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AX Mobility Solutions
for a Large Agricultural Company.

THE CUSTOMER

Growers Express is a major agricultural company that grows and markets a variety of produce under well-known brands like Green Giant Fresh. Folio3 built an award winning suite of mobile solutions for Growers that were later productized as “Truetrac” – now acquired by FoodLink. These include applications for:

  • Food safety and produce traceability
  • Inventory management
  • Label printing in the field
  • Payroll information capture in the field
  • Crop planning
  • Mobile surveys

The Problem

Growers Express required a proper system through which they can streamline, manage and track information related to areas of:

  • Order Management
  • EDI
  • Warehouse Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Lot Traceability

Folio3 Solution

Warehouse Management

Improvement and enhancement in warehouse operations were done in the following areas:

  • GP Receiving
  • Warehouse Transfer Receiving
  • Cooling / Put Away Priority
  • Put Away
  • WMS Transfers
  • Location Transfers
  • Case Picking operations
  • Pre – Stage operations

Streamlining of these warehouse operations included:

Enhance WMS functionality by introducing new or utilizing existing locations

  • Receiving Locations
    • Where items are received from the field, outside purchase or transfers
  • Cooling Locations (Phase 2)
    • Cooling tubes or icing station where product is cooled
  • Warehouse Staging (Phase 2)
  • Full Pallet Storage
    • For full pallet storage of wet and dry items
    • These items are pickable for sales order
    • These Items can be used to replenish Partial Pallet and Case Pick or Loading Bay Storage
  • Loading Bay Storage
    • For full pallet storage of items that will leave the DC on sales orders within 2.5 hours
  • Partial Pallet / Case Pick Reserve Storage
    • For storage of partial pallets that will be used to replenish Case Pick Storage
    • These items are not pickable for sales orders
  • Case Pick Storage
    • For storage of partial pallet / full pallet items used for picking case pick items.
    • Case pick items are defined as items on a sales order that make up less than a full pallet on a sales line.
  • Pre-Stage Locations
    • For storage of consolidated case pick pallets of pre – staged items
    • Pre – staged items are case pick items that are staged ahead of the carrier arriving at the dock.
  • Dock Door Locations
    • Used for checking in trucks and validation of pallets being loaded onto the correct dock door.
  • Quarantine Locations (Phase 2)
    • For storage of items in a dedicated non – pickable location for QC, food safety inspections or FDA holds.
  • Transit Locations
    • For storage of an item while the item is in transit on the forklift


Order Management

To facilitate better and more timely sales decisions in regards to customers that have been allocated Credit Limits, an alert was generated in AX whenever a customer gets critically close to exhausting and/or has exhausted the allocated credit limit.

When the ‘Quantity’ of the SKU is entered in a Sales Lines of a Sales Order, the ‘Net Amount’ on that line gets updated through different processes as below:

(i) For Trade Agreement Orders: Auto-updated and visible on the Sales Line, as is currently.

(ii) When various price parameters are entered manually: Auto-updated and visible on the Sales Line, as is currently.

(iii) When no price parameters are entered: The net amount is calculated and auto-updated at the back-end by taking into account the latest available average price on that day for that particular SKU. Not visible on the Sales Line.

(iv) For a new SKU for which there is no previous price information available, either the latest, or the maximum/average price for the commodity (for eg Lettuce) over the period of the previous 7 days, would be used by the System to calculate the Net Amount.

(b) If and when the dollar amount of ‘AR + Open Orders (including the latest Sales Line that has been updated as elaborated above)’ reaches the Yellow Alert that is designated for that customer, a similar alert as elaborated in FR-4 and Fig 3 above will be generated. The user can close the dialog box/alert and proceed with creation of the Sales Lines.

(c) The System will allow for the Sales Order to be posted if it is in the Yellow status.

In the ‘Credit Status’ column on the ‘Overview’ page of the Sales Order screen shown below, the corresponding cells/fields for Sales Orders that are in yellow or red status should be have a yellow or red ‘fill’ respectively.

screen


EDI

For EDI Orders

Based on the parameters elaborated above, if the status of any customer/vendor initiated EDI Order is Red, the System will not allow that Order to be moved out from the virtual staging warehouse 88 and be assigned an actual warehouse. Hence, the Order cannot be proceeded further with till the ‘hold’ is lifted by an authorized person.

Inventory Management

Inventory transfers occur when items are being moved from on location to another. The stages of inventory transfer include:

  • Receiving to Bulk Storage
  • Receiving to Partial Storage
  • Receiving to Loading Bay Storage
  • Bulk to Partial Storage
  • Bulk to Case Pick Storage
  • Bulk to Loading Bay Storage
  • Bulk to Ice
  • Ice to Bulk
  • Partial to Case Pick Storage
  • Case Pick to Partial Storage
  • Case Pick to Pre Stage
  • Any location to Quarantine and back to active.

All transfers are performed by:

  1. Log in to WMS
  2. Navigate to the Main Menu by pressing the Home button
  3. Select the Transfers menu option to open the Transfers Page.

Current Process Deployed

To perform a transfer, the operator will use the WMS and perform the following:

From the Transfers page

  1. Scan the barcode on the pallet label
  2. Scan or enter the From Location:
  3. Drive to the put away location
  4. Scan or enter the To Location:
  5. Enter the Qty:
  6. Press the Confirm button
  7. Press the Post button

The quantity entered can be any amount up to the item quantity in the From Location. During the transfer process, items can become reserved to a sales order. If this occurs, an error message will notify the operator that the quantity is not available and cancel the transaction. This would only happen if the item is being transferred from a pickable location. Receiving and Partial Storage locations would be safe from this behavior as they are not pickable locations.

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Lot Traceability



Modification of the Pallet Label

The modification of the pallet label will be completed in house by IT. The modification consists of changing the barcode from the ItemId and InventDimId to the InventDimId only.

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Modification of the WMS Barcode Transaction

It has been determined that the InventDimId is sufficient to lookup the ItemId, InventSerialId and InventBatchId. The WMS barcode transaction will be modified such that the InventDimId is used to perform the lookup.

Sample SQL code to determine the ItemId and Inventory dimensions based on the InventDimId.


Mobility Solutions for Green Giant Express

Green Giant Fresh – Crop Report App

  • An iOS App for Retailers to get market information about different crops.
  • Provides the ability to contact commodity managers for any specific commodity from within the App.
  • Weather Alerts and Weather Reports for the locations where warehouses are located.
  • Also provides historical crop data.
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Green Giant Fresh – Survey Tool App

  • A native iOS App for Survey Inspectors to fill field surveys and synchronize with AX 2009 using their iPhone.
  • Surveyor can add corrective actions and follow up date against each negatively asked question.
  • Provides the ability for the inspectors to capture images against each survey question right from within the App.
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Green Express – Lost Acres App

  • A native iOS App for Survey Inspectors to collect data from field surveys about lost acres during cropping and fill onto the app and synchronize with AX 2009 in real time.
  • User can search data specific records based on Commodities, Harvest Date, Growers and search combination.
  • Users can add and modify Lost acres records into AX via mobile app

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