March 19th, 2024 | Company news

OrderFlow Release 4.4.0

Warehouse volumetrics dashboard

OrderFlow Release 4.4.0

Warehouse volumetrics dashboard

We’re pleased to announce the release of OrderFlow 4.4.0. In this release we have introduced a new QA module to provide support for quality assurance checking, particularly of incoming deliveries. The release also includes a number of enhancements to other areas of the system, with a particular focus on improvements in OrderFlow’s order processing capability.

QA Module

A new QA module provides a framework for defining different types of quality assurance check, and for ensuring that these are performed at the appropriate point in the processing workflow.

While the initial work on this feature has targeted delivery receipt, its design allows it to be easily applied in the future to different parts of the system, such as returns, work orders and even sales order processing.

In the case of receipts, the QA functionality is set up to allow a delivery to be completed only after all of the defined QA actions have been carried out. The actions themselves would be performed by a suitably qualified user, with each action potentially having its own user interface. Example QA actions may involve validating the quantities or condition of received items, or ensuring that additional information related to the delivery has been inputted correctly.

Note that further applications of the QA feature are likely to lead to custom development to handle the specific requirements being addressed.

Warehouse QA test
Warehouse QA test

Held for checking stock status

In OrderFlow 4.4.0 we’ve introduced further improvements in dealing with error scenarios, such as short picks. Here, we’ve added a new ‘held for check’ stock status, which can be used at the point where a short pick occurs. The aim is to be minimally disruptive, so that if the initial stock position turns out to have been correct, any other picks that rely on this stock can be carried out as before.

Accompanying this change, we have added a new dashboard as well as a handheld rolling stock check, which targets the locations with stock held for checking. These features help to allow the necessary follow up stock checks to occur soon after the initial problems have been identified.

Global batches

Picking batches in OrderFlow were originally channel-scoped, and more recently, the ability to pick shipments from multiple channels within the same organisation was introduced. With OrderFlow 4.4.0 we offer the capability to pick shipments across multiple organisations.

This feature can be useful in particular for 3PLs with smaller clients for which the order volumes do not allow for efficient organisation-specific batches. This applies, in particular, close to the cut off for end of day courier collection, where only a few orders may need to be picked.

If automated batch creation is enabled, the system can apply a script to determine whether global batching should be used. This allows for example for organisation- or channel-specific batches to be used for most of the day, with global batches used closer to the end of day cut off.

Note that there are some restrictions on the use of global batches, so please contact us for further information on these.

Shipment assignment

A small but potentially consequential change introduced in OrderFlow 4.4.0 relates to the timing of order line assignment. In previous releases all the lines for a multi-line order had to be in stock before the system attempted to assign specific picking locations to any individual order line. From 4.4.0, it is possible to allow for assignment to take place on any in stock order line, even when other lines in the shipment are out of stock.

This approach can be used to allow the system to more effectively reserve specific stock for order lines on a first come first served basis.

Deassignment following status changes

With this release we’ve also refined the effect of changing the status of stock on existing order lines. Some may recall that in a recent release, we introduced non-invasive deassignment following stock quantity adjustments. With OrderFlow 4.4.0, the same feature now applies for stock status changes, with the system attempting to find alternative picking locations if necessary, then falling back to creating back orders, only deassigning stock from order lines if neither of these two options apply.

Volumetrics dashboard

With 4.4.0 we’ve introduced a dashboard to make the volumetrics data recorded in OrderFlow more visible to users. Example output is shown below.

Warehouse volumetrics dashboard
Warehouse volumetrics dashboard

Packing workflow

With OrderFlow 4.4.0 we’ve added some refinements to the workflow around packing operations. It is now possible for shipments to be held before packing, where items are physically packed, but with no courier label created, and held until they are ‘released’ for packing at a later stage.

For these shipments, and for any shipments that need to be prepacked in the same way, it is now possible to print a generic internal label which can be placed on the shipment packages for identification purposes. At the point where the shipment is released for the final pack-related operations to occur, the generic label can be used to easily return to the packing screen, print courier labels and complete the packing operations.

Other Enhancements

In this release we’ve added nearly 90 enhancements and bug fixes.

Some of the noteworthy miscellaneous enhancements include:

  • a role-based mechanism to allow certain operators to bypass the delivery receipt quantity restrictions derived from the associated ASNs or purchase orders
  • the ability to create multiple customer records that share the same email address
  • allowing for the display of carrier-specific tracking URLs, potentially useful in cases where OrderFlow’s courier integration is through a Delivery Management System that integrates with multiple carriers
  • the ability to search product records by named attribute
  • the ability to specify the packaging used for all shipments in a batch, useful for example for large homogenous batches involving a single product
  • a mechanism for record the number of labels printed, (e.g. product labels), potentially useful for 3PLs who charge for product labelling
  • a more memory efficient full stock push that allows for the inventory notification for a large catalogue to be sent in ‘chunks’ to the third party system

If you would like more information about the OrderFlow platform please get in touch, if you’d like to receive details of future OrderFlow releases please complete the form below.

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