Warehouses: How to Gain Time and Efficiency with Automation and Monitoring Tools

19 Mar 2024

Digitization makes it possible to provide a differentiated storage service that saves time and optimizes processes. What are the key terms in an increasingly innovative segment?

The warehousing business is growing around the world to provide a solution to the constant demand of companies for physical spaces that serve as safe places to store their merchandise. Digitalization allows warehouses to be more than simple warehouses: today, the service includes the technology to efficiently manage inventories and save time and money. 

Companies like Aerodoc invest efforts to provide better solutions to their customers. In their case, they opted for the services of SAP – a well-known company with a solid track record in the design of business management products – for the development of their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance and supply chain operations.

The Aerodoc traceability model used in its warehouses

Having a solid ERP such as SAP lays the foundation for proper information management. In the case of Aerodoc, the company customized SAP technology to be able to operate the specific requirements of this industry and its inventory, specifically with the management of Part Number and Serial Number, and multiple serial numbers for a piece of equipment. That is, some equipment has more than one serial number and Aerodoc’s system allows it to identify it. 

Another important differential in the industry is traceability, which makes it possible to easily address the different challenges that arise on a day-to-day basis. Estefanía Sisatzky, senior VP of OPS & Customer Service at Aerodoc, makes this clear with a concrete example: “Many times we do what is called Asset Management, for when we do Reverse Logistics or when we do RMA, where the asset comes out of inventory, is delivered to a customer, then we take the serial that had previously been delivered to the customer and that is faulty and send it to a Repair Facility. When it is fixed, it goes back to the customer and we have to return the equipment that we had delivered to work while theirs was being repaired so that it returns to inventory. The traceability of this asset is fundamental: where it is, where it was delivered, and all this leads to temporary import and temporary export processes in each of the countries. You need an ERP that keeps all that traceability”.

warehouse, warehousing, technology

The same happens, for example, in the world of broadcasting, with atomized distribution projects. With robust technology, large projects can be achieved. For example, if a company wants to bring 2000 encoders into a country to be delivered to 2000 different addresses that must be activated from a transmission center, it is essential to know exactly the serial number that was delivered to that address. What Aerodoc, through its ERP, allows is to be able to give that information to customers before the domestic distribution happens, so that the customer can preload the information and be notified once the equipment is delivered. 

“To achieve this, you have to have a solid management of Warehouse Managed Services. The structure or robustness of an ERP customized by Aerodoc, which has more than 25 years of understanding the needs of its customers, takes the SAP product, customizes it for the operation and the needs of the business, and designs the solution based on that,” adds Sisatzky.

What are the benefits of customization? 

Aerococ’s selection and implementation of technology solutions is based on the company’s 25 years of experience working with technology products and in hard-to-reach countries. Traceability has a great challenge related to this last point and it is here where having the help of someone with expertise makes the difference. In many markets, it is difficult to find the necessary technological development, and Aerodoc can fill that gap. 

You see this a lot, especially when delivering to remote areas. In those cases, you design the domestic logistics for that particular shipment. And many times the suppliers that are chosen are not large suppliers for domestic delivery or local delivery within the country. In these cases, commission agents are hired who often do not have access to online tracking where they deliver, and this generates delays. In response to this, Aerodoc developed a simplified online POD that arrives via WhatsApp and can be used even in areas where there is no good connectivity.

“We can do all this because we are based on a solid platform, but one that allows certain flexibility, such as SAP, and now, in addition, there are applications that are linked to everything, so by being hand in hand with SAP we ensure that we have the necessary APIs to be linked to all these types of applications that allow you to combine the two things: a dynamic, flexible solution that is customized according to needs, but that is linked to a solid ERP and that allows us to continue maintaining the meticulous control we need without losing quality,” adds Sisatzky.

In addition, the platform allows the creation of kits specifically designed for customers that handle technological solutions with several components. Aerodoc has developed a functionality that consists of entering inventory by components and grouping the different elements required for the picking process. This avoids errors when making a delivery. 

warehouse, warehousing, technology

 “All of this is configured in SAP so that none of the parties make a mistake, and from our side, we can see the final list of kit components previously assembled in conjunction with the customers. And, at the same time, the visualization of inventory levels can also be done at kit level,” says the expert.

What are the key concepts for optimization?

In the world of warehousing, expiration dates and warranties are fundamental. Especially in the field of technology products, knowing the warranty terms is vital to ensure the efficiency of inventories. For this reason, Aerodoc works on having the different “agings” or storage times and their order of exit well categorized, and this is where the concepts of First in (FI) or First out (FO) come in, to guarantee that the oldest product will go out the door first. 

In this case, Aerodoc technology is the one that suggests – both to the internal team and to the customer – the selection of serial numbers under this FI or FO concept. In this way, both sides ensure that the warranty system is being used optimally. And, in case customers request it, Aerodoc also can enter the warranty date as information for them. 

But that’s not all. On the warehouse side, they also ensure that the service level that customers commit to is replicated. In other words, they guarantee the Service Level Agreement (or SLA) so that the promise is fulfilled for the final recipient of the product. This can be seen both in cases of a commitment to deliver within a certain time, or even in the replacement of equipment if it is broken. “We ask customers to explain their Service Level Agreement to us so that we can design an operation that allows them to deliver,” Sisatzky adds.

warehouse, warehousing, technology

Through the SAP portal customers can have full access to their inventory management system. They can view inventory by multiple locations, at the part number, model number and serial number level. They can manage dates and view days of receipt, and they can request segregation and shipping orders. 

“This operation is replicable in the 170 countries where Aerodoc has operations, either its own or through our network of agents. The portal is very straightforward and simple to use, but with robust tools for the operation and business we have and designed specifically for each client’s need,” concludes Sisatzky.

For more information about our warehousing services please contact our team.

Topics on this article: Full Warehouses | Warehousing

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