Template Download for Evaluating Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

A new helpful tool has been developed to assist small to mid-sized businesses (SMB) in evaluating warehouse management systems (WMS).  It’s designed to help SMBs take into consideration functional and technical requirements and choose a provider based on the specific needs of the business.  The request for proposal / information (RFP / RFI) template can be sent in excel format to help manufacturers, retailers and distributors compare and contrast warehouse management system providers.

The tool addresses: 

  • Adaptability of the system
  • Key capability and functionality
  • Technology and provider fit
  • Integration to your ERP
  • Complimentary technology considerations

Click below for a free ERP-tailored download:

Goggin Warehousing buys warehouse in Memphis industrial park for $1.5M

AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL client, and growing 3PL provider, Goggin Warehousing LLC has acquired its first Memphis warehouse for more than $1.5 million.

The Shelbyville-based company, operating as H&B Trust Properties LP, bought a 188,000-square-foot warehouse at 2900 Lakeview Road in the Interstate Industrial Park, which is just southwest of the I-55/240 interchange, from Los Angeles-based Kort Property Management, public records show.

Goggin — which has nearly 1.9 million square feet in 23 warehouses in Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois — paid $8.25 per square foot for its first Memphis warehouse. The building, which was built in 1988, sits on nearly 9.7 acres near the Bellbrook Industrial Park on East Brooks Road. (Story via Memphis Business Journal)

Goggin Warehousing LLC has been an AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL client since 2008 and runs the solution in a number of its warehouses. To learn more about Goggin’s relationship with Accellos, read the full case study, here.

posted in 3PL

Logistics Viewpoints: How a WMS helps 3PLs stand out in a multi-channel marketplace

An article by Chuck Fuerst, as featured in a recent Logistic Viewpoints newsletter…

Chuck FuerstThe growth of online shopping, direct-to-consumer shipping, and multi-channel distribution demands have led to big changes in the 3PL industry – to the point where many industry observers, such as Robert Bowman in a recent article for Forbes, noted that the number of 3PLs overall is shrinking due to a rising trend of mergers and acquisitions. And though the number of 3PLs is declining, the competition is fiercer than ever with greater pricing pressures and increased expectations to handle more complex services: In response to demands such as direct-to-consumer shipping and value-added services related to multi-channel needs, 3PLs must be able to support piece/picking/shipping rather than case-level picking and shipping. To stay ahead, you need to prove to customers that you are more than a commodity business, especially in the age of multi-channel operations.

Being everywhere and everything for a customer doesn’t even necessitate owning physical locations and infrastructure, as growth in 4PLs would suggest. For companies with well-developed logistics processes that have maximized their value in terms of control and scale, the 4PL model provides an opportunity to expand that value by playing on a much larger field, providing a customized solution that fits specific customer needs and can accommodate cultural or regional differences. Whether a 4PL or 3PL, successful companies are those that have a strong supply chain software infrastructure that allows them to be everywhere and everything to their customers.

Read the rest of this article »

posted in 3PL

DrVita is Technologically Equipped for Tenfold Growth with AccellosOne WMS

Dietary supplements e-tailer, DrVita, has been in business for just four years and already utilizes carousels and robotic extractors, both integrated to AccellosOne WMS.  They have proven that you don’t have to be a large enterprise to effectively utilize scalable warehouse automation software and equipment.  DrVita COO Charles Woods explains that he thinks many companies aren’t investing in automation equipment until they are bursting at the seams; conversely, DrVita is utilizing automation equipment and software from the onset and will simply need to scale the current system when the growth occurs, rather than disruptively re-evaluating and re-installing new systems. 

DrVita’s distribution system uses a goods-to-person picking engine (Integrated Systems Design) that picks orders directly to totes that are conveyed to a packing station where orders shipped and packed.  Each of the picks are driven by advanced algorithms in the WMS to create efficient picking batches based on commonality.  Cubing and weighing technology are also in place to optimize storage in the picking carousels and reserve storage areas.  The warehouse and fulfillment processes work together with AccellosOne WMS to handle 1,000 orders per shift, yet the system is designed to scale for up to 10,000 orders per shift. 

The seamlessly integrated systems allow DrVita to track product from the lab all the way to the carrier’s trucks with a 99.9% accuracy rate.  In fact, over 30% of the company’s customers receive their goods within one-day.  “Robots never take time off or get tired,” notes Woods, and this is a factor in being able to get any order received by 5PM EST out the door same-day. 

An additional payoff of DrVita’s investment in AccellosOne WMS is that the scalable system is also configurable for drop-ship orders through large retail customers who sell DrVita products on their websites.  “By handling [our large retail customers] distribution, we’re a true partner,” Wayne Gorsek, CEO of DrVita.com adds.

Read the full article here:  http://smsepub.com/publication/?i=224206&p=19

or download the article here.

Slash Shipping Costs and Drop-Ship with Ease Follow-Up

On August 13th Jackson Bilbrey, Product Manager at Accellos, shared with us his industry knowledge on the benefits of drop-shipping, and how it saves both time and money.  Jackson informed us of how drop-shipping is becoming a dominant force in the distribution world, and how over half of Accellos customers are actively shipping to dotcom e-tailers. 

Unable to watch the live webinar? To catch up, click here!

Accellos Welcomes The Moret Group

This past July, The Moret Group purchased Accellos’ Warehouse Management Software to help manage their world-wide casual and fashion apparel distribution needs.

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The Moret Group was founded in 1975, by a father and son duo, as a supplier of women’s leggings. Today, The Moret Group is a global corporation that offers apparel for men, women, and children in the categories of active, dance, contemporary, outerwear, sports, lounge, sleep, intimates, underwear, and accessories across a number of divisions.

Welcome aboard!

 

Accellos Welcomes PolyQuest Inc.

PolyQuest Inc. has recently joined the Accellos team with their purchase of AccellosOne Collect for Microsoft Dynamics® GP! This will help the company to automate their data collection and therefore increase warehouse management efficiency. 

 

Headquartered in Wilmington, NC, PolyQuest Inc. is a leading polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin provider throughout North America. They serve a variety of markets including the bottle, film, fiber, and sheet markets. They have been in operation for 14 years and continue to grow and find success within their industry.

 

Welcome aboard PolyQuest!

 

To learn more about this company and their products, click here.

The Business Case (ROI) for WMS – Webinar Follow Up

On August 27th Chris Barnes returned for the fourth and final part of Accellos’ Optimize for tomorrow Webinar Series.  Chris went over the importance of having a successful Warehouse Management System (WMS), and how it is no longer an option for many companies, but a means of survival.  Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM) manages and monitors many methods and activities, which means a greater need for WMS that can provide real-time activity tracking and inventory visibility. 

If you missed this webinar, please catch-up here: www.accellos.com/optimizefortomorrow

PROFIT in Alaska: Report on our Kaizen Peer Performance Group Meeting

We recently completed our performance group and networking meetings in Alaska.  It was an incredible trip in terms of the sheer beauty of the location, hospitality of the host, and the countless business practices shared. 

 

DAY 1: TEAM BUILDING

 

On the first “official” day, our group and many of our family members met for a day-long Alaskan adventure.  We visited a wildlife refuge in the morning and then took a 6-hour glacier cruise out of Wittier.  During this time the owners of home furnishings retail businesses casually mingled while witnessing the backdrop of the Alaskan coastline.  The camaraderie that is developed during these type of informal group socials really helps foster professional trust and personal friendships.  The CEO’s always have someone to call on for an honest opinion or to bounce an idea or challenge off of.

It had been 5 months since we last met in Texas.  Of the 10 companies represented, the mood of business expressed was with that of optimistic growth.  The members came from a geographic areas that spanned from Aruba to Anchorage.  100% of us agreed that business was in a time of growth in both revenue and profitability.  The foreseeable future is one of opportunity.  It is a critical time to continue improving all levels of business operations.  It was definitely not a time to sit still.  Growth strategy was what we would focus on in our meetings the next few days.

photo 9 photo 8 photo 2

DAY 2: RETAIL STORE TOUR AND PEER FEEDBACK

 

On the second day we toured Treeforms Furniture.  We visited the distribution center, the Anchorage furniture gallery, and the Anchorage Bedding galley.   Following this, at the Alyeska Resort we shared our opinions and voiced our key learnings.  Due to the confidentiality agreement shared amongst members, I cannot get into the details.  However, from my point of view, I was again impressed by the clear direction and items of opportunity provided to the host member.  As well, I was equally impressed at some of the innovate practices learned from our host that several members are now going to implement in their operations.  

At the end of the second day we all took a tram to the top of the mountain to have dinner.  It was a beautiful evening in the land of the midnight sun.

 

DAY 3: BEST PRACTICES AND BENCHMARKING

 

On the third day we focused on 3 key areas: Goals, Best Practices/Ideas, Key Performance Indicators

In the goal session, each member presented the results of their goals committed to the group from the last meeting.  Here, we hold each other accountable.  We congratulate each other on objectives accomplished expect an answer if the goals were not achieved.

In the Best Practices session, the members bring something to the table.  Anytime you get 20 smart motivated people in a room, sharing – good things happen.  This session has been the source of countless profit $ generated.

In the Key Performance Indicator session, we compare the metric of all the operations and help retailers benchmark against each other.  We can easily spot areas of strength and areas requiring improvement.  The conversations and practices that come out of the KPI meetings are gold to the members.

I will give one example from the probably 100’s of ideas jotted down or voiced:

We all realize that online review and digital media are becoming more and more a critical part of getting new customers in the door.  Prospective customers visit sites like google review, yelp, and Facebook before shopping.  To get good reviews on the sites current customers need to be impressed – not sometimes, but ALL the time. Recognizing the importance of this 2 members approached this challenge from different perspectives and systems. 

Without going into detail, they found ways to obtain digital feedback after the sale with a good rate of response.  Now, they are able to find out immediately when customer was not happy and deal with the issue immediately.  They established overall customer performance ratings.  Finally, positive reviews are now posted automatically on the various online review sites.  This is expected to have a snowball effect putting them above their competition in terms of ratings, service and web generated in-store traffic.    

 

DAY 4: GOAL SETTING

 

On the final day, we wrapped up with our Next Steps sessions.  Here, each member reported their goals and strategy to improve their business for the next meeting.  This is hugely valuable as members get time to reflect on where they came from prior to the meeting, what they have learned, and where they need to take their business NOW.  Support and feedback after listening the goals are given to each member. 

Finally, we discussed details of our next performance group meeting for the “Kaizen Group”.  We are visiting an operation with a brand new store in Aruba in February 2015.  In July 2015 we will visit and operation in Calgary and stay in the resort town of Banff. 

Alaska was another success in a long string of great performance group meetings dating back over 10 years ago.  But don’t take my word for it, here’s what our members shared during the trip:

If you are not part of a peer group like this, I encourage you to learn more.  If you are a CEO or business owner committed to never-ending improvement, sharing ideas, and are interested in joining one of our performance group, we are maintaining a waiting list for available space.  You can contact me at david.mcmahon@accellos.com

Accellos Welcomes Kwik Tech, Inc.

This past July, Kwik Tech, Inc. purchased Accellos’ warehouse management system software. This will help integrate their accounting and shipping functions, and therefore shorten their order fulfillment times.

 

Founded in 1991, Kwik Tech is an exciting company that produces a variety of watersports products including wakeboards, kneeboards and water skis. They are a parent corporation of numerous branded products including Airhead, Sportsstuff, and Dry Pak (among others). On these websites, customers can shop amongst hundreds of products ranging from snow sleds to boating equipment and accessories.

 

Welcome aboard, Kwik Tech!

 

To learn more about this company, please click here

To learn more about warehouse management software from Accellos, please click here.

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