the WaDaCo solution available in IFS Applications 9 was very capable, there were 3 critical areas where we believed it was not an appropriate fit for Hamamatsu Photonics:
1. The receipt of goods that are received in boxes with multiple batch or serial numbers in the box. Hamamatsu used the WDR to capture and track the box number. This data was very important to ensure that the boxes remained intact and any sales order for a given batch could also select the other batches in the box.
2. For the outbound process, it was not possible to interface WaDaCo with the weigh scales in order to capture the weight of the boxes.
3. It was not possible to configure WaDaCo to directly interface with the UPS WorldShip system in order to produce the shipping labels when required.
Cooper Software recommended the roll out of ACQUIRE to the incoming goods and manufacturing processes. By configuring areas of IFS and implementing ACQUIRE transactions for receipt of goods, inventory management and picking/packing of customer orders, the ACQUIRE platform would allow the warehouse team to immediately operate more effectively and efficiently.
More importantly however, it would allow the in-line capture of the required process data in order to provide key management information around the tracking of inventory, material usage and waste of raw material. The new ACQUIRE solution would:
• Integrate seamlessly and in real-time with IFS.
• Create part identification labels in order to easily track the goods.
• Improve traceability of batches in the supply chain to alleviate the need for operators to capture quality data on paper forms.
• Automate multiple system transactions in order to simplify the process for the end users.
• Provide a foundation for future rollout of the new warehouse processes.
Cooper Software proposed an incremental approach to delivering the full warehouse solution. By adopting this approach, feedback could be addressed on a phased basis, based on the previous increment in terms of any issues found or changes required.
This approach mitigated any risk in managing the change by ensuring the key stakeholders had early visibility of the solution and had sufficient time to become familiar with the new business processes. The approach also allowed those responsible for the technical infrastructure (server, handheld devices and RF network) to introduce the new technology in a gradual way – for example, set up of a single access point and device for initial testing and training.
Furthermore, we proposed an iterative approach that allowed us to deliver specific processes early and often by first implementing the most common flows and then iteratively add support for the special processes or handling of exceptions.
Increment 1 - Warehouse Test Bed: Cooper Software implemented the standard, out-of-the-box process flows for purchase order receipt, move into stock, change location, and customer order picking – this will include only the standard inventory part tracking label. The key deliverable from this process was establishing a working model of the mobile data capture solution, in-situ in the warehouse and using the handheld devices.
Increment 2 - Special Processes: building on the standard out-of-the-box process flows previously delivered, this increment added the support for the Hamamatsu Photonics special processes for both receiving and dispatching goods including any specific design for the part identification label. That is, the ability to receive the lot-batch/serially tracked parts per box and the integration with the weighing process for the outbound logistics. The key deliverable from this increment was the first version of the mobile data capture transactions to support the full end-to-end warehouse process including the Hamamatsu Photonics specific process flows. It was possible to go-live following this increment with the continued use of their existing add on solution, CLAUDIA, for the generation of the shipping labels.
Increment 3 -Supply Chain Integration: this increment added the final integration with the UPS Ship Manager for the automated generation of the shipping labels. This increment saw the deliverable of the fully automated end-to-end mobile data capture solution and new business processes.
The project was delivered in approximately 4 months. Cooper Software were responsible for the configuration, customisation and delivery of the mobile data capture software solution. Hamamatsu Photonics were responsible for the supporting infrastructure in the new warehouse including the server infrastructure (test and production), RF networking and handheld devices. This included the procurement of, installing, testing and commissioning.
Hamamatsu Photonics are now fully up and running using ACQUIRE which has brought the following benefits:•The provision of a robust user-friendly data capture solution that allows warehouse and manufacturing operators to perform system transactions using handheld scanners.
•The ability to capture key data for the traceability of batches or serials from supplier through receipt and onwards to customers.
• Significantly improved the availability of data within warehouse processes.
•Eliminated the need for paper-based forms to be completed for tracking raw material batches used.
•Mobile devices or dedicated workstations are now used to perform in-line system transactions.
•IFS transactions now are carried out by the warehouse operators at the point of execution as opposed to making use of the IFS back flush functionality where relevant.
Hamamatsu Photonics is a Japanese manufacturer of optoelectronic detectors, light sources and systems. The company was founded in 1953 in the city of Hamamatsu City, where it is still located for research and production today.
Hamamatsu Photonics is one of the world’s leading innovators in photonics; develops and produces components across the entire range of light-based technologies and is a leading high-tech supplier for a wide range of industries such as: chemical analysis, medical, automotive, security, X-ray and sensor technology.
The Systems division produces a wide range of image-processing systems used in life sciences, digital pathology, semiconductor manufacturing, process control and basic research.
Hamamatsu Photonics Deutschland GmbH, which has been based in Herrsching am Ammersee in Bavaria since 1986, has more than 100 employees and serves not only Germany but also the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. Managing Director is Dr. Reinhold Guth.
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