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The Deployment of Warehouse Management System SmartStock.WMS in 3PL operator
Instar Logistics
Company description:
Instar Logistics provides comprehensive logistics services. As 3PL logistic operator specializes on warehouse and storage service, air service, railway transportation, overseas shipping, road freightage, a special transport service of dangerous, heavy-duty and over dimensional freight, shipment of design cargo, cargo packing, cargo insurance and customs clearance in logistics. The company Instar Logistics operates on the international freight forwarding market since 1994, it is considered to be one of the largest logistics operators on the Russian market. Over the past few years the company became international company with 15 offices in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Initial Situation
The deployment of real-time Warehouse Management System SmartStock.WMS began in July 2007. At that time the company has been servicing its core customer - the company Schlumberger, the world leader in technologies for the oil and gas industry.

The high requirements on quality of service and elimination of errors related to the human factor, inaccuracies in the processing of orders, out-of-stocks, shortcomings or surpluses of goods stored in the warehouse led to a decision: to deploy and use in the warehouse a complex Warehouse Management System.

Supplier Selection
After reviewing the available software products on the market, as a most suitable solution was selected the product developed by a Czech company, "Barco" – Warehouse Management System SmartStock.WMS. This software package immediately drew the attention due to its user-friendly interface and great functionality as part of the system. Another important factor was the ability to customize the product for specific customer requirements - such flexibility just needed when working with clients.

The Project Implementation
It was decided to begin the implementation. The first phase was to import all the product lists into the SmartStock.WMS database. After that it was possible to perform receiving of all the goods stored in a warehouse at that time. Since the entry of all stored products into the base was done, processing of orders was executed only through system SmartStock.WMS. The first executed receiving operations showed how effectively the system works and allows the use of resources. Now warehouse operators must follow the instructions of the system coming in the form of assignments on a screen of a data terminal, a wireless device with integrated barcode scanner. The system gives precise instructions to carry out the order processing. It controls the entire process, excluding the input errors, giving information on demand at the terminal screen, adjusting the working steps.

Project Results
By means of deployment of SmartStock.WMS significant elimination of human errors in processing orders was achieved. The working time efficiency has increased. Done operations and all the processes taking place in the warehouse became transparent and easily controlled. Warehouse balance account is accurate and the system correctly registers the entire received and shipped goods. If discrepancies arise, the system triggers a cycle counting event on specific location to align the data in the system with the real data. It is understandable that while keeping such an approach, the warehouse balance account will always be correct.

Thanks to the deployment of SmartStock.WMS the picking operations got optimized. The advanced functionality as grouping the similar orders significantly reduced time spent on processing orders. Now, instead of 10 identical orders only one will be collected.

By use of barcoding systems, each product has acquired a unique product code to uniquely identify each product item. Thus the system recognizes if a warehouse operator makes mistake by choosing a product with similar details. The worker is able to pick up into an order only the items that really belong to that order.

Significant benefits were achieved by built-in “billing system”, suitable especially for 3PL operators, that helps to prepare necessary documents and receipts for the cost calculation and invoicing for the 3PL client. The system automatically keeps track of all warehouse transactions. On the basis of predefined rules the system calculates the price for delivered warehousing service. The system offers several options for cost accounting such as based on amount of pallets, pieces, according to the weight or based on individual receipts.

The system automatically generates a report to the customer for a certain period of time which serves as a basis for invoicing. The customer immediately sees how much and what kinds of operations were counted into the costs of services. By means of billing it is possible to easily analyze and compare all the data necessary for accounting of the 3PL customers.

The system of reporting has enabled print of various documents, both for customers and operators. Under the requirements of the customers, Barco has adjusted the reports into form needed in the warehouse business processes.
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