5 Ways To Stay Ahead In Unprecedented Times: The benefits SynQ software provides to automated distribution centers
26 August 2021
Service & Software
Reading time: 4 minutes
Welcome to the first in a five-part blog series focusing on the real-world benefits of Swisslog’s modular WMS, SynQ. This first blog focuses on the benefits SynQ is bringing to Swisslog’s Customer Service teams in automated warehouses, as they are faced with new challenges caused by COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, distribution centers have been faced with a raft of unexpected challenges, from high demand, uncertainty, and safety of their workforce, to maintaining quality within new constraints on their manufacturing environment.
Some businesses were able to keep up with the demands, while others struggled to maintain supply chain efficiencies.
So, what made the difference between these businesses thriving and struggling?
For many automated distribution centers, a synchronized software was key in ensuring continuous and efficient replenishment, with the ability to track and trace every unit in their supply chain.
Swisslog’s advanced materials handling software, SynQ, is beautifully engineered to be the heart of automated warehousing and logistics systems. It provides warehouse management, material flow and 3D visualization – all from a single point of control – to orchestrate and maintain continuous operational flow.
Below are just 5 of the benefits our SynQ software has brought to automated distribution centers serviced by Swisslog over the past 18 months. These benefits continue to deliver for our customers throughout the ongoing global effects of the pandemic.
1. Stock planning and complete SKU visibility
During the pandemic, SynQ’s advanced algorithms are ensuring slower moving stock is positioned deeper into the automated storage, and faster moving goods are positioned on the outside of the automation for swift retrieval. The software also manages peak demands, and enables site operation teams to evaluate stock levels and make real time changes to improve stock retrieval and availability for dispatch.
SynQ can integrate to provide proven, standardized interfaces to WMS and ERP systems, including SAP and SAP EWM. The software comes with a range of business intelligence tools, supported by Swisslog’s skilled team of data specialists, that enable data to be transformed into intelligent insights
2. Ability to be adaptive and responsive
SynQ’s Single Point of Control (SPOC) provides standard, easy-to-use screens across the platform, so operators and managers have a familiar and consistent way to interact with the system across operations, and across a broad range of devices. SynQ’s service-based architecture embeds intelligence throughout the operation, which, along with its business intelligence tools and the Single Point of Control, helps distribution centers better anticipate and respond to changes in throughput, without overinvesting in people or processes.
SynQ provides complete clarity on stock levels, which meant distribution centers were far more responsive and were able to make swift changes to the manufacturing environment. Additionally, the software enables on-site and field service teams to quickly and efficiently maintain and service equipment, to minimize any downtime.
3. Track and traceability
Hygienic practices have risen to high prominence as a result of COVID-19, so reduction in manual handling through automated solutions has become a driver of the success of companies in retail, food and beverage, and fast-moving consumer goods industries. Furthermore, SynQ software provides the ability to track and trace every product, so that companies can ensure that all hygiene, quality and safety standards and practices are being adhered to.
SynQ gives our customers the ability to capitalize early on new trends, and then deliver the right orders to the right customers, at the right time. As a full-service automated intralogistics provider and lifetime partner, Swisslog provides all the tools companies need to optimize logistics processes, from planning through to implementation.
4. Maintaining operations with a limited workforce
When governments impose restrictions on employees allowed in the warehouse, or encouraged working from home, SynQ is able to intelligently connect and synchronize automation equipment, robotics, people and processes to maximize distribution center order fulfillment. SynQ enables remote management of sites and technologies, allowing companies to continue operations with reduced staff on-site.
Instead of purchasing and attempting to integrate multiple software packages, while only utilizing part of the capabilities of any one, SynQ provides a single platform with the flexibility to deploy exactly what’s needed, when it’s needed. SynQ’s intuitive user interface means a broad range of users can control automation system components, such as robots, even without specialized knowledge of the particular equipment involved.
5. Efficient supply chain management
Automation sites are able to adopt Industry 4.0 principles by using key SynQ Managers to support live operations. SynQ Availability Manger and SynQ Cockpit Manager have been developed to support live operations and take data to enable operations teams to drive efficiency, maintenance windows, and identify key processes to make intelligent decisions and to improve supply chain efficiencies. SynQ operator interfaces are standardized across various warehouse systems, training requirements are reduced, workforce flexibility increases, and operator efficiency is improved. Because the SynQ platform supports multiple warehouse control modules, it enables the use of a universal user interface across multiple warehouses.
For one of our customers, the manual loading of one truck would typically take 45 minutes. Since employing a Swisslog automated warehouse, controlled by intelligent SynQ software, this company can load 15 trailers across 6 docks every hour. That equates to one 22-pallet trailer every 4 minutes.
The SynQ platform includes more than software. It also includes Swisslog’s services and expertise, delivered in the same way worldwide, so you have both the software and the support you need to enable insights, optimization and agility in your operations.
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