WMS – The brain running the warehouse

A warehouse is a complex system that also needs a "brain" to operate efficiently. In the Ferretto Group systems, this brain is called Ejlog and is a management software developed in-house by the company’s specialists. This software – known as WMS for Warehouse Management System – manages and controls all storage system activities and can be integrated with the customer’s ERP systems. From stock control to flow organization, from handling to preventive maintenance: the management software is the true invisible motor behind an efficient and high-performance storage system.

What is the warehouse management software
EjLog is the software application intended for managing all types of storage solutions: from automatic ones - stacker crane storage systems, Vertimag storage systems, systems equipped with Flexy shuttles or mobile racking systems - to traditional racking systems. Thanks to an intuitive graphic layout, the system facilitates the management and tracking not only of the stored items but of the entire warehouse, including ground storage, receiving, packaging and shipping areas.

Simpler and more effective management
EjLog guarantees the real-time management of the warehouse through a simple interface on a PC monitor - or on radio frequency terminals, in the case of traditional warehouses - and allows simultaneous remote monitoring and intervention. Its "open" architecture allows easy dialogue with company ERPs, ensuring an increase in productivity and the optimization of space through proper data management. Thanks to the storage and analysis of a large amount of data, the WMS is not just a management tool. In fact, it also offers the possibility of starting improvement processes based on expertise and KPIs (Key Performance Indicator).

The benefits of an advanced WMS
A WMS - especially when configured according to the specific needs of the customer as is the case with the Ferretto Group - enables companies to make the most of the potential of their storage systems and of their warehouse as a whole.
In particular, the main benefits guaranteed by the management software include:
• Management and control of materials and stock
• Optimization of space and management of flows
• Increased efficiency
• Fewer errors
• Simultaneous management of all storage and handling systems
• Remote control
• Preventive maintenance

1. Identification of the inbound products.

EjLog manages the acceptance of goods and the identification of the Unit Loads (UL) entering the storage system, providing them with a SKU through an automatic or manual system. Different attributes can be associated with each product, such as a description, unit weight, minimum stock, barcode, product category and management mode (by expiry date, batch, static or dynamic, serial number).

1.	Identification of the inbound products.
2.	Sorting of the Unit Loads entering the system

2. Sorting of the Unit Loads entering the system

The ULs entering the storage system are sorted and placed in different storage spaces in order to balance the material in stock and increase the speed of the picking phase.

3. Storage inside the system

The storage inside the machine is managed in such a way as to optimize the available space and maximize the picking speed and efficiency: the shelf storage space is determined based on the size of the UL and the type of product. In the case of multi-depth racking systems, the objective is to manage homogeneous channels, that is, channels containing the same goods.

4. Consultation of information related to the stored products

EjLog offers a display of inventory by group (total stock by code) or in a detailed manner. The application has also graphic functions which display in detail the contents of the ULs and their positions within the racking system. Thus, the application allows the user to make a detailed analysis of the products stored in the system, to change the parameters associated with specific items, and to move a UL to an operating bay for inspection. The warehouse mapping function also allows the position of ULs within the shelf to be verified and to pair a UL with a shelf location or modify its characteristics or content. It is also possible to divide the UL into compartments and to pair each of them with the maximum quantity that can be stored or the filling level.

4.	Consultation of information related to the stored products
5.	Picking of ULs from the storage system

5. Picking of ULs from the storage system

The software manages the picking of products in two ways: manually through a picking list entered locally by an operator, or automatically, using lists received from the corporate Host.

6. List execution logic

ULs can be extracted according to the following principles:

  • FIFO: the system picks the oldest products, taking into account the equivalence class and the date (depending on the characteristics of the products, more or less broad tolerance time frames can be set for the FIFO method).
  • Expiration: the system picks the products with the closest expiration date but which have not yet expired. Shelf-life periods can also be managed.
  • Emptying: with the same equivalent date, unit loads with the smallest quantity of items are generally extracted first.
  • Minimization of movements: in multi-depth storage systems, the system gives priority to those products stored close to the picking zone rather than to those stored in more internal positions.
6.	List execution logic

7. Report

In addition to managing the storage system activities, the software application is also a valuable ally to maximize the logistics opportunities offered by the storage system itself. EjLog logs all the events related to the storage system, including picking and placing operations, inventory, and any automation alarms, in order to provide detailed information on the status of the system, and to carry out more complex analyses using the KPI (key performance indicators) tools made available by the system. For this purpose, EjLog produces a series of standard reports to display inventory, list execution results, movements carried out, products under minimum stock thresholds.
The main reports concern:

  • events: displays each "event" recorded by EjLog, from the change in the status of the lists to the changes in the PLC signals;
  • movements: focuses on the movement of products to track all changes in the quantities and, through filters, have the history of any given product;
  • missions: makes the information relating to automation available, highlighting the missions carried out by the UL handling devices;
  • alarm search: provides a complete overview of the alarms that were activated on the system;
  • stock: allows monitoring of quantities of available products and of any products under minimum stock thresholds;
  • item database: indicates the item master data and provides a quick view of what items are in stock, specifying for which of these items static mapping is available;
  • product search: in addition to searches, it allows users to monitor if some products are in currently blocked locations and which products are already reserved by lists in progress;
  • list management: offers the possibility to check the status of the lists based on type, progress, operations still to be carried out and operations already carried out; it also allows the verification of the UL from which the item requested by a specific order line has been reserved.

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