Unlocking the New Powers of SAP Material Handling

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Numina Group’s Real-Time Distribution System eliminates expensive secondary systems by integrating material handling equipment directly to SAP’s powerful R3 WM warehouse management module.

Forest Laboratories’ requirement was to move all of their warehouse business rules to SAP

Until recently, many SAP software clients were duplicating efforts and costs by using standalone Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) in order to get robust warehouse functionality. Now many of these firms can “breathe new life” into their warehouse material handling operations using a software module that integrates conveyors, pick-to-light, print and apply and other automation equipment to SAP R3’s powerful warehouse management (WM) module.

The use of secondary, standalone software systems to manage warehouse operations and material handling functions has some painful drawbacks. Not only do they require duplicate development servers, they are expensive to purchase and support. Plus, errors can result in the process of duplicating inventory data.

Many operations can obtain tremendous improvements and eliminate duplicate software support costs by simply upgrading to the right control and automation software. Numina Group’s RDS (Real-Time Distribution System) software is designed to manage the real-time control, while directly interfacing to SAP software (R3). Customers get more out of both new and existing investments. Benefits include improved operations and shipping accuracy with all inventory records residing on R3 while eliminating the high costs and challenges of maintaining dual business systems.

Forest Pharmaceuticals, a high-growth division of global Forest Laboratories, Inc., prides itself on the execution and ability to quickly distribute to its’ clients superior pharmaceutical products, marketing materials and sales initiatives.

An SAP customer, in 2003 Forest was considering the replacement of a third party WMS at its Earth City, MO distribution center. Since SAP’s WM module had evolved to include all the required software functionality need to operate the distribution operation requirements, Forest recognized the many advantages incorporating the warehouse-distribution it into the R3 Business System.

“We talked to Numina Group during the proposal phase, and felt confident that they could handle the interface,” explains David Dunaway, Manager of Business Applications at Forest Laboratories’ St. Louis office. “Numina Group was very experienced and knowledgeable in data integration to SAP as well as material handling equipment, controls and warehouse operations, so they were a good fit for the team.”

Numina Group is a leading system integrator and material handling automation supplier, providing warehouse controls and automation solutions in manufacturing and distribution material handling facilities throughout the US. Headquartered in Burr Ridge, IL. Numina Group specializes in both new and control retrofits for new or existing facilities. It’s highly experienced in R3 data interface as well as the latest warehouse automation technologies.

“Forest Laboratories’ requirement was to move all of their warehouse business rules to SAP,” explains Dan Hanrahan, Numina Group CEO. “We were able to reuse almost all of their existing investment in the control hardware, pick to light system and conveyor and integrate the material handling equipment into R3.

Using its RDS (Real-Time Distribution System) Software, Numina integrated all of Forest Laboratories’ real-time material handling control requirements, while all the inventory and business rules reside in the SAP software. As business rules change, it is no longer necessary to duplicate changes on another system. The result is a much lower cost of ownership and eliminating of errors that can result from having duplicate inventory systems.

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Dan Hanrahan
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