Optimized dispatch with mobile picking
RHEINTACHO Messtechnik GmbH manufactures industrial measurement systems such as rotational speed sensors, hand-held tachometers, stroboscopes and other measuring instruments. RHEINTACHO makes its products in many different variants, ase each variant is adapted to suit the exact application or specifications of its customers. Particularly in the field of speed sensors, the differences between these product variants are often only in the electronics installed inside. As a result, the order-picking employees in the Dispatch department face the challenge of selecting the correct items without a visual cross-check.
Previously,the shipment process at RHEINTACHO was designed in such a way that the order picking employees collected individual order documents from the dispatch planning office – which involved long waiting times and queues in the office if multiple pick lists had to be prepared at the same time. On top of this, orders were not grouped together, which meant that a new pick list had to be collected on completion of every order. The employees’ time records for these orders were also maintained on papier. As a result, an employee had to go to the terminal and obtain a time stamp for the start and finish of every individual order.
Subsequently, the completed orders were added by hand to the existing Comarch ERP system, which was again time-consuming and brought a high risk of copying errors through manual data entry.
The aim was for this process to be supported by IT and digitalised for the Dispatch department by means of a picking app, so that picking employees could access open orders and start the picking process independently of the dispatch planning office. Information from the completed orders would then be sent directly to the ERP system. Another important point was to be able to integrate the packaging specifications of different customers – for example, cases in which a delivery must be made up from a single batch. Such instructions used to be displayed using a large magnetic noticeboard, to which each customer’s current specification was attached. It was particularly important to RHEINTACHO that the application should be sufficiently user-friendly for even employees who were not previously familiar with software applications to be able to use it without difficulties.
The solution with engomo
In seeking a solution that could image these individual processes, RHEINTACHO opted for a dispatch app based on the low-code engomo platform. Decisive factors here were that engomo could be integrated seamlessly into the existing system landscape on the one hand, and on the other, it allowed modifications and expansions to be made flexibly at any time. Following a joint kick-off, the mobile app was implemented in under 2 weeks. The end devices used in the RHEINTACHO Dispatch department are iPads, on which the app runs on the engomo platform. Today, employees in Order Picking download approved, grouped pick lists using the mobile app, start the time recording directly on the tablet and can then begin picking the order straight away. The boxes in the shelves that contain the items to be picked carry the appropriate QR codes. These are captured before picking by means of a scanner integrated in the handheld device and are compared in real time against the information held in Comarch.
If the item is correct, the employee can move on to the next box. If it is not, an error message is displayed on the tablet and the employee is informed that they have picked the wrong item. Thanks to this multiple control, taking an item from the wrong box is effectively ruled out. Once the picking for an order is complete, the employee can also complete the order and end the time booking directly from the iPad. Additionally, when an order is completed the ERP system is updated with the articles that were picked, so that manual updates and the associated risk of mistakes in data entry are eliminated. With the implementation of the app, RHEINTACHO has benefited in particular from the high flexibility and compatibility that the engomo app platform offers. The platform allows enterprise apps to be built by drag-and-drop from its smart modular system. And practically any existing backend system can be integrated with the platform via standard interfaces and plug-ins. It was therefore possible to customise the app within the engomo module to a high level to meet the requirements of RHEINTACHO. At the same time, seamlessly linking the existing ERP system through bidirectional data exchange makes optimal, up-to-date data availability in the back-end possible.
With the aid of engomo, the picking process at RHEINTACHO could be digitalised and optimised – thereby eliminating the need for long lists on paper and unnecessary waiting times. Thanks in particular to the multiple control, it has been possible to reduce the proportion of incorrectly picked orders drastically. In addition to its use in picking, the app is now also being used for internal relocations via Kanban. In future, employees of RHEINTACHO subsidiaries will also be provided with the mobile app so that they can complete distribution orders between the companies more efficiently.