MHD talks with Chanika Dias, Head of Supply Chain Solutions at uTenant, and Anna Sukharnyk, Senior Consultant Project Lead with Logivations, about the best strategy for designing and optimising warehouse layouts.
Chanika Dias, Head of Supply Chain Solutions at uTenant, says that the warehouse’s role has expanded from a simple storage function to playing a key role in the entire supply chain.
“The warehouse has two key roles to play now,” Chanika says. “The main role is to minimise the cost of operation and to enhance utilisation opportunities. The second role is to distribute more efficiently and flexibly, such that businesses can get their products to customers in timely fashion and so retain customer loyalty.”
Anna Sukharnyk, Senior Consultant Project Lead at Logivations – with whom Chanika has developed a strong working relationship over his career, and which he brought with him to uTenant – adds that with so many participants connected to the modern warehouse, any inefficiencies in warehouse management have knock-on effects in terms of delayed delivery times, associated price increases, and general wastage.
“The objective of the warehouse process is to provide safe stock storage, get orders out at the scheduled time, and without incurring any additional costs,” Anna says.
STRATEGIC ISSUES FACING WAREHOUSES
Chanika says that there are many strategic issues to consider when designing a new warehouse.
“The modern warehouse has to be considered in relation to ongoing market and industry trends,” he says. “With changes to buying patterns and technological development always in progress, a warehouse must be built with an eye to what is new and what is coming over the horizon – otherwise it may not be sustainable when it comes time for operation.”
Chanika says that account must also be made of the corporate objectives of each client – market positioning, staff policies, investment payback period, and so forth.
“On top of those corporate objectives, we need to consider the business plan of the client,” he adds. “This will include factors such as new markets, sales projections, and the level of uncertainty or certainty that can be ascribed to those projections.”
It is essential to understand these factors too, so that warehouses can be designed with appropriate flexibility for expansion, and so that scenario-planning can be undertaken if necessary to accommodate for possible variations in the business plan.
LOGIVATIONS’ DIGITAL TWINS FOR WAREHOUSE PLANNING
To execute on warehouse design strategy, uTenant works with Logivations and its W2MO digital twins solution. A digital twin is a virtual representation of actual warehouse processes that utilises historical and real-time data to scenario-plan for warehouses facing various potential circumstances.
“W2MO stands for ‘web to modelling and optimisation’,” Anna says. “With our W2MO digital twin you can understand bottlenecks and potential losses in advance and conduct a route cause analysis to solve potential issues before they arise.
“The tool is an all-in-one solution that provides an environment in which we can observe all objects in 2D and 3D view. By working with the best in data analysis, modelling, as well as customer-inputs, we can come to a holistic picture of the warehouse in operation, and how it will operate under various potential conditions. It’s a great capability for strategic design of warehouses, and Chanika has worked with Logivations in the past to deliver great results – something we’ll continue to do with uTenant.”
For more information on uTenant, click here.
For more information on Logivations, click here.