Casebook 2011: Urban Outfitters’ supply chain makeover

Fashion outfitter improves productivity and collaboration with trading partners.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
January 10, 2011 - MMH Editorial

Supporting sales and measuring performance across 1,800 retail and specialty stores on two continents can stretch the seams of a growing business. A warehouse management system (WMS; Manhattan Associates, 770-955-7070, http://www.manh.com) allowed Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters to transform its supply chain processes with a long-term solution that would support operations across all of its channels.

The improvements have translated into a 35% reduction in total labor, an 80% reduction in manifesting and invoicing processes, a 66% reduction in turn time through receiving (from three days to less than 24 hours) and a 60% rise in putaway efficiency.

With a tradition of building successful partner and customer relationships, the company selected the same provider that had successfully worked to streamline the company’s multiple systems and labor-intensive processes in 2006. This time, the company sought an expanded solution that would handle higher volumes while delivering increased process efficiency, improved supply chain visibility and more meaningful performance measures.

“The solution has demonstrated the scalability and depth of functionality required to support multi-channel operations and growth,” says Ken McKinney, executive director of logistics for Urban Outfitters.

Moving to the next level of efficiency, Urban Outfitters relocated the fulfillment and call center activities of its direct and wholesale channels to a facility in Trenton, S.C. There, the company implemented a WMS to seamlessly optimize day-to-day distribution network processes from one common interface, in real time. 

“Urban Outfitters obtained a significant return on its investment,” says McKinney. “We achieved increased productivity and supply chain visibility along with improved trading partner collaboration and product flow.”

Future transformation initiatives include plans for two additional WMS implementations in the company’s Pennsylvania and Nevada retail facilities.

 



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

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) had nothing but praise for the Senate passage over the past weekend of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015).

While there are apparent benefits to switching from diesel fuel to natural gas in terms of promised climate benefits, they come with a catch according to a research paper recently researched by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The popularity of cloud computing has consumed headlines ranging from fear and doubt, to claims of being the ultimate answer to all software applications in the enterprise. You may be asking yourself, what's the real story? Download the white paper, WMS in the Cloud, today to find out if cloud computing is right for your business.

A well-designed driver wellness program could make the job more attractive and help alleviate driver turnover.

Download this new white paper to understand vital (and complex) customs requirements and competitive strategies for business shipping through the US/Canada border.

Comments

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