Casebook 2011: Leapfrog increases orders and decreases space with new warehouse management system

New WMS allows growing company to increase productivity and cut square footage.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
November 18, 2010 - MMH Editorial

LeapFrog Enterprises is a leading designer, developer and marketer of technology-based learning products available in four languages at major retailers in more than 44 countries. As the company grew, a new warehouse management system (WMS) enabled a new business model that would increase productivity and visibility into inventory and order status.

The new system (HighJump, 800-328-3271, http://www.highjump.com) at the 415,000-square-foot Fontana, Calif., facility handles 140 concurrent users at peak and operates up to three shifts. There are 89 dock doors and 50 yard locations capable of shipping in excess of two million cases per month.

The company embraced a total supply chain model redevelopment and has gained efficiencies in labor and storage space. Even as orders increased by 20% from 2008 to 2009, the company’s total U.S. distribution space was reduced from 1.5 million square feet to 415,000 square feet.

“It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I can log in and find a specific container, know how many pallets were on it, and see when it was received. And, I can follow each pallet all the way to our customers,” says Laila Anderson, senior director of LeapFrog. “Never before have I had the visibility to see this level of detail in real time.”

LeapFrog reduced chargebacks from retailers by 98% between 2005 and 2009, thanks to the inventory accuracy and excellent traceability the software provides. The number of full-time staff dedicated to inspecting paper work and claims was reduced from eight to one. Following the successes at the Fontana facility, LeapFrog has since rolled out the same software in its other DCs.

The company has directed freed resources to performing much more testing than is required by law, leading to increased product safety. Traceability and product rotation are so good that even if a product were to fail a test, the company would be able to act before the product reached the customer.



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.


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