Improving Warehouse Operations Without A New WMS
Baptist Health South Florida is an internationally recognized healthcare network with 10 hospitals, more than 100 physician practices, and outpatient facilities spanning four counties from Palm Beach to the Florida Keys. Like other U. S. integrated delivery networks (IDNs), Baptist Health has adopted a self-distribution strategy with a central Distribution Center serving its facilities. Shortly after starting up a new 157,000 square foot DC in 2014, operations and IT teams at Baptist started seeking software solutions to improve manual material handling processes, but not replace PeopleSoft as their system of record.
After exploring warehouse management systems to complement their PeopleSoft ERP from Oracle, they opted to install the Lucas Mobile Work Execution system. Lucas offered the work execution functionality they were looking for without the need to replace PeopleSoft as their inventory management system. With Lucas they had one point of integration, a 6-month implementation (roll out was in stages over several months, starting with picking), and the project was completed at a fraction of the cost of a new WMS.
Manual Processes Prior to Lucas
After starting up the new DC, the Baptist Logistics and Distribution team started evaluating solutions to improve efficiency and accuracy of hands-on processes. At the time, picking and other processes were directed by paper using printed pick lists from PeopleSoft. In the original paper-based picking process with PeopleSoft, supervisors would first sort and group printed orders by hospital, hospital supply station, clinic or other shipping destination. Workers would often choose their “favorite” hospital or route to pick, and the execution of the picks was left to the discretion of the pickers. This paper-based picking process needed a lot of sorting and stapling before which made organization and efficiency extremely difficult. There was often paperwork lost and productivity reporting was based on a manual input.
The Lucas Solution
- Lucas Engage receives order, inventory and task information from PeopleSoft, and the Lucas software prioritizes and organizes work assignments.
- Through the Engage Management Dashboard, supervisors and managers have real-time visibility into work in process, exceptions, and employee productivity.
- Lucas Dynamic Work Optimization (DWO) uses location, priority and other relevant factors to calculate which orders should be grouped together to maximize pick density and minimize travel.
- Workers use Lucas Move featuring Jennifer Voice for hands-free putaway, replenishment, cross docking, cycle counting and picking.
- Lucas solution engineers also conducted an Engineering and Design Study which identified changes to warehouse layout and processes to increase productivity.
The Results of Lucas Software Have Exceeded Expectations
- Picking productivity has doubled in the main piece-picking area of the DC, which accounts for 80% of picking.
- With Lucas 8-10 employees can do the work of 12-14 employees who used the old paper based system.
- Bulk picking productivity has improved 20%.
- Picking accuracy has increased to 99.99%.
- Inventory accuracy improved 20-30% by location.
- Hospital deliveries arrive 1-2 hours earlier and are more predictable.