Jurassic Park Dinos Show How the
understand the power of the new system, let's watch how a pallet of Jurassic Park action figures travels from Asia to a Wal-Mart distribution center
in Cleveland. The system tracks the movement
of freight in the warehouse in real time, giving the Port and its customers a
view of where they are in the process at any given time.
blink! Some steps take longer to explain than they take to perform. The
warehouse cycle can be as short as 48 hours from Port storage to hauler pick
up. Air shipment and rush orders go out within hours of order notification.)
- Hasbro, the Port's primary
warehouse customer, inputs and transmits inbound bill of lading
information and outbound shipment orders about the action figures through
electronic data interchange (EDI). Their information includes the type and
quantity of Jurassic Park action figures, the name of
the cross-oceanic shipping line for inbound cargo, and the retail
destination, item numbers, quantities, purchase order numbers and other
pertinent customer information for outbound orders. This electronic data
flows over the Web so it can be automatically entered into the Port's WMS
- After the shipment arrives at Seattle's docks and is unloaded off
the vessel, Port truckers pick up and deliver the containers to the Port's
- Once the container is in the warehouse, Port
employees unload the shipment. The container already has an individual
inbound order number assigned by Hasbro. This order number is entered into
the WMS system to both verify goods receipt and to create inventory
tracking pallet tags with a readable and scannable
ID number for each pallet from the container. (The action figures now are
"in the Port's house" and system.)
4. The WMS system, via computer,
tells the warehouseperson where to locate the pallets
of action figures in the warehouse. (If this freight already has an outbound
order, it will be diverted to a shipping row automatically.) This same
information travels across the Web to automatically update Hasbro's system.
- Hasbro sends outbound shipping orders via EDI several
times throughout the day. The Warehouse customer service section retrieves
these orders through the Order Management System (OMS) and downloads them
into WMS. Warehouse planners schedule the loads with truckers and air
shippers and "wave plan" the shipment to the warehouse floor.
- Each shift, supervisors and foremen check the system
for a prioritized list of work orders for the crews to perform and their
work zones. When the action figures are ready to be picked, foremen assign
work orders within the system to each crew member by name or work zone.
- Using the computer terminals mounted on their
forklifts or their powerful computerized, hand-held scanners, warehouse
crew get their "pick" commands right off the computer. The
computer tells them the location, item number and pallet tag to pick an
order from and where to take the freight in the shipping area.
- Once the action figures are in the shipping area, a
warehouseperson scans the shipping container tag and automatically
generates the outbound shipping labels for each individual pallet. This
shipping label information is transmitted back to Hasbro, who in turn
transmits it to their Wal-Mart customer in Cleveland.
- A warehouseperson scans the outbound pallet one more
time as the shipment is loaded into a trailer to be picked up by a
long-haul truck. Once the load is complete, a warehouse shipper generates
the trucker's paperwork.
- The Port's WMS and Hasbro's systems are updated once
more in real time. As the truck pulls away, both Hasbro and the Port know
which dinosaurs are on a road-trip to Cleveland--all by electrons, instead