Owens Corning Expands WMS/YMS Use

Belgian, French sites go live with warehouse, yard management systems to automate logistics processes

Grand Rapids, MI  September 23, 2002  Owens Corning has gone live with warehouse management and yard management systems from solution provider Provia at two European sites, bringing to 21 the total number of Owens Corning sites using the software to automate the company's logistics processes.

The building materials and composites company has deployed Provia's ViaWare WMS (warehouse management) and YMS (yard management) products at sites in Antwerp, Belgium, and L'Ardoise, France. Warehouse operators at Owens Corning's French and Belgium sites use the system in either French or English, depending on their individual language preference.

The 21 sites currently using the systems in North America and Europe span the insulation, composites and exterior vinyl divisions at Owens Corning. "ViaWare's ability to handle diverse business units and be operated in multiple languages simultaneously across our company gives us better control and visibility companywide to our processes and our product," said Barry Burnham, a project manager at Owens Corning.

In addition to running the WMS and YMS solutions, all 21 sites have an interface between ViaWare and Owens Corning's SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. As product is picked, packed and shipped from the distribution facilities, the SAP system is continually updated by the WMS so that when orders come from SAP into the WMS, the SAP system knows if there is product available to fill the order.

The YMS is the focal point driving Owens Corning's logistics process. "Everything at each Owens Corning distribution facility begins and ends with the YMS," said Ken Lewis, Provia's president and CEO.

Lewis explained that every trailer coming into the distribution center is first checked in through the YMS. This action triggers activity throughout the WMS, including wave planning, trailer loading and cross docking. The constant communication between the YMS and WMS continues as the YMS helps direct the right trucks to go to the right dock door for loading as the WMS prepares the orders. As trucks leave the facility, the YMS checks them out, automatically informing SAP, creating a very streamlined process.

Owens Corning plans to go live with the Provia solution at three additional facilities  in Norway, Belgium and Mississippi  by the end of the year. At that time, the company will be using the WMS and YMS products to automate logistics processes in over 4.5 million square feet of warehouse space.
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