Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Fulfillment software leads to 100% accuracy, new services

A customer’s internal audit double-checked results to confirm perfect reports.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 22, 2011

Sonwil Distribution, a third-generation, third-party logistics company in Buffalo, N.Y., has a reputation for providing efficient, cost-effective warehousing and transportation. But as the company grew, occasional fulfillment mistakes were inevitable with all of the paperwork and manpower required to complete orders. When customers’ expectations and demands began to change, the company deployed a new warehouse management system (WMS) that allowed Sonwil to increase order fulfillment while reducing staff.

The new system manages up to 1,600 orders per day. The company has automated its pick and pack process, allowing the system to print packing and shipping labels and record inventory inside pallets without human involvement. This process has led to a 100% error-free fulfillment rate for two of Sonwil’s most active clients. In fact, one of them was recently audited, and the audit team went back through the company’s books for a second time because they couldn’t believe that the physical inventory and electronic data matched perfectly.

The company’s reporting capabilities have also improved, with the ability to print or send reports by the end of the phone call in which they were requested.

“In this industry, you have to grow or get out,” explains Peter Wilson, vice president of Sonwil Distribution. “We now have a WMS that allows us to compete with other tier one players. After seeing what it’s capable of, it makes me wonder what else is possible.”

The WMS has also allowed Sonwil to develop a specialized niche: reverse logistics. Because Sonwil’s retail customers experience a 5% to 10% return rate on merchandise, the new WMS enables Sonwil to accept returns on behalf of its customers by scanning the product bar codes and recording the transaction in the system.

In fact, the system has positioned Sonwil to provide the value-added service of refurbishing the returned items for certain clients.

Cadre Technologies
888-599-5868
http://www.cadretech.com

More Technology Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook

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 Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Instead of ignoring a forklift fleet and its associated costs, asking the right questions can lead to substantial savings.

This white paper outlines five ways to increase profits with automation. By implementing automated storage and retrieval equipment-such as horizontal carousels, vertical carousels and vertical lift modules, multiple areas of a manufacturing or distribution facility will benefit from savings in inventory accessibility, floor space, time, improved ergonomics and better accuracy.

Zebra gains instant access to complimentary technologies. But first, it needs to integrate a former partner that is 2-1/2 times its size.

Distribution requirements are changing. Few distribution managers would quibble with that statement. The increase in the demand for mixed cases, mixed cartons, aisle ready pallets and, most importantly, the increase in the volume of e-commerce orders is driving new levels of investment in automation.

MDT works with Mitsubishi Electric to ensure technical competence in providing change management support for Mitsubishi Electric Automation products.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA