JRac integrates supply chain automation in two separate DCs

Warehouse technology cost effectively resolves a small-scale distributed order management issue.

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You can derive significant competitive advantages by operating a distributed order management (DOM) network that links two or more DCs into a single, integrated platform for warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS) or labor management systems (LMS). However, the implementation of lean logistics technology across multiple sites has been largely out of reach financially for small businesses. But, low-cost technology transfer, supported by flexible, warehouse execution systems (WES), can work for some small-scale operations.

JRac carries a deep SKU profile of specialized parts for the industrial power wash equipment market, covering tens of thousands of hard-to-locate replacement devices. The company recently integrated supply chain automation in two widely separated DCs.

With this SKU profile in mind, JRac’s CEO, Steve Blyth had a vision that “lean” space and labor methods would minimize operating costs within facilities. He also knew there would be operating expense advantages from linking DOM hubs and potential capital expense opportunities—if the right integrator had knowledge across storage system, automation and software boundaries. So, he approached a horizontal and vertical carousel remanufacturer to address the integration of hardware and software solutions.

After surveying requirements with Blyth, the remanufacturer proposed high-density carousel and very narrow aisle (VNA) technology to automate and minimize space. The concept was that horizontal carousel technology would reduce small item storage space needs, while providing a platform for high speed “goods to person” picking methods.

A VNA solution was proposed to minimize pallet storage needs, while the remanufacturer’s software offered a hybrid WMS/WES cross continent control package that automates carousel picking and provides RF methods to integrate processes across multiple zones, including the receipt of materials and the transfer from bulk to primary pick locations.

To retain the costs of such technology, the remanufacturer helped JRac implement DOM on a small scale, so it could build a cross facility infrastructure on a tight budget
Above all else, the remanufacturer’s unique ability to deliver products with “like new” warranty, combined with its national parts/service infrastructure and decades of software integration experience, will prepare JRac for years of lean operation across the United States.

AS/R Systems Inc.

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Article Topics

Automation · Casebook · Casebook 2016 · Storage · · All Topics
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