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 index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.0 in June, which edged out May by 0.3 percent.

Regardless of the date or year, one thing is beyond consistent when it comes to key themes in freight transportation logistics: the state of United States highways and related transportation infrastructure is in an eternal state of chaos and disrepair.

The high-volume warehouse or distribution center that supports B2B, Omni-channel activities, direct-to-consumer shipments, and the Internet of Things all require a flexible and scalable supply chain in order to function at optimal capacity. The problem is that most of today's supply chains are made up of fragmented silos of information that compromise their ability to compete, be responsive to customer demands or seize new business opportunities.

As customers' demands constantly evolve, transportation and logistics (T&L) operations are being put under growing pressure to offer more efficient delivery services, while not compromising on customer service. Using findings from a research survey conducted among transport and logistics managers around the world, this report explores how a combination of mobile technology implementations for mobile workers, and process re-engineering efforts can elevate operations to the next level.

It's a fact - most best-of-breed WMS providers force you to pay every time you require a system change. Uncover five more dirty secrets many warehouse management systems providers don't want you to know. Download the white paper 5 Dirty Secrets of Warehouse Management Systems to discover these hidden truths and gain valuable information on considerations for evaluating WMS vendors.

Comments

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