Aug 22. 2018
Can upgrade of a part of a system increase the whole process’s efficiency?
Our client use storage solution which utilize space smart, but storage solution limits access to resource in time. At customer facility, multiple information systems need to be used to complete job besides physical work. Use of these systems adds time on to logistics process. Nothing can hurt the progress of a company so much as decreasing efficiency caused by insufficient technology.
What was the problem?
Employees doing job — processing orders were working, but their efficiency was limited because of a mess with order data printed on papers, received unsorted, a need of manually enter data on computers located on another workplace, etc.
Our goal was very clear…
We wanted to reach the point where SAP would be one and only trusted source of real-time information without additional synchronization between systems, systems should share as much information as possible without user interaction and if user interaction is necessary, data needs to be entered once and then synchronized everywhere it is required. When order is created in SAP it should be sent directly to the control system. Employees should be able to display order data with only order ID and process it without leaving current workplace. Order status data should be synchronized immediately between systems.
Solution where smart hardware with smart custom software will met, had to come…
Lean-Lift — Vertical storage system
Because of a technology evolving rapidly there are ways how to effectively use vertical space in a warehouse without the need for a forklift. Hänel Lean-Lift is the one used in at client’s facilities. It’s controlled by commands received from a controller. Communication is simple because message contains only some information about a location of a shelf. At first it moves current shelf into its position and then it brings the another one from a location in the last message.
Embedded computer (system) controls vertical storage system (Hänel Lean-Lift). It always displays actual data from SAP so employees can list all non-closed orders and see their states, find an order by its number, pick some item from that order and send a command to bring the right shelf.
Many companies use SAP as their Enterprise Resource Planning system. It’s very scalable, highly customizable and using integrations, it can be used as all-in-one system since many external control systems contain SAP adapters/connectors.
In our case, when an order is created in SAP, we receive it through a connector (proxy) and then process the message. After an action, system sends confirmation message back to SAP.
Our SAP connector and additional business logic is implemented within WSO2 software and specific parts are described in our previously published story „How to create a backend without programming using WSO2“.
We’ve developed a solution leading to greater efficiency of the client’s company since employees can now process more orders in less time. Upgrade of one part improved the entire process. There will be more to come as increasing efficiency is continuous process. We continue to work with customer after this project is done as we both reveal more opportunities to improve efficiency as more integration ideas comes to our minds.