Retailer adds modules to WMS to monitor and enable growth

Company that took orders by fax 15 years ago now commands 30% market share.

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David’s Bridal, a national supplier of bridal gowns and accessories, offers a vast selection of designer wedding gowns in a variety of sizes in stock at each of its 300 stores. As recently as the late 1990s, the company supported 40 stores with a paper-based special order system and a manual distribution process. But, by installing a new warehouse management system (WMS) and slowly adding functionality over time, the bridal chain has been able to support growth and a near 100% on-time delivery rate of its gowns.

With the old paper-based system, stores would fax orders to the fulfillment office, and the distribution team would process them in the order they were received, says Caryn Furtaw, CIO. “As business grew, it was not uncommon to walk into the fulfillment office and see the bank of faxes running with reams of paper spilling over to the floor,” says Furtaw. “We had reached our tipping point.”

David’s Bridal opted to automate these processes, expanding its growth and improving order accuracy. The company soon opened several new retail locations and a new warehouse to split its inventory. As the company took on more retail locations and broadened its inventory selection, balancing customer demand with supply became more challenging. The company had to deliver orders on time to satisfy customers, but needed to avoid excess inventory in its warehouses.

The WMS (Manhattan Associates, was upgraded to create a centralized order system for enterprise-wide fulfillment. It also helps David’s Bridal procure items across its supplier network, minimize delivery times and generate performance reports to measures its supply chain process.

Today, the company leads its market, owning more than 30% of the bridal gown industry. “Inventory accuracy increased, our pick rate and throughput improved tremendously, and with the aid of the system we have full confidence in our commitment to deliver our customer orders on time,” says Furtaw.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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