Product

How Hopstack Enables No-Code Automation Using Rule Engine

Hopstack's Rule Engine module allows warehouse managers to set up rules based on values in specific fields without writing a single line of code.

Team Hopstack
September 27, 2022
No code automation

A recent study by Kofax found that nearly 22% of an employee’s time is spent on manual, repetitive tasks. That’s nearly 1.6 hours from an 8-hour workday. Add that for 50 employees for a whole year, what do you get? That’s right. A lot of wasted time. 

Automating repetitive operations is one consistent business problem organizations from all domains deal with. Not tackling these problems with the right solutions just results in wasted time and inflated costs. One of the biggest problems is the automation of specific repetitive courses of action for certain types of orders. Doing this manually is time-taking and prone to errors, and for a growing business in a dynamic environment, the bandwidth spent on manual actions can quickly swell up to inefficient levels. That’s where Hopstack’s Rule Engine steps in.

Rule Engine of the Hopstack Platform
A typical rule format within the Rule Engine of the Hopstack Platform

Hopstack’s Rule Engine module allows warehouse managers to set up rules based on values in specific fields without writing a single line of code. These fields are not restricted to any specific inbound or outbound module but it is available throughout the platform and can be used to automate actions taken based on tacit knowledge, thereby increasing warehouse efficiency and reducing the probability of human error. All of this can be configured without requiring an armada of engineers or data scientists. Rather, it’s as simple as the click of a few buttons. Let’s take a look at how this module works.

No-Code Configuration

The rule engine module allows warehouse personnel and managers to configure rules without needing to have any coding knowledge. Gone are the days when managers would sit with implementation consultants for weeks on end, trying to explain their processes to end up with an implementation that did not completely adhere to the prevalent processes of the company. With a completely self-service no-code environment, the rule engine module gives the power back to warehouse managers to configure the platform as they need it, as opposed to the staff adapting to a new platform. 

No Complexity Limits

The rule engine does not have any complexity limits, which means that multiple rules can be combined or concurrently validated to create processes and action trails that completely suit the needs of the company. There is no limit to the number of rules that can be grouped together, which means that warehouse managers can translate the complete minutiae of their tacit knowledge into an action trail without hassle, as long as the criteria can be boiled down to and/if/or statements. 

Custom Action Trails 

Using the rule engine, the platform allows users to create custom action trails for different types of orders, helping in automatic categorization upon inception. Specifying a set of ‘If/then’ statements is all it takes for the platform to work its magic and send the orders on their distinct trails. Not only does this make the classification of order types simpler, but it also helps in assigning priorities better. Need all orders worth more than $1,000 to be double-checked on Packing Table 2? Done. Do all international orders being shipped from the United States with an order value greater than $1,500 need to be checked by an internal team at Packing Table 4 during specific hours? That can be done as well. The possibilities are truly endless with the rule engine. 

hopstack setup
Rule Engine Setup Screen in the Hopstack Platform

Platform Wide Integration

The rule engine module is implemented platform-wide, which allows warehouse managers to set up rules for different types of actions. Need to set up rules for inbound consignments that come from a specific location? The platform allows it. Need to allocate certain pickers to all your marketplace orders? The platform allows that as well. Need to treat orders greater than $1,000 with a higher fulfillment priority? The platform can do that with ease. 

Prioritizing Orders

Certain types of orders, customers, and SKUs can be prioritized according to the needs of the organization, helping in better and more efficient customer service, along with increased time utility. For example, a CPG retailer can prioritize high FEFO (first-expired-first-out) compliance for key clients, thereby ensuring that their important customers are prioritized while diluting the fresher stock. Furthermore, the rule engine can help in assigning specific orders to distinct warehousing associates, helping in the specialization of service where the needs of the end customer are catered to in optimum ways. This translates into better service for high-priority orders. The categorization of orders according to standards set by the company would further mean specialization of equipment and workers over time, leading to increased efficiency and lower error rates. 

Grouping Rules

The rule engine module allows warehouse managers to set up groups of rules. Each group can have multiple different rules that can be enforced on a combined or an individual basis. This allows warehouse managers to group different actions that require the same reaction without individually setting up each rule, thereby streamlining operations. For example, if all orders with a destination address in North America need to be allocated to a USPS for order fulfillment, then the platform can be configured to check for the pin codes of every order to see if it conforms to the conditions set by the rule engine. 

hopstack setup
Grouping Rules within the Rule Engine to create custom action paths

Unparalleled Efficiency

The rule engine module allows warehouse personnel to focus on performing actions, rather than planning them. By eliminating the time it takes for personnel to check if an order meets certain preset conditions, the module shifts the mode of operations from an evaluation-based model; in which the personnel individually evaluates the satisfaction of conditions; to an instruction-based model; in which the personnel gets pre-evaluated instructions to complete specific fulfillment tasks. This allows warehouse managers to maximize the efficiency of all warehouse assets and personnel. 

Hopstack’s rule engine is a simple and convenient tool to automate mundane categorization tasks, saving workforce time and boosting productivity in services. Learn more about how Hopstack’s rule engine can help you automate your warehousing operations better. To get in touch with a product expert, please fill out the form below.

Team Hopstack Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Team Hopstack

Hopstack brings you the latest articles, guides and long-form explainers on topics relating to warehousing technology and automation, supply chain and robotics