There are many reasons why a small business would want to implement a warehouse management system. Some examples include an increase in order volume, picking errors when dealing with similar products and manual processes, and wasted time managing inventory in a warehouse that is not organized by bin and shelf location. Whatever the reason may be, it's important to consider an all-in-one, fully integrated WMS system, which offers not only robust functionality for managing inventory and warehouse space, but also has features such as accounting, order entry and processing, contact management, and eCommerce integration that work together to streamline operations. Blue Link’s warehouse management functionality improves speed and accuracy through automated workflows, and is the ideal solution for businesses with small warehouses, stock rooms and storage facilities.
Check out what optimized warehouse processes look like in this video featuring Blue Link customer, Peter Gerogacopoulos from Kroeger Inc., as he demonstrates how the company was able to go from processing 30 orders a day to 100 orders a day with Blue Link's Warehouse Management System!
Learn how Blue Link's WMS helped Kroeger:
- Improve product visibility
- Reduce manual work through integration with shipping carriers
- Accommodate drop shipping
- Integrate with tablets and barcode scanning devices including mobile handheld picking
- Improve pick/pack/ship workflow management
- Create and track serial numbers/lot selection
- Create paperless warehouse processes
WMS - Kroeger Inc
[This video transcript has been edited for readability]
What is Kroeger Inc.?
Kroeger Inc. is a distributor of hobby toy/collectible items. One of the most popular items is the Rubik's Cube and all of the brands that represent the Rubik's Cube. We have been in business for 48-years. I keep calling us a 48-year-old start-up because the purchase of the company happened about three years ago. My role is Head of Finance and Procurement. I handle all the finance as well as all the inventory movement and probably most of the IT that goes on in here.
Who are your customers?
We ship to everybody in Canada from Walmart and Toys R Us to Indigo and Mastermind. We also deal with a bunch of specialty accounts such as Toys Toys Toys in Brampton and some smaller accounts that are situated all across the country. We do drop ship for Walmart and for Toys R Us and we're just bringing on Staples.
How did Kroeger manage inventory and order fulfilment before Blue Link?
We had an accounting system and it was able to track our financials, but we did not have an inventory management system and we did not have a warehouse management system, so, we had no means of understanding where our inventory was at any one time throughout any course of the business day so everything was picked by memory, and then checked again. The process was cumbersome to say the least. Picture piles of boxes like Jenga all over the place. When an order was picked, we would pile all the boxes...a second person would check if the pick matched the pick slip before it was shipped. There was no computer system and it was all manual intervention. It was all memorization in terms of where everything was. We've probably gone from 30 orders a day in the past, to probably 100 with being able to just one-by-one get the orders out.
How has inventory visibility improved after Blue Link?
We've gone from not being able to understand where inventory is to having complete visibility of our inventory every moment in time, whether it's sitting on a cart, whether it's in a bin, regardless of where it may be. Prior to Blue Link, we did not pass our inventory audit because of all the inconsistencies we had with respect to what the auditors chose as samples compared to what we were telling them what we had. It got so inundated with errors and it took such a long time, that we decided to drop the inventory audit altogether. This year, because of the WMS, our inventory audit took two and a half hours and it was passed, so right there you can tell and you can see what you get when you have an actual system in place that is able to track the information and track the inventory. It's leaps and bounds ahead of anything else trying to do anything manually especially in the environment that we've got.
What types of customization have you done with Blue Link?
We've done some EDI custom work with respect to our drop ship program. We've done some Canada Post integration and a Purolator integration which has made our processes a lot more efficient with respect to shipping our product. We have completely revamped the picking process where we know all of our picks which is done through a pick review screen and we've gone paperless so we don't have to print pick slips anymore. We don't print pick slips and therefore we do not allocate against those picks. It's all done through a pick review process which makes it a lot easier and efficient. Knowing what's getting picked at any moment in time is far greater than having a basket with a bunch of pick slips printed in it and then losing track of what's out there and what's not out there.
We also customized the sort orders with respect to how customers get picked. We have three types of customers - we have mass customers, we have specialty customers and we have our drop ship customers. Walmart and Toys R Us, each has its own specific way of how items get picked in the warehouse so we're in the process of ensuring that one pick does not step on another pick's process. Blue Link has been open to allowing us to come to them and say we've got all these things that we'd love to do, are you guys willing to do them. You do pay a little bit, but you also get the benefits of the efficiencies that come and the costs pay for themselves in no time flat.
Interested in seeing how Blue Link WMS can improve your order fulfilment processes? Contact us for a free 10-15 minute consultation!