Customised ERP solutions provider ComActivity notes that, put simply, supply chain optimisation means "using processes and tools to ensure that your supply chain is working to optimal capacity."
A large scale optimisation project will typically involve sophisticated software systems that utilise mathematical modelling techniques to identify areas in the supply chain that require adjustment. To this end, ComActivity offers a range of solutions designed to ensure a company's supply chain is agile and responsive to a changing market.
While this approach is perhaps an inevitable requirement of any serious optimisation project, there are many ways in which manufacturers and distributors can streamline their industrial operations, either in preparation for such a project, or to compliment previous optimisation undertakings.
For the sake of clarity, this series will focus on four major areas where streamlining and innovation can assist in improving productivity. These are:
- identification and recognition systems
- barcodes and data capture
- supply chain software; and
- vehicle loading systems.
100% Australian owned automation solutions supplier Automation Systems and Controls supplies Cognex industrial grade machine vision systems for the former application. These systems employ a library of advanced vision tools to reduce manual inspection times and increase productivity.
The company states that by using these systems, defective products can be eliminated with 100% accuracy, assisting in dramatically reducing waste by detecting process errors early, before thousands of items have to be scrapped.
For optimising packing and distribution activities, Cornerstone Automation Systems (CASI) supplies a full line of technologies designed to automate order fulfilment requirements. The company offers picking and fulfilment systems that can be matched to a range of picking methodologies, including:
- pick to light
- voice picking
- RF/terminal picking
- pick to belt
- zone picking; and
- batch and trolley order picking.
The company states that using these computers has shown standards based picking rates to increase by around 15%, with error rates slashed to one tenth of a percent or less.