ZR Z R Data Systems, Inc.

office (513) 698-8800
fax (513) 698-8805
toll-free (877) 967-3282
info@zrdata.com


Flowers Foods

Client Description

Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO), headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., is a leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the United States. The company operates 37 highly efficient bakeries that produce breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and pastries, which are distributed fresh to foodservice and retail customers in the Southeastern, Southwestern, and Mid-Atlantic States and frozen to national foodservice and retail customers. Flowers' brands include Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, ButterKrust, Evangeline Maid, Mary Jane, Dandee, Flowers, Betsy Ross, European Bakers, BlueBird, Mrs. Freshley's, Mi Casa, and Tesoritos, as well as regional franchised brands, such as Sunbeam and Bunny.

Flowers Foods has two operating groups. The Bakeries Group handles fresh breads, buns, rolls, and snack cakes that are sold regionally through a direct-store-delivery (DSD) system that reaches about 35 percent of the U.S. population. This DSD system is backed by a network of highly motivated independent distributors. The Specialty Group is responsible for the national distribution of fresh snack cakes and frozen breads and rolls that are sold direct to customers' warehouses by frozen and non-frozen contract carriers.

Need

Flowers Foods' distribution center in Crossville, TN is running with a combination of pencil and paper processing and a limited homebrew warehouse management system. Flowers needs a true, feature rich WMS system that would offer better warehouse visibility and streamline their operations. Flowers also needed a system to manage their extensive cross docking as well as keep track of inbound and outbound trailers in their yard.

The System

ZR Data Systems, Inc. started with a base HighJump Software Warehouse Advantage system and configured and extended it to meet Flowers needs.

Interface

Flower’s Foods will utilize the standard HighJump Flat File interface.

Receiving

Inbound orders flow down to the WMS from the Flowers' host ERP system.  Upon import of these expected receipts the WMS creates an appointment.

The appointments show up in Yard Advantage.

When the truck arrives at the Yard, a gate pass is issued using Yard Advantage.  The driver can be told where to take the trailer.  The move will be confirmed using the system.  The ‘confirm’ consist of giving the trailer a yard location.  The WebWise user can accept the suggested yard location or tell the system where the trailer is going.

A screen can be used to look at trailers in the Yard and assign them to an available door.  The list is shown based on the most needed items.  The Yard user can create a directed move for the trailer to be taken to a door.  A YA User (Yard Jockey) will then complete the move using the YA application.  Upon completion of the move to a door, the WMS will create a directed receipt work queue request for each ‘pallet’ identified during issue gate pass. 

Warehouse floor personnel will now ‘see’ this receipt request.  They will be directed over to the door to begin receiving. 

The receipts process will allow for receipt of damage and receipt of short-code.  The damage\short-code will be identified during receipt and can thus be sent to SAP with the damaged status.  When the user goes to put down the pallet, if the item is damaged it will be directed to location DAMAGE.  If the item is short-code, then it will be directed to location SHORTCODE. 

Directed Put-away

The Directed Put-away process manages the movement of inventory from the user's equipment to either a cross-dock, or to the optimal, system-determined storage location.

Cross Dock

Cross Docking allows inventory to be taken to a pre-determined location to fulfill outbound orders, or directed move requests.  Flowers Foods will utilize cross docking extensively due to the speed of their inventory turns.  The cross-dock process is entered during put-away of receipts, unload\unpicks, and manual moves.

Inventory Control

Inventory control will be accomplished through the Physical, Cycle Count by Location, Cycle Count by Item, Adjust Inventory by Item, Adjust Inventory by Location, Warehouse Increment, and Warehouse Decrement processes

Rework

The Rework process allows the user to take items from the rework location to the order staging location in order to complete pallet building.

License Plate Audit

The License Plate Audit process manages the inspection and review of a LPN’s contents.

Loading

The Loading process manages the movement of staged inventory within the warehouse. Based on a specified order or load ID (i.e., "pick ID"), the system directs the user to move a specific LPN in parallel with moving the product to the user's equipment.

When the user's equipment reaches a user-determined capacity, or when there are no more LPs to be moved, the system will direct the user to deliver the product to the door location associated with the Pick ID on the user's equipment.

Previous to the loading process, a WebWise user must run the print LP labels process   This print label process will take the contents of each pallet staging location and create a pallet ID from it.  These pallet IDs can then be loaded.

Shipping

The Shipping process manages the shipment of items from the warehouse.  For each order on the user-entered load id, the system generates order/item/line-specific shipment transactions in parallel with removing the associated inventory from the warehouse.

Ship Adjust Audit

The Ship Adjust Audit is a custom process for Flower’s to be used by their supervisor’s to make adjustments to an order in the staging location.  The results of the Location Audit’s will be monitored by a supervisor, and when a location requires a ship adjustment, this process will be used to change the inventory.

Custom Web based Warehouse Visibility

Load Details

The Load Details process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view information about a load.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID and a load ID.  User can enter full or partial Load ID.

Page 2 is a listing of all loads associated with the entered filter.  The user can then drill down on the load id to view pallet level information for the load.

When the user clicks on ‘Print Label’ for a pallet the WMS will take the current contents of the pallet location and create a license plate from it.  The LP identity will then be printed on the LP label.  The pallet level stage location will also be printed on the label so user knows which pallet to place the label on.  Once an LP has been created for this location, the inventory in the location is now LP tracked.  Any loading or unload\unpick must now utilize the LP.

Also display ‘Location Audits’ which show the good and bad audit counts, with drill down to show details.  This can be used by supervisor to determine which pallet locations should have a ‘Ship Adjust Audit’ performed.

Page 3 is a listing of pallets on load.

ASN Unload Visibility

The ASN Unload Visibility process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view information about ASN inbound orders that have yet to be assigned to a door and have sufficient quantity of an item to fulfill need on an outbound order.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID and an item number.  The item number can be partially entered if user selects a Like search or will have to be entered exactly if user selects an exact search.

Page 2 is a listing of all inbound ASN orders that contain sufficient quantity of the entered item to fulfill the need of an outbound order also containing the entered item. User can then assign a specific ASN to the first available door by clicking on the ‘Assign to Door’ hyperlink.

Logic for displaying the ‘best’ ASN to unload will include first summing pending needed quantity by load, priority, and delivery date.  (Pending Quantity is the quantity still needed – available storage inventory).

Subtract off from the pending any inventory that is on an inbound docked trailer.

This gives us a listing of what is needed the most.

Sort the ASN display by showing un-assigned ASNS\trailers which contain the most of the ‘needed’ inventory.

Allow user to assign these trailers to doors.  The assignment will create the YA directed Move.

Load Release

The Load Release process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view information about outbound loads sent down from the SAP host system and release them to the work queue.

The loads can’t show up until they have been load planned by TA.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID; sales date, and a cross-dock filter from a drop down list. 

Page 2 is a listing of all loads associated with the entered sales date and cross-dock filter.  The user can then release individual loads to the work queue by clicking on the ‘RELEASE’ hyperlink.  The screen only shows loads planned from TA.  The screen will be ordered by Priority, then by dispatch date.

The release link will assign the load to the lowest numbered unassigned staging lane.  Once assigned the load will be run thru Container Advantage to break the load down into estimated pallet quantities.  These estimates will be used to determine which pallet level staging location the item should be placed into.  The system will pre-assign the pick details to the pallet level staging lanes.  The system will insert ‘Order Pick’ pick requests.  The pick requests can be accessed from cross docking or the Order Picking process.

Page 3 is a listing of order detail information.

Order Changes

The Order Changes process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view any changes made to an order.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID and an order number.  The user can select a like search and enter a partial order number or select an exact search and enter full order number.

Page 2 is a listing of all order numbers associated with the entered order number that have been changed.  The user can then drill down on the order number to view order detail information.

Page 3 is a listing of order detail information.

Audit ASN

The Audit ASN process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view information about ASN inbound orders that have been received.  The screen can be used to reconcile and send receipt transactions to SAP.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID, an ASN number and an order type.  The ASN number can be partially entered if user selects a Like search or will have to be entered exactly if user selects an exact search.

Page 2 is a listing of all ASNs that meet the entered filters. User can then send a receipt of the received ASN to the host by clicking on the ‘Send to SAP’ hyperlink.  The transactions will be generated for entire ASN as well as Event Advantage alerts for over\under receipts. User can view ASN detail information by selecting the ‘Details’ hyperlink.

If the Lot Number ends in QC, then send the SAP transaction as ‘Damaged’.  Strip the QC from the lot that is sent (leave in t_receipt).  Strip any ‘SC’ Short Code lot numbers also.

Page 2 will also display the number of open work queues (directed receipts), with the ability to open or close them by clicking on either the ‘Open Work’ or ‘Completed Work’ counters.

Page 3 is a report page containing information regarding the work queue associated with the chosen ASN. User has the ability to edit the status of the work queue.

Page 4 is a listing of ASN line item detail level information.

Search Kits by Sales Date

The Search Kits by Sales Date process will be a set of Dashboard pages, which allow user to view information about Kits that are part of outbound sales orders for a given sales date.  The screen can be used to prepare the creation of kits to meet sales order demands.

Page 1 is a search page allowing entry of a warehouse ID, and a sales date.  The sales date can be selected from a calendar.

Page 2 is a listing of all Kits that meet the entered filters. User can then drill down to kit detail information by clicking on the Kit ID hyperlink.  Page 2 will also display the number of open work queues (directed receipts), with the ability to open or close them by clicking on either the ‘Open Work’ or ‘Completed Work’ counters.

Page 3 is a report page containing kit detail information regarding the individual items that make up a kit, how many items are need for the kit and how many items are on hand in the warehouse.

Page 4 is a listing of ASN line item detail level information.

Container Advantage

Container Advantage (CA) is a Web-based application that optimizes the loading of items into one or more containers, including multiple sized items and odd-shaped containers such as airline containers (ULDs). Containers can consist of individual shipping cartons, pallets, trucks, sea containers and others. In the Flowers Foods system containers will consist of pallets. Container Advantage quickly and accurately organizes container contents (pallet loads) based upon pre-set packing and stacking rules. This automated process significantly saves time and reduces the cost of packing materials, containers, and shipping expenses.

Transportation Advantage

A black box system responsible for route planning for shipments. Outbound Orders will flow from Flowers' SAP ERP system to WMS and then sent to Transportation Advantage to be grouped into route files. These rout files will be sent back to WMS for order processing.

Outcome

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Quick Facts

Industry: Baked Goods Manufacturing and Distribution

Headquartered: Thomasville, Ga.

Key Processes: Yard Management, Crossdocking, Routing and Load Staging, Lot-tracked inventory

Warehouse Size:

Warehouse Floor Personnel: