We’re delighted to announce the release of the OrderFlow 4.0 warehouse management system (WMS). This is a major release that includes important functionality in several new areas that we know are of interest to many of our customers.
Case and carton management
OrderFlow 4.0 allows a product to be associated with multiple units of measure. These might be used to represent carton and case quantities as well as individual units. OrderFlow can then record the number of cases received and held in each location. Stock movements, stock checks and other warehouse operations can then be completed using case or carton quantities rather than by individual units.
In future releases we will be adding further enhancements to extend support for multiple units of measure into the pick and pack processes.
OrderFlow 4.0 can support environments where it’s necessary to distinguish between product batches or lots.
Lot information (e.g. supplier ID, batch ID, batch expiry date etc.) can be captured as part of the goods-in process and associated with the individual items that are contained within the lot as they move through the warehouse. This allows OrderFlow 4.0 to support batch tracking, expiry date management and FIFO replenishment of the picking face.
In future releases we will be adding further enhancements to extend support for product lots into the pick and pack processes. Future releases will also support the tracking of individual product serial numbers.
Support for GS1 barcodes and implementing the new OrderFlow 4.0 functionality
The changes outlined above allow us to target full compliance with GS1 barcodes and logistics best practices in future releases. We expect GS1 barcoding to become widespread in the coming years.
The new OrderFlow 4.0 functionality does come with a caveat. Implementation of the new functionality is likely to vary significantly for each environment it’s used and is likely to be complex. The new functionality extends OrderFlow into new areas and so will be associated with additional ongoing charges.
If you are interested knowing more about our plans in any of the areas described above please get in touch.
While the lot and carton-related changes are the most significant in this release, there are some other very useful features included in OrderFlow 4.0.
We now have first version of an API-based integration to Royal Mail using the Intersoft Intelligent Shipper platform available as an alternative to the Click and Drop desktop integration. (We also have an integration through NetDespatch, but Royal Mail are no longer registering new accounts through this integration.)
We have refined the behaviour of the system when order line cancellation or quantity reduction takes place. Previously, this would result in a full reset of the shipment. With OrderFlow 4.0, this no longer takes place, making it much easier to deal with bulk shipments with many order lines of which some are out of stock.
We have added a licence plate-based mechanism for performing external stock transfers. This is very useful, for example, when doing large scale moves of stock from one warehouse to another. We’ve also tightened up on the use of the licence plates for internal stock transfers, and plan to make some further changes in this area shortly.
We have streamlined the behaviour of the system on short picks on the handheld, and introduced a handheld based mechanism to clear down quarantined stock.
OrderFlow runs on an embedded Jetty Server, which we have upgraded to the latest version, making it easier to comply with the latest SSL security certificate best practices.
In addition the 4.0 release contains dozens of minor feature improvements and bug fixes.
We expect to follow up OrderFlow 4.0 with a short term release with some further minor enhancements in the areas of lot and carton management before tackling some of the more substantial remaining changes still required. We’ll also be introducing a new process for task-driven pallet moves.
We’re also working on a phone App (for both Android and iOS), which will allow OrderFlow supervisors and managers to keep track of warehouse activity from their smartphones.
More information on OrderFlow 4.0
A list of the issues that are addressed in this release that are not customer specific is available here.
A list of the issues addressed in this release that are specific to your environment is available here.
If you’re an existing customer and would like to schedule an upgrade to your test environment please raise a ticket on the support portal. If you’re new to Realtime Despatch and would like to know more about OrderFlow 4.0 please get in touch.