Warehouse Intelligence

Warehouse Intelligence

In addition to the Warehouse Insights (reports and KPIs) included in the Base System, Mantis also offers the WI module, which is a powerful BI tool providing data insights by utilizing self-service visualizations. It relies on the QLIK SENSE business intelligence platform and consists of the following parts:

A. LVS Data Repository: Its creation is based on Logistics Vision Suite database’s raw data. The main goal for creating the LVS Data Repository is to provide the power user(s) of LVS WI with the ability to create their own applications, KPIs and visualizations using the pre-processed and aggregated data of LVS database, which resides in the intermediate layer, without the need of the IT personnel. This intermediate data layer has been designed and developed by Mantis to provide a more business-oriented view of the information which is in-rest in the underline LVS raw data. Thus, making information easily accessible and more comprehensible for consuming. The LVS data repository contains both historical and real time analytics.

B. LVS Data Analytics: LVS WI visualizations ecosystem consists of five applications, each one dedicated to different warehouse operations data analytics to provide compelling insights in a fast and reliable manner. Each application’s visualizations and analytics are based on LVS Data Repository data consumption. A library of more than 200 Dimensions, 1800 Measures, 350 Visualizations and KPIs are “ready to use”. The applications are the following:

  • Inventory Analytics: Data analytics and visualizations regarding item inventory balance history and daily quantitative analysis of item transactions. Also, item inventory current stock balances and warehouse space utilization.
  • Outbound Analytics: Data analytics and visualizations regarding order fulfilment process history as well as shipment routing and delivery history.
  • Receipts: Data analytics and visualizations regarding expected receipts -ASNs- receiving process history as well as dock to stock movements inside the warehouse.
  • Returns: Data analytics and visualizations regarding returns receiving process history as well as dock to stock movements inside the warehouse.
  • Resource Metrics: Data analytics and visualizations regarding human resources performance and equipment utilization as well as daily warehouse operations history.

It also enables the user to self-produce / achieve the following:

User Defined Applications: Easy creation of new applications. Easy creation of new sheets and visualizations.

Interactive analysis: Ask any question and quickly explore across all your data for insight, using global search and interactive selections.

Create and explore on any device: Explore, create, and collaborate on any device from everywhere. On desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.


Solutions Overview

Solutions Overview

Logistics Vision Suite (LVS), Mantis‘ flagship WMS/logistics software suite, is an integrated state of the art family of extended Supply Chain Execution software systems.

LVS‘ design represents a great leap in WMS/logistics technology, offering enterprise-scale true adaptability & flexibility that is unique world-wide. It meets the needs of even the most demanding large enterprises with ease and helps them to achieve an unbeatably fast ROI + low TCO. The company makes this claim, after having successfully outperformed some of the best competitive WMS on the market.

More than 500 enterprises, many of them leading multinationals, representing all major market sectors (3PLs/4PLs, retailers, distributors / wholesalers, etc.) and selling channels (traditional and e-commerce) rely on Mantis‘ software and solutions to run and optimize their warehousing and logistics operations. The system has been successfully integrated with most major ERPs (SAP, Oracle/JDE, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor, Epicore, etc.).

In particular, the following LVS software systems and modules can be combined, to create the most appropriate logistics solution for an enterprise:

Warehouse Vision is a state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System (WMS) and is the heart of LVS. It manages all activities of single and multi-site, private and public distribution centres and improves productivity and efficiency of available resources such as labour, racking, forklifts and material handling systems.
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Warehouse Value supports value added services performed within the distribution centre including kitting and light production activities such as the creation of promotional items and displays (by Supermarkets and FMCG distributors) and the assembly of the final “ready-made” products (computers, electrical & electronic devices, furniture, etc). It supports an unlimited number of BOM levels that can be version controlled as well as “Back-Flushing” for automatic issuing of the components and packing materials.
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Dock & Gate Management controls the gates and plans the reception docks for incoming trucks. The module, which provides comprehensive reporting for supplier / customer evaluation includes a graphical “calendar” interface that allows customer service representatives to create / modify plans for reserving reception locations for incoming trucks per warehouse activity (expected receipts, returns and order-shipments).
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Warehouse Automation consists of a smart combination of proven competitively priced systems and technologies (Voice Picking, Pick/Sort-to-Light/Put-Wall, Pick-to-Cart, RFID, etc.) that have been significantly enhanced by Mantis and offered as turn-key solutions. Furthermore, the company’s platform is designed to easily integrate with material handling equipment such as ASRS, Miniloads, Shuttles, Carousels, Sorters, etc.
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Logistics Billing & Costing includes Warehouse & Distribution Billing that undertake the full control, calculation, issuing and maintenance of all invoice data concerning warehousing & distribution activities. These modules are used by 3PLs/4PL and logistics business units of an enterprise wishing to act/operate as a 3PL/4PL company.
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Warehouse Control enables properly authorized staff to fully control all activities of local and remote warehouses and stores through powerful manager-friendly software tools running on mobile devices / tablets and workstations. The tools allow the management of WMS tasks (picking, put-away, replenishment, counting, etc.), the visualization of the inventory (inventory quantities / attributes / status vs. storage bins & locations) in all distribution centers as well as the monitoring and management of WMS users in real time regardless if they are located in the same or in another warehouse in the same or another city or country.
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Traceability Management provides full lot traceability from receipts to order shipments as well as lot genealogy both in warehousing and production areas. It can support up to 100% recall accuracy depending on the trace detail level the customer decides to employ in the warehousing & distribution operations.
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Logistics Customer Service extends the supply chain outside the walls of the enterprise enabling company’s trade partners (customers, resellers, suppliers, etc.) to retrieve information on stock and order status in real time, to submit orders and ASNs and in general access and interact with the company through a multi-channel communication infrastructure (web, smartphone / tablets, call center & fax).
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Adaptability includes powerful tools and unique built-in features allowing Mantis‘ partners and customer’s own staff to easily adapt LVS covering almost every logistics need of a modern enterprise.
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Parcel Management provides the integration of the shipping-through-carriers process with warehouse operations, thus order fulfilment and shipping blend together as one process. This results to cost reduction, improved control and better customer services are accomplished by streamlining the process of domestic & international shipping manifestation, shipping label & report printing and shipment tracking.
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Warehouse Intelligence: In addition to the Warehouse Insights (reports and KPIs) included in the Base System, Mantis also offers the WI module, which is a powerful BI tool providing data insights by utilizing self-service visualizations. It relies on the QLIK SENSE business intelligence platform.
..read more +

Specialized Logistics Solutions

Mantis has designed and developed specialized Supply Chain Management solutions for specific vertical market sectors and countries / regions:

  • Distribution Management & Optimization including Vehicle Route Optimization, Proof of Delivery, Fleet Management and Distribution Profit & Loss.
  • Inventory Planning & Optimization.
  • Warehouse Resources Advanced Planning & Scheduling.
  • Manufacturing Execution System.
  • Quality & Safety Planning & Execution system for the food and beverage industry.
  • Container Terminal Management System (CTMS) and Container Freight Station (CFS) to manage container terminals and their logistics centers.
  • Physical Document Archive Management to automate the access to large physical document archives kept in banking, insurance, government, etc.
  • Logistics Customer Service Automation through Document Management-Workflow-&-Call Center technologies and applications.

Architecture – Technology

LVS, is based on the latest Microsoft DOT NET and other de-facto standards supporting the two most popular RDBMS systems, Microsoft SQL server and Oracle. It relies on the latest MS DOT NET framework, offering full 64bit support at both client and server sides. The system is based on a 3-tier structure including User Interface (UI), Business Application Logic (BL) and Data Access (DA) layers. Users can access LVS from Radio Frequency terminals, Voice terminals, Pick/Sort-to-Light/Put-Wall and Pick-to-Cart systems, and of course from Microsoft Windows PCs and tablets. Also several LVS functions can be accessed through Web Browsers and Smartphones (Apple/iOS, Android, etc).

It is a highly adaptable system, based on unique business rule and scenario building technologies. It is true multi-lingual software employing a superb personalization mechanism resulting in a very user friendly interface. It has been designed from the very beginning to support all demanding logistics activities in real time and for high transactional volume (large multi-site enterprises).

The effectiveness of a logistics information system is directly dependent on its ability to easily integrate with existing IT systems such as ERP & MRP. LVS is already successfully integrated in 100’s of customers with almost all international ERPs (SAP, MS Dynamics, Oracle, Infor, Epicore, etc.) as well as with several country-specific and regional ERPs. Furthermore, Mantis has developed a special subsystem (Logistics Link Manager), which allows fast initial setup of the interfaces with existing IT systems, as well as easy maintenance of the interfaces in the future.


Warehouse Automation

Breakthrough flexible + affordable warehouse automations by Mantis, defining the Covid-19 era

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the need for warehouse automation, especially when combined with e-commerce.

With the growth in piece (“eaches”) picking and in inner / master carton picking in many distribution centers (as a result of e-commerce) and other factors driving the evolution of order profiles, companies look for warehouse automation solutions to speed-up picking while at the same time reducing costs, minimizing errors and improving traceability.

However, the era of the warehouse automation dinosaurs, that is the rigid solutions that cover most of the distribution center, cost a fortune and take “forever” to install / implement, has passed without return.

Companies are now looking for warehouse automations of reasonable pricing that can be implemented quickly and are flexible enough to grow with them such as Voice Picking, Pick-to-Light, Put-Walls / Sort-to-Light, Smart Pick Carts, Smart Glasses, RFID, Mobile Robots, etc.

But in most cases, those systems and technologies come with their own control software, which brings several serious disadvantages such as:

  • Requiring initial and on-going integration between the automations’ control software and the WMS / WES;
  • Turning cheap commodity hardware to expensive propriety systems; and
  • Such integration is usually not comprehensive, real-time and tight, resulting in poor optimization of the complete picking / replenishment process as well as in serious limitations in the traceability and the (near) real-time slotting, decision-making, and handling of exceptions.

Mantis WMS, and in particular its embedded WCS, overcome all these disadvantages by directly controlling all such systems and technologies, thus eliminating the need for the 3rd party control software and integration with the WMS / WES. As a result, Mantis’ customers can use cheap commodity hardware and at the same time optimize the complete picking / replenishment process and improve the overall picking performance and traceability. Furthermore, the fact that there is no need to integrate such technologies with the WMS / WES, drastically lowers the timeframes, cost and complexity of system implementations and deployments.

WMS integration with light-directed automations

Mantis has been innovating in warehouse automation for more than 13 years now. Especially for the light-directed automations, Mantis has designed a single multi-threaded highly configurable platform (LVS – WCS Lights Server) supporting all automation technologies and systems in any combination (Pick-to-Light, Sort-to-Light / Put-Walls, Smart Pick Carts). It is tightly integrated with Mantis’ embedded LVS – Warehouse Execution System (WES) to utilize advanced put-away, replenishment, pre-cubing, picking, sorting and other algorithms.

Many Mantis customers from various industries (ICT, Pharma, Tobacco, Grocery, etc.) are enjoying the benefits of such light-directed automations for several years now.

The LVS – WCS Lights Server, since its announcement in 2007, is being continuously enhanced incorporating the customers’ best practices. As a result, it has evolved in a very advanced and mature solution including features that are a “must” for advanced B2B and B2C e-commerce environments but at the same time are very hard to find in other light-directed solutions such as:

  • 2 pack type levels within the same bin e.g. piece and inner carton,
  • Picking of specific LOT due to traceability and inventory rotation reasons,
  • Supporting light devices of different colors in the same Pick-to-Light zone enabling concurrent picking for different orders, etc.

Mantis complements its light-directed solutions with consulting services to customize these solutions to each customer’s needs.

WMS integration with Automated Material Handling Systems (AMHS)

AMHS are supported by Mantis WMS through its own advanced LVS – WCS AMHS Server since 2013.

AMHS types supported:

  • Goods-to-Person picking enabled by automated storage / conveyor / robotics technologies (Shuttles, Carousels, Mini-Loads, Mobile Selves & AGV – like robotics, etc.),
  • Sorters,
  • Packing line systems,
  • RFID-Gates,
  • Cutting machines, etc.

Successful integrations:

Like the rest of its servers, LVS – WCS AMHS Server is also configurable and of a multi-threading design used for driving multiple automation types on a single instance. It communicates with AMHS and 3rd party WCSusing a multitude of real and near-real time communication protocols. It is tightly integrated with Mantis’ embedded LVS – WES to utilize advanced put-away, replenishment, pre-cubing, picking, sorting and other algorithms.

LVS – WCS AMHS Server is being successfully implemented and proven for several years in prestigious Mantiscustomers with sophisticated operations in various industries (ICT, Pharma, H&B, Spare Parts & Accessories, Apparel & Footwear, etc).

Touch-Screen Packing + Checking + Weighting Stations

Mantis complements its warehouse automation solutions with its feature-rich Touch-Screen Packing + Checking + Weighting Station application that comes integrated with its Put-Wall solutions as well as with a multitude of scale types, carton / parcel dimensioners, scanners, etc.

This application, since its announcement in 2009, has been installed in a plethora of customers and is being continuously enhanced since then incorporating the customers’ best practices. As a result, it has evolved in one of the most advanced and mature solutions of this kind in the international market.

Voice Picking / Cross-Docking

The company offers its own Voice Picking / Cross-Docking software and solutions based on Honeywell’s Vocollect technologies which have been tightly integrated to Mantis WMS / WES through own proprietary software.

It is a feature-rich high-performance solution providing functionality that is hard to find in other Voice-directed solutions such as:

  • Cross-Docking (BBxD, etc.) in addition to typical picking
  • Real-time integration with Mantis WMS / WES allowing:
    • On-line replenishment of picking locations while the voice picking is in progress
    • Concurrent access to the same picking locations by pickers using different technologies (Voice, RF, Smart Glasses, etc.)
  • Multiple pack type levels within the same location e.g. piece, inner carton, master carton
  • Picking of specific LOT due to traceability and inventory rotation reasons

Vision-Voice-RFID (VVR) Picking

Finally, Mantis recently (January 2020) announced its VVR (Vision-Voice-RFID) picking solution that is probably the first real-life Vision Picking solution in the world.

VVR, that relies on Smart Glasses with advanced voice recognition capabilities and wearable RFID devices, revolutionizes Piece Picking / Pick-to-Cart, Case Picking & Sorting / Put-Walls that have been supported by traditional RF / Light / Voice – directed applications.


Parcel Management

Parcel Management

Parcel Management provides the integration of the shipping-through-carriers process with warehouse operations, thus order fulfilment and shipping blend together as one process. This results to cost reduction, improved control and better customer services are accomplished by streamlining the process of domestic & international shipping manifestation, shipping label & report printing and shipment tracking. It supports the following main features:

  • Carriers and Integrators: It accommodates both carriers and integrators for the shipping process. Multiple carriers & integrators are supported.
  • Shipment Manifestation: The primary purpose of the shipment manifest entity is to facilitate the carrier manifestation process through automated interfaces with the carrier or integrator by retaining all necessary information regarding the shipping process – carrier, service level, accessorial etc. It also accommodates the integration of shipment manifestation in order fulfillment process powered by Mantis’ WMS system.
  • Printing Shipping Labels & Documents: It can print labels – shipping or return – & shipping documents – Certificate of origin, NAFTA certificate of origin, commercial invoice etc. – for shipment manifests either through the carrier or integrator interface method or through pre-designed templates.
  • Address Validation: It is mandatory for the destination address of a shipment manifest to be correct, for delivering a shipment successfully and avoiding any extra charges for address correction by the carrier or even failure to deliver the shipment.
  • Track & Trace: It can retain detailed tracking information for each shipment utilizing carrier’s or integrator’s corresponding interface method, thus providing better delivery status visibility of shipments to customer service.
  • Historical Data: It retains transaction log for auditing purposes.

Carriers and Integrators


Adaptability

Adaptability

Adaptability includes powerful tools and unique built-in features allowing Mantis’ partners and customer’s own staff to easily adapt LVS covering almost every logistics need of a modern enterprise:

  • Visual Logistics Scenario Builder is a powerful tool allowing consultants to easily define stock rotation rules that are more specialized than the standard FIFO/FEFO/LIFO/.. ones which are included in the core system. A graphical flow design interface to easily combine predefined advanced business rules as well as define new ones in order to create even the most complex picking and replenishment scenarios. An unlimited number of rules and scenarios can be active at the same time per DC to cover its special needs.
  • Logistics Link Manager is a powerful tool which allows the fast initial setup of the interfaces between Mantis/LVS and existing IT systems (ERP, MRP, etc) as well as their easy ongoing maintenance. It supports known standards such as file types (CSV, ASCii, XML), Database (direct access to temporary tables) and Web Service calls. So far, it has been successfully integrated with known international ERPs such as SAP, Oracle/JDE, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor and Epicore as well as with many other local/regional ERPs.
  • Visual Warehouse Designer is the design part of the Visual Warehouse Manager described earlier in this document. It enables authorized personnel to initially design and then maintain and modify the topology of the various warehouse areas and storage systems.
  • Software Development Enabler allows the usage of Microsoft DOT NET and SQL programming languages to extend system’s functionality through ‘software exits’ and Application Programming Interface (API) mechanisms both on Windows and RF clients.
  • RF Menu Designer is a tool that allows consultants to customize the RF menus depending on customer’s specific needs.
  • Custom Reports Builder allows the creation of custom reports based on the Crystal Reports platform as well as on the Dashboard tools included in LVS.
  • Windows Form Designer is a powerful tool allowing the creation of custom windows forms of LVS to cover special customer needs.


Logistics Customer Service

Logistics Customer Service

It extends the supply chain outside the walls of the enterprise enabling company’s trade partners (customers, resellers, suppliers, etc.) to retrieve information on stock and order status in real time, to submit orders and ASNs and in general access and interact with the company through a multi-channel communication infrastructure (web, smartphone/tablets, call center & fax):

  • e-Track&Trace: Retrieve logistics data concerning the status of warehouse stock and key logistics activities in real time as well as historical data.
  • e-Order: Create and submit sales/delivery orders.
  • e-ASN: Create and submit Advanced Shipping Notices – ASNs (receipts).

This subsystem is a “must” for 3PLs/4PLs who want to provide their customers (depositors) with the above functionality concerning their own stock and logistics activities. It is also very useful for distributors/wholesalers and retailers who want to provide their logistics staff and executives with such functionality.


Traceability

Traceability

Upstream – Downstream Traceability Management

A complete set of functions supporting the traceability both in up-stream and in down-stream logistics is included in the system. It can support up to 100% recall accuracy depending on the trace detail level the customer decides to employ in the warehousing operations.

Mantis‘ long experience with traceability issues is due to its large number of Food/Bev and in general FMCG customers.

Lot Genealogy

Lot genealogy keeps track of the internal genealogy of the lots within the production area of a DC. It is accompanying the Warehouse Production module of the LVS/Warehouse Value subsystem.


Logistics Billing

Logistics Billing

These modules are used by 3PLs/4PLs and logistics business units of an enterprise wishing to act/operate as a 3PL/4PL company:

Warehouse Billing undertakes the full control, calculation, issuing and maintenance of all invoice data concerning warehousing activities.

Distribution Billing undertakes the full control, calculation, issuing and maintenance of all invoice data concerning distribution activities.

 

 

 


Advanced Slotting

Advanced Slotting

Mantis acquired in 2018, Insight GT, Inc., a leading international Slotting and Warehouse Optimizationsoftware solutions vendor headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

The only product on the market to integrate all warehousing management and planning in one tool set, Advanced Slotting (DC Expert) gives you the power to maximize space utilization, labor productivity, transportation efficiencies, and measure your operation against global benchmarks in your unique business sector.

Optimize your DC through re-slotting, and realize a 15% decrease in travel distance, a 10% reduction in handling and an increase in cubic utilization by 25%, or more. Quickly draw your current operation, or design a future operation with the Layout Tool, and calculate storage capacity and space utilization through a drag and drop design engine. No longer will you have to spend hours using a CAD program to get workable designs and plans. Once you are satisfied with your design, simply apply racking and space costs to compare model vs. actual, or model vs. model.

With its 3 core modules, Advanced Slotting creates rapid operations models, and provides actionable ROI’s for management groups. Whether you are designing an operation from the ground up, or just looking to optimize your current distribution center, Advanced Slotting is an invaluable tool set for your organization.

3 Core Modules

  • Warehouse Layout
  • Slot Master
  • Benchmark

Be up to 15% more efficient

  • Reduce Picking Travel Distance – By Zone, Aisle & Proximity
  • Maximize Space Efficiency – Cube Utilization & Floor Space
  • Accurately Predict Labor – Man Hours & MHE
  • Optimize Slotting – Over 150,000 Algorithms
  • Increase Flexibility & Control – Customized Reporting & Benchmarking

To find out more visit Insight GT

Resources

Advanced Slotting Demo (video)
Slotting in the e-Commerce Era (pdf file)
Key Concepts in Double Digit Savings in Warehouse Operations (pdf file)


Warehouse Control

Warehouse Control

Task Manager

Task Manager is a powerful tool that greatly facilitates the management of WMS tasks (picking, put-away, replenishment, etc.). An indicative list of its capabilities is given bellow:

  • Search current tasks by many criteria (type, status, depositor, item, etc.).
  • Execute tasks & group a number of tasks to a task list.
  • Modify task details such as priority, reassign another user to execute it, change the task destination (pick/put-away/.. destination).

Visual Warehouse Manager

Visual Warehouse Manager (VWM) is a state-of-the-art visual warehouse management tool. VWM greatly facilitates the management of warehouse daily operations by allowing the visual monitoring of all stock status and movements through the various warehouse areas and storage systems in real time as well as the visual setup of the characteristics of storage locations and the visual initiation of stock-related tasks. An indicative list of VWM’s capabilities is given bellow:

  • Visualization/monitoring:
    • Topographical representation of the storage locations and operational areas within a distribution center.
    • Many zoom levels are supported within the distribution center reaching up to the stock details.
    • Visualization of activity details in real time.
    • Powerful stock locator facility with a visualization of the search results on top of the warehouse layout.
  • Management:
    • Visual setup of all attributes of storage locations.
    • Visual initiation of stock related tasks such as reservation, relocation, etc.

Work Force Supervisor

Work Force Supervisor [WFS] is a visual user-friendly tool that enables warehouse managers to monitor the actions of the RF users and interact with them in real time regardless of their location (i.e. a warehouse manager can monitor RF users who are located in different local or remote buildings/sites). Besides monitoring, expert warehouse managers can use WFS to help/train RF users in real time. An indicative list of its capabilities is given bellow:

  • Real time viewing of a user’s RF screen.
  • Ability to monitor and/or stop one or more active RF users simultaneously.
  • Ability to send/receive messages to/from one or more RF users simultaneously.

Operational Alerts

This module is based on the “Event & Alert Engine” that is included in the core system. It allows users to define their “interest” to specific operational alerts as well as the way to be notified by the system (e-mail, pop-up message, etc). So far the alerts supported are those related to the (successful or unsuccessful) results of specific EDI operations (relevant to LVS/Logistics Link Manager). More alerts will be introduced in the future.