Step-By-Step to a Digital Warehouse

Felix Lütkebomk, Head of Product Sector Dynamic Systems at SSI Schaefer explains how existing storage solutions can be made more efficient and transparent.

Digitalization, automation, industry 4.0, and smart logistics are buzzwords that are discussed in many companies. Material handling has numerous examples of well implemented digitalization strategies. In sectors where storing and picking items is not yet part of the core business, there are still longstanding structures with manual registration tasks, little transparency, and no interconnectedness. Making a future-proof warehouse requires digitization, which is now a prerequisite in order to stay competitive. One can achieve modernization through a gradual implementation of flexible upgrades and retrofits.

Transparent material handling processes for digital transformation

Fast and complete transparency and a clear structure of stock and orders is the basis of a successful storage solution. Furthermore, the automatic and secure recording of stock plays an increasingly important role for deploying an existing workforce as efficiently as possible. In addition to overall process optimization, an error-free and simple inventory is also crucial.

Software that can be operated intuitively helps implement these requirements without great IT effort:

  • Communication between warehouse and ERP system

  • Paperless picking with Pick by Light using barcodes or RFID technology

  • Printing of receipts and labels directly in the process

  • More efficient inventory thanks to clean data

Requirements for gradual digitalization

Simple concepts such as Pick by Light or the use of barcode scanners can be easily implemented. They already work with a stand-alone computer without connection to a superordinate system.

However, to use all benefits and digitization modules, a connection to a superordinate system is usually recommended. But even this is no longer a major hurdle. All common ERP systems by default support multiple interface protocols.

Clean master data management as a basis for digital processes

Some small and medium-sized companies have a certain amount of catching up to do in terms of clean data and master data management. Well administered master data are crucial for any type of digitalization and therefore a good preparation. If the step towards a digital warehouse is in short notice, there is, for example, the standard software WAMAS® LOGIMAT of our vertical lift module, which requires very little information and is fully functional with item number, item description, and unit quantity.

SSI LOGIMAT® vertical lift module can integrate into every digital strategy

No matter whether you are only just starting with digitalization or if you already have a digital factory, the SSI LOGIMAT with its flexible software solution can integrate as a direct component. Direct connection to a superordinate ERP or WMS interconnects your processes and creates transparency. You can start working with SSI LOGIMAT with manual processes and prepare everything for a future integration. Thanks to modular and flexible software components, digitalization in your warehouse can be individually integrated into your long-term strategy.

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