Just eight months ago, one commercial and industrial supply distributor did not fully understand the impact implementing a warehouse management system would have on its daily operations.
For over 100 years, Winans-McShane in East Brunswick, NJ has been leading the way in commercial and industrial supply distribution. With a single location, 15 delivery trucks and over 120 out-going orders per day, Winans-McShane fully understands the distribution business and what it takes to succeed.
“We now can continue with our daily cycle counting and can complete the entire warehouse on a quarterly basis," said Mark Rogers, Vice President, Winans-McShane. "We also have a goal in place to eliminate the year end inventory based on the accuracy of DDI System’s warehouse management system.”
DDI System’s Positive Effect
Just eight months ago, they converted from Stanpak to DDI System’s inform software and added DDI’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) to fully integrate their business. At the time, Mark Rogers (Vice President), Alan Sklar (Information Technology Manager) and Donna Mazuco (Accounting Manager) did not realize what a positive impact the WMS integration would make in their daily operations.
The manual process they had been using for years was labor and paper intensive. When asked about this former process they quickly joked “Although it hasn’t been that long ago, we can hardly remember the old days,” Donna cringed as she described the process. “Before DDI’s inform and WMS software, we had to manually build our trucks each day which required an early afternoon cut-off time for the next days’ deliveries. We would print 5 copies of each order, build the trucks, plot the routes through UPS Roadnet, then distribute the copies and truck designations to our evening crew. The picking and updating process was completely manual. The next day, the rest of the copies were handled in billing, system inventory updates and purchasing.”
“Now, the orders are pulled out of DDI, transferred to UPS Roadnet, plotted, and then returned to DDI electronically. This process is completed in half the time,” Alan explains. “We have a team of 6 who pick the products for their assigned truck – sometimes one person can pick up to 3 trucks in an evening. They have learned how to utilize the electronic warehouse guns and the job queue function to streamline this process.”
WMS Implementation Realities
Surprisingly, it only took 3 months for the entire Winans-McShane team to become completely comfortable with the WMS. They are all very happy with this result as they did have several challenges to overcome during the transition. The first being they started from scratch. Their previous method was manual and the switch to a fully automated system took some getting used to. They also had some language barriers to overcome. Mark states that the biggest challenge was understanding the whole WMS concept. Once they understood what everything was programmed to do then it made a lot of sense for the entire team. Now that everyone is used to the system, the warehouse runs very smoothly.
“This system is definitely worth the hiccups to get to where we are now!” adds Mark. They have seen many benefits throughout different departments of their organization. The paperless workflow is a huge benefit to them, saving both money and time with the adopted streamlined workflow.
Alan adds, “The system is never down. I’ve only had to reboot once, which is very impressive.”
The betterment they are all most excited about is the physical inventory counts.
“Being able to do inventory more efficiently has been a huge time saver," said Mark. "Today, physical bin counts are done by 2 people during off-time and completed within a week. Prior to DDI’s WMS, we had to completely shut down our shipping department and everyone had to do physical inventory for 2 full days. We now can continue with our daily cycle counting and can complete the entire warehouse on a quarterly basis. We also have a goal in place to eliminate the year end inventory based on the accuracy of DDI System’s warehouse management system.”
For more information, check out www.ddisys.com.