Robert Bosch

Company: interBizCustomer: Robert BoschSubmitted by: Spreckley Partners LtdA company’s profitability is directly affected by the effectiveness of its warehouse operations. Therefore, it is critical for a company to position itself as a leader in warehouse automation.Robert Bosch Ltd.

is the UK subsidiary of the German-based Bosch Group which manufactures automotive and industrial equipment, Blaupunkt car audio equipment, power tools and telecommunications systems, and sells them throughout the world. The company purchases its goods directly from Germany where they are then shipped from factories in both Europe and the United Stated to the company’s central warehouse in Denham, England.The warehouse covers 172,000 square feet with inventory stored in pallet racking, shelves and drawers. Bosch in the UK receives approximately 3,000 orders daily from well over 400 customers, each with a specific delivery date and its own detailed shipping instructions. Various shipping methods are used to deliver the goods to customers.

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In May 1991, Robert Bosch Ltd. began using Computer Associates interBiz Supply Chain Group’s, formerly Acacia Technologies’, Warehouse Boss and PRMS to better organise distribution and the warehouse itself.Because of Bosch’s high volume of sales, the UK warehouse receives large quantities of stock each week. For many years, receipt and storage of these items was a time-consuming process because the warehouse system was manual. Identifying the status of a job was virtually impossible and locating stored inventory was difficult. The company needed an automated warehouse management system to reduce turnaround time for handling incoming orders, for stocking deliveries and improve the accuracy of picking orders.

Warehouse Boss is a complete warehouse management system and PRMS is an enterprise-wide manufacturing system. Both provide warehouse and logistics management for the AS/400 environment. Through their effective use company was able to automate its entire warehouse system including receiving, locating, put-away, picking, replenishment and shipping.The interBiz Supply Chain Group provides a test system to test the new application. The flexible easy to use architecture enables Bosch technicians to design a system that described the best placement of stock for the company: fast-moving items in a central location and slow-moving items at the far end of the storage area.

“Before we installed the software, the quantities we were receiving at the warehouse were extremely large and our manual system was highly unsophisticated,” says Paul Forsdyke, Warehouse Boss Project Manager. “The big benefit now is as soon as we identify a product that we have received, Warehouse Boss tells us where to store it in the warehouse. Once it hits the loading or unloading dock it is out away immediately. We are no longer a manual warehouse, everything is done automatically. We save time and money and don’t have to worry that our stock will be misplaced.”Since the introduction of the Warehouse Boss, both picking time and accuracy have improved tremendously.

Three people are no longer required to pick an order. Now only one person is needed because the system provides instructions on which items to pick and what carton to pack them in. “Our picking accuracy is much higher now” says Forsdyke. “By using picking confirmation screens and check digits at locations, we guarantee the right items have been picked.”Forsdyke sums up: “From a programming viewpoint , Warehouse Boss is well designed and well written.

The AS/400 is ideal for warehouse applications because you can get one that’s as small as a PC or one as powerful as a low-end mainframe.”