- Real-time analysis of critical data from multiple software applications
- Secure web-based design allowing access from anywhere
- Customizable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Ability to monitor real-time activities resulted in changes garnering a 10% increase in inventory placement speed, 10% increase in pick speed, 13% decrease in required replenishments, and improved handling of USDA and FDA hold orders
Hall’s Warehouse Corporation provides seamless warehousing and transportation services for companies throughout the Northeast, from Maine to Ohio, with emphasis on food products and pharmaceuticals, along with general merchandise. The company serves more than 200 client companies through eight warehouse facilities totaling 1.7 million square feet of ambient, cooler and freezer space. Of the facilities, which are deployed across New Jersey, three provide all three types of service, with the remaining five devoted to products requiring only ambient temperature storage.
What is Pulse?
AccellosOne Pulse is a web-based tool that incorporates (1) content in the form of a Key Performance Indicator Library and (2) a mechanism for pulling and displaying KPI data from various sources. Pulse’s flexible graphical display schema presents the information in any of several user-selectable graphical representations on any frequency timetable the user requires, whether a floor supervisor with near real-time performance requirements or a financial manager that may need only a monthly update.
AccellosOne Pulse responds to four key needs:
- Speed of access to relevant data
- Integration of data from multiple business applications
- Interpretation and visibility to a broad audience of authorized users
- Low overall costs.
AccellosOne Pulse draws data from both Accellos solutions and related applications and databases, formatting it in about a dozen user-selectable, customizable displays. The choices include charts (pie, bar, line), grids, reports and gauges, which Dale Jayne, Executive Vice President of Hall’s Warehouse Corp. refers to as “widgets”.
How Pulse Works
The nature of warehouse information acquisition and use virtually mandates a structured query approach, so Pulse resides on a SQL Server database that sits on top of the applications from which it pulls data.
Pulse comes with on-board Key Performance Indicators (KPI) optimized for the logistics field, and it provides the flexibility to adapt these to mission-specific requirements, to extend and refine them, and to add new ones that may be derived from either Accellos logistics applications or associated software systems.
The AccellosOne Pulse KPI Library comprises approximately two dozen Industry Standard KPIs that track all of the activities controlled or enabled by Accellos solutions, among them:
- Inventory accuracy through RFID and bar-coding
- Warehouse processes and counts
- Receiving, picking and shipping
- Labor efficiency and utilization
- Customer-specific information requirements
In addition, key performance indicators that address discreet activities such as accounting and finance can be created and added to the KPI library. Scheduling of displays can range from real-time operating updates to weekly/monthly reviews.
AccellosOne Pulse at Work
“Pulse provides us with valuable single-glance information about complicated moving parts of our operations such as order velocity, pick line and various quality assurance attributes -- product on hold, product types -- allowing us to give immediate feedback to our customers,” Jayne says.
AccellosOnePulse has enabled Hall’s to institute changes that likely would not have been possible without the ability to monitor the real-time activities in the warehouse, Jayne says. Among them:
Tracking of putaways and picks suggested efficiencies that could be achieved by altering the physical placement of certain inventory. Changes were made that accelerated these processes by as much as 10 percent.
Monitoring the performance of floor personnel revealed that some were far more effective than others. Managers sought the agreement of high-achievers to partner with others needing improvement in order to equalize performance at the higher level. Overall pick speed improved by 15 percent.
Pulse metrics revealed exceptional activity in certain lanes of high velocity movers; expansion of pick space for such products resulted in a 13 percent decline in the number of replenishments required.
A widget was created to flash an on-screen indicator if a pick attempt was made on products under a USDA or FDA hold order, preventing allocation of the products. It instituted a tighter way to monitor and comply with orders that could actually lead to life-or-death situations.
“Using our proprietary software, only a couple of people in the company knew how to harvest this kind of information, and it was a time-consuming process to get it and put it into report form,” Jayne says. “Now it’s mined automatically and the underlying activity can be actionable at a glance. Our metrics have degrees of value and our managers have learned to recognize them. As they see widgets in use, they sense the value similar presentations can have in their own sectors and they have not been shy in expressing their own requests.”