Streamlining and collecting data from multiple sources and providing the means of analysis to create actionable intelligence is the key to productivity in modern industries. SAP software has a long history of doing exactly that for businesses in a variety of sectors and applications. One of the ways that they’ve ensured that this is the case is by supporting and encouraging an ecosystem of partner-developed applications that connect seamlessly to SAP products.
Chances are, if your business is using SAP software, and you have a need for specific functionality that isn’t found in the core product, someone has already designed an add-on for it. From productivity enhancement to business planning tools, there are few categories that remain unserved. In fact, it’s fair to say that the wide availability of such enhancements is critical to the success of SAP itself, and is a primary driver of adoption rates around the world. Here’s a case study of one such extension, built for warehouse applications.
Warehouse Productivity Explained
There is perhaps no more fast-paced and data-intensive operation than can be found in a modern warehouse. As a key component of global supply chains, they’re the linchpin of economies worldwide. In recent years, fierce competition amongst retailers, driven by the rise of the internet has required warehouses to substantially increase their efficiency in order to meet an exponentially growing demand.
Using a mixture of automation and solutions like SAP’s Extended Warehouse Management platform, modern warehouses have risen to the challenge of enabling just-in-time (JIT) processes for producers and short-turnaround fulfillment for retailers. While the advances are remarkable, there remains one component of the modern warehouse that demands attention to maintain peak efficiency. That component is in managing warehouse workforces.
Getting the Right Data Into the Right Hands
In order to facilitate effective management of warehouse staff, a number of statistical measures are necessary. The information, when provided to the right parts of the management staff, allow for fine-tuning or resources and quick resolution of potential productivity issues. The key component of this type of operation lies in extracting the appropriate data from the warehouse management system and delivering it to those that need it.
To fill that specific need, QPSoftware developed a productivity management tool that extracts data from SAP systems to track the productivity and efficiency of workers on warehouse production lines. Employees input their hours into the system, on a team-by-team basis. The software then applies that information to the measures of things like total orders per hour on a production line to determine efficiency levels.
The tool began development late in 2015, and after feature enhancements in the intervening years, has already been deployed in several warehouses in Singapore. It is now capable of real-time statistical tracking and allows for easy transfers of employees between teams when adjustments are needed. The upgrades make it well suited for the up-to-the-minute fluctuations that are common in modern warehouse workflows.
Timing is Everything
In this instance, it’s easy to see the value of this type of custom built SAP extension. When it comes to warehouse logistics, there are likely more innovations on the horizon. As consumers begin to demand same-day delivery of purchases, the pressure on global supply chains will only increase. The good news for users of the SAP platform is that there is no end to the innovative uses of data generated by the system and there’s no shortage of developers creating imaginative solutions.