Sumit Potbhare: Standard Retail Outbound Needs | Approach to D365 for Commerce with Adv WH Mgmt
Hi Guys, Welcome to another series where we are going to focus on the Outbound requirements of Retail Warehouses. We will focus exclusively on topics such as wave planning, picking, packing, loading orders onto trucks. To look competent and sound credible in front of a Retail Warehouse manager, you need to be able to anticipate what he or she is going to ask for when it comes to their Retail Warehouse and what they need from a warehouse management system. We’re going to talk about the specifics around the Outbound process at Retail Warehouses, and we’ll start with describing:
Before we get into the details, lets us discuss the information that relates to configuring D365 FO as a whole. When you configure D365 FO Warehouse Management, you need to first develop and configure the facility’s blueprint. And to do this, you will need to define the zones, the locations, location profiles, etc. After that, you need to start thinking about the process and how people will receive goods, pick and ship the goods from the Retail Warehouse. And in this particular series, we’re going to outline the requirement for configuring the outbound process of a Retail Warehouse. These requirements would be turned into replenishment, wave, the work templates, location directives, mobile device menus, etc, by a solution architect that’s responsible for setting up D365 FO.
Let us take an overview of this tour that we’re going to go on and just highlight a couple of the places we’re going to visit.
Piece Picking Area
We’re going to start off with the piece picking area. This is really the heart of a Retail Warehouse. Because most of the product that gets shipped out of it comes through here, either going to the stores or even going to the consumer. We’re going to look at, not necessarily how they pick, but necessarily how they run that area and how they keep it busy and how they ensure that orders get out on time but at the same time get out cost-effectively. The discussion will be around the topic of wave planning and how wave planning needs to work inside the warehouse management system in order to keep this heart beating correctly.
Replenishment from Bulk Storage
From there we’re going to see replenishment and how a product comes from the bulk area and flows over into the piece picking area, like product at a retail store will come out of the backroom and onto the shelves.
From piece picking it will move to the discussion of value-added services or what it is often called personalization. This relates to eCommerce warehousing, not so much brick and mortar, but this is the idea that people can order things over the Internet or through catalogs and get them customized to their individual needs. You can get your name or your initials sewn into your shirt.
So we’ll move from the discussion of personalization to a discussion of packing. Once we have all the products together that we need to ship to the store or the consumer, we can pack it into a box and ship it off. So we’ll talk about the requirements for packing.
And we’ll also look at how we need to have the ability to take a few boxes, maybe 2 percent or 1 percent or something like that of the orders that are packed, and actually tear them open and double-check to make sure that they are correct. We call that process auditing. And it also goes on for brick-and-mortar stores as well, but it’s primarily used for e-commerce.
So once we finish up with the discussion of auditing, and we’ll talk about manifesting, where we will look at the process of creating a shipping label that you need to have on a box in order for the transportation carrier to get it to that consumer.
We’ll talk about how once the orders get packed into boxes, those boxes need to be staged in a store staging area based on what store they’re going to, and then they have to flow onto the trucks that are going to that particular store. So we’ll talk about what we call store staging and shipping staging.
Flow thru distribution
And then we’ll wrap up with a discussion of flow-through distribution, which is truly a unique Retail Warehouse concept that bypasses the whole picking process and takes a product from the inbound side and shuttles it right over to the outbound side, saving a lot of labor as a consequence.
Outbound Retail Process Flow
Here is another way of looking at the tour we’re going to go on, but this is not so much from a layout perspective or blueprint perspective as much as it is the actual process. Let us visualize that these are the screens or mobile device menu items that you’d need to support the outbound side of a Retail Warehouse.
But you can see here, we’re going to start with a discussion of wave planning, and a wave planning triggers replenishment. So from replenishment, we’ll move to picking. And then, depending upon whether or not it’s an order that involves personalization, we’ll go over and talk about personalization. And then we’ll go to packing, a discussion of manifesting, and then we’ll shift from talking about consumer orders to talking about store orders and what happens to them. And you’ll learn that after packing they have to go a store staging process, then a shipping staging process, followed by loading. And along the way, we’ll talk about auditing orders to make sure they are correct in tracking who is a good packer and who is a good picker.
So I hope you got the direction in which we are heading with this series and also got some idea about the places that an order travels before it is shipped out from Outbound dock or Retail Warehouse.
In the next blog, we’re going to look at the first step in the Retail Outbound process that is the Wave planning.
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