MACS Software, one of the UK’s leading global suppliers of warehouse management software, has recently delivered a training programme for one of its major customers that operates five warehouses throughout Mozambique. The training was designed to support the smooth transition from a paper-based to a radio frequency (rf) warehouse operation.
Photo: Mozambique students at the MACS Software headquarters in Lutterworth
The customer is CMAM (Central de Medicamentos e Artigos Médicos), the central medical stores for Mozambique. Since 2009 MACS Software has worked with CMAM to equip its warehouses with the latest warehouse management technology to help maintain efficient supplies of life-saving drugs. The first warehouse went live with MACSwms in Zimpeto in 2009; there are now four other facilities operating in the country with MACS technology: Beira One, Matola, Beira Two, Nampula and Munhava to go-live 2018.
The CMAM operation in Mozambique has been very successful and has grown organically over the last eight years. To handle this growth and maintain accuracy, CMAM is upgrading its Zimpeto facility to RF with a view to expanding this method of operation throughout the organisation.
RF operation helps to eliminate picking errors caused by human error. Items are scanned and confirmed, automatically updating the back-office in real time. This ensures that the correct items are picked every time and reduces the delay between an item being picked and the system being updated. This increases accuracy, efficiency and picking rates while allowing greater movement of stock through the facility.
Five senior members of staff from Mozambique recently spent two weeks being trained at the MACS Software headquarters in Lutterworth, UK.
Jim Chew from MACS headed up the training, assisted by Technical Team Leader, Alban Fellows. “In Mozambique they are working with advanced medication including AIDS drugs,” said Jim. “As the company moves to RF picking technology it’s vitally important that they get it right from the start and have the ability to train people effectively as new members of staff are recruited.”
The training was split into modules relevant to each level of skill and authorisation. This started at a level one operator and moved on through supervisor, technician, senior technician, administrator and senior administrator. Alban Fellows also ran a ‘train-the-trainer’ programme. “Our aim was to make the staff in Mozambique as autonomous as possible,” said Alban. “They now have the skills to train new recruits when they join and to keep the skill level of existing employees at the highest level.”
Now that the training is complete the Zimpeto operation will have more autonomy to train in-house and to handle many of the administrative functions, such as the allocation of RF scanners and fault finding. “We wanted to empower the team in Mozambique to handle the day-to-day operations” said Jim. “It makes them much more self-reliant and, therefore, more confident.”
Mozambique is a country of over 27 million people and the population is increasing by approximately 2.7% a year. Life expectancy is just 44 for women and 41 for men. Over 1.2m people have HIV. Many of the critical items needed by health centres do not reach them because of extremely challenging distribution infrastructure.
This latest cooperation between MACS Software and CMAM will provide a level of efficiency and control that has never been possible in the past, helping the people of Mozambique to live longer, healthier lives.