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January 5, 2016

Oracle Warehouse Management Rule Engine

Bishnu Prasad Choudhury / / 0

Oracle WMS Rule

Oracle WMS provides a complete advanced set of tools which enables a warehouse to work effectively dispatching tasks in time error free to the correct destination and operators.
Non WMS warehouses are mostly managed by manual interventions and decisions taken by the operators which increases the scope for manual error, delay in delivering a task, sometimes serious mistakes which incur huge loss in inventory management.
Also some complex decisions cannot be taken by human operators which can increase the warehouse optimization.

To all these questions, concerns and mistakes, oracle has answered in the WMS in the form of WMS rule engine.

The rules engine enables directed picking and put away, assigns newly received material to a cost group, ensures customer compliant labeling, assigns tasks to a resource with the appropriate training and equipment, and selects the correct operation plan for a task. You can also use the cartonization criteria to assign the four options of the cartonization algorithm at the organization or subinventory level. Rules can be based on nearly any attribute in the database, including user-defined flexfields. Strategies, or a collection of rules, can be organization specific, customer specific, item specific, or specific to one of many additional business objects. Below are the different types of rules which can be defined in WMS rule engine.
Below are the different types of rules which can be defined in WMS rule engine:

Directed Picking and Putaway

The rules engine provides intelligent suggestions for put away locations of new material, based on virtually any business process. Some common processes the rules are capable of modeling include: minimizing item fragmentation, requiring no lot commingling in a locator, directing hazardous materials to a corresponding hazardous storage location, or placing seasonal items in a subinventory dependent on time of year. Other put away possibilities include: basing the location on inspection results, purchase order type, or item category. The rules engine also suggest material put away to intelligent locations suggested by the rules engine, for any items anywhere within the warehouse. 

When the system releases a pick wave to the warehouse floor, the rules engine determines the allocation suggestions. You can create picking rules to model business practices such as: to ensure stock rotation, meet customer requirements such as stock condition or quality, lot expiration date, or country of origin. You can allocate material by a simple FIFO or FEFO (first expired, first out) rule at the organization level, picking rules that pick to deplete a location to free up additional warehouse space, or rules to pick by cost group ownership. You can also model customer requirements so a single lot fills an entire order, or warehouse preferences so an item is picked from a single locator.

Task Type Assignment

Task type assignment captures the skill sets and equipment required for a warehouse task so work is assigned to appropriate users. Operators can sign onto a mobile RF device, optionally specifying the equipment available to them. Tasks are assigned to operators based on the operators skill set, equipment requirements and capacity, or the subinventory in which the task occurs. For example, you can assign hazardous tasks to personnel with the appropriate HAZMAT training, and limit put aways to the top racks to operators who signed on with a high-reach forklift.

Cost Group Assignment

Cost groups capture the material valuation accounts necessary for tracking inventory value. For instance, you can set up different accounts for refurbished, consigned, and company-owned inventory. You can also keep different cost groups for different sales channels. When you receive new material into the warehouse the owning cost group must be determined.
Material handlers should not make Cost group decisions. The rules engine automates this decision making, removes complexity from the floor and still provides material valuation accounts tracking. Cost group assignment can be made by inspection results, with a failed item assigned to a Hold for MRB cost group. Cost groups can also be assigned by supplier site, item category, or by item. The system uses default cost group of the items storage subinventory when it cannot find a rule for the transaction.

Label Format Assignment

Compliant labeling is becoming increasingly important, but also increasingly difficult as different customers or carriers may require a different label format. The rules engine can select the appropriate label format based on customer, carrier, item category, or transportation method. These formats are associated with the required information, barcode symbologies, and appropriate layout for each item or container. Additionally, odd sized items may require different label types, or some order types may require weather-resistant labels. The rules engine can print different labels for different freight carriers or shipment types. The rules engine can also select label formats for use inside the warehouse. When you receive lot controlled items, the rules engine can print the appropriate lot stickers automatically.

Operation Plan Assignment

Operation plans determine the routing, packing, and consolidation operations that a task must go through. Some outbound processes may require LPN-based consolidation, whereby the system suggests which LPN to consolidate a delivery into when dropping an LPN in a staging lane, while other deliveries do not use this LPN consolidation. The operation plan selected during task creation controls these options as well as several additional features. The Rule Engine selects the operation plan based on the source subinventory, destination staging lane, customer class, or item type, or any number of different criteria.

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