Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : E-Shipping
E-Shipping is a web-based application that replaced a paper-based, labor-intensive and error-prone system. The new system has produced several process control benefits, eliminating hard copy paperwork and manual efforts to enter trace data into the Parts Inventory Control System database. E-Shipping provides links to carrier tracking systems that provide visibility to the most current shipping status information from shop floor completion to delivery at the customer location.
The Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ (IDS’) original shipping system was a labor-intensive, paper-based system that required significant levels of manual data entry a time-consuming and error-prone process. Because the system was manual, there was neither searchable data nor any links to key management databases, thus making automated tracking and status reporting impossible. The lack of customer access to shipping information created labor-intensives searches for shipping status. The system’s inability to link to key databases made true parts traceability non-existent, creating the possibility that shipping documents might indicate duplicate serial-numbered parts were shipped.
E-Shipping is an outgrowth of Six Sigma lean improvement demands for an improved system to address traceability issues. This Web-based application is based on a modified version of proven code developed for the UPS tracking system. Cold Fusion was chosen for designing the actual interface to ensure that it is based on widely accepted commercial software that increases the likelihood for long-term support for the software environment. Key to the design are linkage to the Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), the Shop Floor Data Manager (SFDM), and the Parts Inventory Control System (PICS) databases. These links allow E-shipping to integrate shipping information with these key process management and serialization tracking systems. In addition to these links, E-Shipping maintains a shipping-specific database essential to providing tracking capabilities. To further enhance the tracking utility, E-Shipping provides links to carrier tracking systems where feasible, enabling customers to obtain the most current shipping status information.
E-Shipping has eliminated the requirement to produce a hard copy shipping document to initiate the shipping process, with process flow improvements resulting from the elimination of delays built into the system waiting for document preparation. The existence of an electronic database has eliminated the need to handle and store large quantities of shipping documents. Being able to link to MRP information. and SFDM has improved traceability by eliminating serial number errors created by repetitive manual data entry. The ability of the E-Shipping database and its capability to produce electronic shipping memos and managements reports, its tracking utilities, and its query capability combine to mark a quantum improvement over the manual system it replaced.
Raytheon plans to roll out E-Shipping to its remaining IDS operations areas and explore the potential for other electronic systems applicability and sustain current capability.
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