Fulfillment software leads to 100% accuracy, new services

A customer’s internal audit double-checked results to confirm perfect reports.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial

Sonwil Distribution, a third-generation, third-party logistics company in Buffalo, N.Y., has a reputation for providing efficient, cost-effective warehousing and transportation. But as the company grew, occasional fulfillment mistakes were inevitable with all of the paperwork and manpower required to complete orders. When customers’ expectations and demands began to change, the company deployed a new warehouse management system (WMS) that allowed Sonwil to increase order fulfillment while reducing staff.

The new system manages up to 1,600 orders per day. The company has automated its pick and pack process, allowing the system to print packing and shipping labels and record inventory inside pallets without human involvement. This process has led to a 100% error-free fulfillment rate for two of Sonwil’s most active clients. In fact, one of them was recently audited, and the audit team went back through the company’s books for a second time because they couldn’t believe that the physical inventory and electronic data matched perfectly.

The company’s reporting capabilities have also improved, with the ability to print or send reports by the end of the phone call in which they were requested.

“In this industry, you have to grow or get out,” explains Peter Wilson, vice president of Sonwil Distribution. “We now have a WMS that allows us to compete with other tier one players. After seeing what it’s capable of, it makes me wonder what else is possible.”

The WMS has also allowed Sonwil to develop a specialized niche: reverse logistics. Because Sonwil’s retail customers experience a 5% to 10% return rate on merchandise, the new WMS enables Sonwil to accept returns on behalf of its customers by scanning the product bar codes and recording the transaction in the system.

In fact, the system has positioned Sonwil to provide the value-added service of refurbishing the returned items for certain clients.

Cadre Technologies
888-599-5868
http://www.cadretech.com

More Technology Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

While the economy has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, 2014 is different in that it could be the best year from an economic output perspective in the last several years. That outlook was offered up by Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Matching last week, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline dropped 2.3 cents, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.755 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A number of key topics impacting the freight transportation and logistics marketplace were front and center at a panel at the Council of Supply Chain Management Annual Conference in San Antonio last week.

The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm.

Optimism in the form of increasing profits was a key takeaway in the Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) CEOs, released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.