Kicking off a search for a new warehouse management system (WMS) can feel like a daunting task. There are a wide array of vendors, all claiming to be the best solution for your business, even though these solutions each have different functionality and offer unique benefits. But early on, it’s often difficult to make those distinctions.
When Conn’s HomePlus decided it was time to ditch its paper-based processes in favor of a new warehouse management system (WMS), it cast a wide net. The national appliance, electronics and home goods retailer requested a proposal from 15 different vendors.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is one of the most critical pieces of enterprise technology in your business, something that supports your day-to-day operations. Like a car or a house, it’s a big investment that you need to protect.
In an effort to counter the costs of meeting ever-rising customer expectations, businesses are increasingly searching for inefficiencies in their supply chain. The reality is there is almost no room for inefficiency in the race to stay competitive by keeping prices low while providing an exceptional customer experience.
Every organization realizes the importance of the supply chain in the overall health of the company. However, many are unsure of how to start optimizing their supply chain. It can seem overwhelming, even unapproachable, because that term casts such a wide net. Where, exactly, should you start?
When it came time for Saudi distributor and manufacturer Binzagr to implement HighJump™ Warehouse Advantage WMS, the business had to proceed with caution.
Binzagr has 36 sites spread across 21 locations throughout Saudi Arabia with four supply chains – food, non-food, cold and auto – and partners with prominent brands like Kraft, Tyson Foods, Hershey’s, Dunlop Tires and Unilever. It moves 700,000-800,000 cartons per day across that network. All of the products it handles start in the flagship location in Jeddah, along the Red Sea coast, and are distributed to different locations from there. The scale of the operation means any disruption in business could have a significant financial impact and damage critical relationships with suppliers and customers.
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably experiencing fulfillment challenges that are all-too-familiar to e-tailers. At the very least, you’re aware of them. There’s an unpredictability to the business – dramatic peaks and valleys in order volume, the need to quickly fulfill more single-line/single-unit orders and tight shipping windows (those last two are obviously tied together).
The challenges inherent to online retail keep mounting because customer expectations are ever-increasing. Industry leaders like Amazon have changed the game – consumers assume whatever they ordered will arrive quickly without thinking about what it takes to actually get it to them. If it’s not a seamless, enjoyable experience, buyers will seek other options.
It all started with a viral video.
In March 2012, Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin took $2,000 from a college friend to create a hilarious, low-budget ad recorded in a warehouse. That video quickly became an internet sensation and kicked off the business’ explosive growth. There was not nearly enough inventory to fulfill the influx of orders, so the subscription-based razor and men’s care company had to politely inform its new customers it could be up to two months before they received their orders. And most of them were willing to wait.
Omnichannel is no longer a trendy industry buzzword for retailers – it’s now the reality in which they operate. Some retailers have dived headfirst into this environment; others have been slower to adapt. But every large retailer is selling online and through retail stores, with other potential channels like drop shipping and buy online, pickup in store.
The goal – and fundamental challenge – retailers face today is to provide the same experience for customers regardless of where they interact with the brand.
To accomplish that goal, retailers are investing more time and dollars into what IDC Retail Insights senior analyst Victoria Brown called “digital transformation” at a presentation Monday at HighJump Elevate 2017. The goal of that transformation is to blend the physical and digital experiences into one. Processes like automated supply (a new way to handle replenishment) and augmented living (clients interact with technology in the store) are two examples of this transformation.
HighJump WMS client Sportsman’s Warehouse was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2017 IRT Retailer Innovation Award in the Supply Chain category.
The IRT awards, in their first year, recognize companies that “aren’t just doing something new, they’re reaping the business reward for the execution of their innovation.” Retailers recognized as winners or finalists have found creative ways to solve the numerous challenges posed by today’s world of omnichannel retail.
HighJump recently caught up with Tom Dahlstrom, manager of enterprise applications at 3Wire, a warehouse management system (WMS) client for 15-plus years. We were excited to get an update on the business and learn more about how HighJump has supported the company’s steady growth.