Numina’s latest software release combines cartonization logic and in-motion dimensional pick verification to lean up the picking and packing process, reduce shipping costs and drive a fast return on investment in order fulfillment technology
Woodridge, IL August 10, 2015 The Numina Group today announced that it has released advanced cartonization software that delivers enhanced order fulfillment efficiencies and operational cost savings over many of today’s existing solutions. The new software includes an advanced algorithm to determine the optimal shipping carton size for the greatest packing efficiency and lowest shipping costs. The software also works well as an audit tool to detect discrepancies in planned versus actual dimensions on outbound shipments, a common source of expensive carrier charge backs.
Select the Right Carton Upfront — Before order release, Numina’s cartonization software analyzes order data and calculates the optimal shipping carton size before orders are picked, making it possible for warehouse staff to pick directly into the final shipping carton rather than an interim picking tote. “This is the leanest pick method for the majority of picking applications,” said Dan Hanrahan, Numina Group’s CEO. “When shippers can eliminate the use of totes and the redundant repacking of orders, the efficiency gains and cost savings are tremendous.”
Numina’s intelligent carton cubing software can also verify full case pick to conveyor applications to validate picking and reduce shipping costs. According to Hanrahan, “One company with a large retail distribution operation estimates they will save over $300,000 in shipping costs by using our new cartonization software.”
Bin Modeling vs Fluid Modeling Cartonization Logic — Most legacy cartonization software is based on the fluid model, which simply adds up the item volumes and compares the sum to the total volume of the carton. “This software model typically requires specific rules for some SKUs so it requires higher software support and customization to produce reasonable results,” said Hanrahan. “For example, setting the fill factor too high will yield inaccurate cartonization results and expensive extra steps in the pick-and-pack process.”
Numina’s new cartonization software is based instead on an advanced bin modeling algorithm that eliminates these limitations. It produces only SKU selection results that can truly fit into the selected carton size. It also much more closely achieves 100% fill ratios than fluid modeling solutions. The software can perform cartonization over any set of available containers and will optimize the total number and size of cartons to minimize shipping costs.
Built-in Real-time Order and Shipment Validation — In addition to its “pick to carton” capabilities with built-in SKU and count validation, Numina’s software also works well to monitor planned versus actual dimensional weights on outbound shipments, and detect discrepancies due to pick errors or SKU changes. The software can be integrated with an in-line weighing and dimensioning system to verify expected carton size and weight as shipping cartons travel to the pack lines for document insertion, void fill and taping. This method can be used for split case picks and is extremely valuable for verifying full case picking.
Accurate Shipping Costs Pre-shipment — Numina’s cartonization software, when integrated with an order fulfillment system, delivers real-time order inspection and results in more accurate LTL and parcel shipping costs. Shipping cost calculations are based on actual dimensional weight measurements, eliminating the risk of expensive charge backs or lost revenue.
The Numina Group is one of a handful of suppliers with both cartonization software for pick to carton and carton cube/weight measurement combined with real-time control and conveyor sorting decisions. “Our software, integrated with existing ERP and/or WMS systems, can improve accuracy and reduce labor and shipping costs in existing or new DC operations,” said Hanrahan.
Full Case Pick Validation Catches Miss-picks — Companies that ship a high percentage of full-case SKUs can use the software’s “learn mode” to on-line capture and learn full case SKU cube and weight. This eliminates the labor-intensive tasks of manual dimensional weight data collection. Additionally, once the SKU characteristics are learned, the software performs pick validation and can catch miss-picks in orders. This data can also be used to manage print and apply labeling of carrier or retail compliance shipping labels and improve other operations such as staging, storage space planning and cubing trailers for LTL or full truckload shipments.
“The storage and cube utilization of a warehouse, the sizing of future facilities and transportation planning can all be optimized by combining cartonization software with an in-line dimensional weight system,” said Hanrahan.