Article by Jerry List
Think back to the Grimm Brothers story of Hansel and Gretel. They were lost in the woods and had to find their way home. They decided to use bread crumbs to retrace their steps. You could say that this was an early version of the audit trail.
Fast forward to the present. You are managing a warehouse or distribution center with a state-of-the-art warehouse control system. You may think that logging issues is no longer necessary in the computer age, but thats not true. Logging is still important for process improvement.
Since it is too time consuming to review the large amount of data generated by your system, you need a central location for record keeping and strong analysis tools that provide automatic alerts and facilitate data review. In a dynamic warehouse environment where thousands of orders are processed each day, it is extremely important to resolve issues quickly to keep costs and downtime to a minimum.
Rich Hite, President of QC Software, a leading provider of warehouse control software, states, System logging and analysis tools can make a big difference in warehouse efficiency. The warehouse control system binds the automated material handling equipment to the warehouse management system, providing the customer with a single point of control. As a byproduct, QC Softwares diagnostic tools allow the customer to effectively pinpoint where and when problems occur throughout the system. For example, after one customer used our diagnostic tools to identify and resolve ongoing anomalies in their existing system, they substantially increased their order fulfillment rate without increasing manpower.
The Key Advantages of Audit Logs:
Reconstruction. You can review the log data in chronological order to find out what occurred before and after an event.
Accountability. Log data identifies which accounts are associated with a specific event. This will help you identify where additional training is needed.
Problem Detection. Log data helps you identify problems that must be addressed, such as key factors in a failed job.
For audit logs to be effective, the proper procedures must be in place. The appropriate people must be trained in what, when and how to record and review the data. There must also be agreement on when and how to destroy the data. These procedures are especially important when audit trails are required for regulatory compliance.
Hansel and Gretel had the right idea but the wrong delivery method, probably due to inadequate training. Their bread crumbs were eaten by birds and they had to rely on swans to bring them home. It was just by dumb luck that they managed to safely return. Unlike Hansel and Gretels method, QC Softwares audit logs and analysis tools are considerably more accurate, accessible and reliable. With access to todays technology, Hansel and Gretel could have certainly done a better job. But then the story would have been entirely different.
QC Software is recognized as an industry leader in providing innovative and adaptive software solutions for order fulfillment and distribution centers. Their RFIDenabled warehouse control system provides advanced management capabilities for inventory control, resource scheduling and order management. For over 15 years, these solutions have enabled customers in North America and Europe to streamline their warehouse operations with the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.
About the Author
Jerry List, Vice President of QC Software, has 25 years of experience in the material handling industry, designing and implementing complex control systems for a wide variety of material handling equipment. He has implemented control software solutions ranging from real-time machine controls through higher-level supervisory systems.For more information, contact Jerry ListPhone: 877.984.1101Website: http://www.qcsoftware.com Email: email@example.com