Intralogistics: Concepts and Suggestions
As a company evolves, its ability to administer and manage its operations becomes increasingly complex.
In House Logistics or Intralogistics involves everything that refers to the management, optimization and automation of the flow of raw materials and finished products in a company, whether in its stock or in distribution centers, combining operational processes with generation, control and and data storage.
According to Rogério Scheffer, President of Águia Sistemas, a company specialized in this field, “While Logistics is the art of managing resources, materials and information to organize the supply chain and deliver the right products to the right place, at the right time at a cost viable, Intralogistics is associated with the resources, information and materials necessary for Storage, Handling and Dispatch activities in a warehouse, distribution center or industry, that is, it is everything that happens between four walls in the logistics universe”.
If you thought it was difficult to manage cargo transport in its different modes, know that managing the microcosm of a storage unit can be just as challenging. Among the main stages of this segment we have the receipt of materials, checking them, moving them to their respective storage areas, launching the products in the system and in the stock, stocking and storing the items, distributing the products to each sector, the movement of materials on site (which can be very dangerous), in addition to the monitoring and tracking of items and also information about the stage of each one of them. Everything was always carried out without errors and in the shortest possible time.
Finally, Intralogistics is vital to allow the good performance of the internal circulation of inputs and final products, aligning the flows of materials and information, thus allowing the fluidity of processes. But for that to happen, planning is needed. It is essential to map how the processes are carried out, what equipment is used, what materials are being used, who is responsible for each step, how long each task takes to be performed and other possible factors. With this mapping it is possible to identify the bottlenecks that need to be eliminated from the operational routine.
To create an In House Logistics strategy, it is necessary to master all operations related to it. Every action must be based on numbers. Whichever is more efficient prevails. However, some advice can be applied generically:
- Apply your resources in a good logistical structure: after studying your specific case, adopt the most rational model. If it is a conventional warehouse, with Pallet Rack and Dynamic (ramps where the goods descend by gravity), install it. If studies indicate the need for a Self-supporting, completely automated, build it. Do you need Conveyors (conveyor belts that move loads)? Install. The fluidity of the goods will pay off the investment. Can believe.
- Train employees constantly: training develops agility and avoids rework. This goes for everyone, both for those who operate loads and for those who deal with information systems, including management. In addition, the proper handling of multiple tools increases the useful life of the equipment.
- Organize the stock without forgetting the demand: control the entry and exit of goods well for certain periods of time, thus avoiding zeroing the stock in order not to interrupt the flow of sales. In addition, implement an easy-to-operate model with demarcated areas for the different SKUs (items), without forgetting the control of inputs and products with barcodes and scanners.
- Perform inventory maintenance: having a complete inventory of what is in the warehouse or DC prevents losses. Register goods and their respective values. Start with a manual count and enter into the system. In this way, if the lack of any material or product is registered, the case can be investigated.
- Align the work of your teams: having specialized teams in each sector makes the work flow, as if it were an Olympic relay team, each handing over the baton to the other to carry out its task.
- Buy quality machinery and equipment suitable for your operation: this reduces downtime and maintenance costs (which need to be done strictly on time to avoid abrupt interruptions). Also, do not forget the PPE for employees.
- Invest in good software: systems such as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) or a WCS (Warehouse Control System) greatly facilitate the management of storage units, controlling all storage and movement of SKUs.
- Hire a good service provider to set up your Intralogistics operation: check who the customers of the company you intend to hire are and contact them to get references.
- And finally, stay tuned for the latest trends. This is the case of Logística 4.0, which also affects its In House version. The president of Águia Sistemas, Rogério Scheffer, highlights the importance of this moment we are living, from a scientific point of view: “With the fusion of the physical and digital worlds, in addition to the collision of countless other disruptive technologies, such as Big Data, Data Cloud, Machine Learn, Smartphones, AI, associated with other MKT tools such as CRM, Search Engines (Google), and also considering the expansion of electronic commerce, we have, as a result of this complex equation, a real explosion in Logistics in terms of the rupture of recent metrics, related to infrastructure, technologies, integrations, connections, in short, numbers of activities that were absolutely unimaginable until recently.” Leaving these advances aside can be fatal for business in a virtually connected world.
These are simple tips that can be applied to any Intralogistics strategy. And the advantages of an efficient system in this area are unquestionable:
- Greater control of the various internal operations: the manager has everything he needs in real time and can take corrective measures as quickly as possible;
- Cost reduction: daily expenses are drastically reduced in an operation of this scale;
- Process optimization: everything is more agile and faster when the Intralogistics system works properly;
- Increased productivity: a direct result of the efficient management of the storage unit, productivity increases in all fields;
- Improvements in infrastructure: all the investment made will generate an operational infrastructure that is better suited to day-to-day operations, resulting in increased profits.
In this universe, of In House Logistics, Águia Sistemas is one of the best companies in Latin America. The industry, located in Ponta Grossa, Paraná, is the Brazilian leader in the construction of storage structures and is heading in that direction when it comes to the automation of these spaces. The company’s president, Rogério Scheffer, explains that “the activity of Águia Sistemas is 100% related to Intralogistics, operating in the execution of projects, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of storage structures and automated systems for moving and separating products, which correspond to the infrastructure of Necessary intralogistics for the verticalization and organization of spaces, in addition to the movement and separation of products, consolidation and routing of orders, with the integration of several other complementary technologies, in addition to integration software, with ERP, WMS and WCS systems”.