Software: On-demand WMS gives 3PL visibility
If you think keeping a retail customer happy is a big job, try keeping the retailer happy.
GMI Distribution, a third-party logistics provider (3PL) based in New Jersey, has been doing just that since 1978 and knows firsthand how demanding they can be.
So when its retail customers started demanding more visibility into inventory and transactions, GMI began shopping for a more robust warehouse management system (WMS). Customers wanted the ability to connect directly to the system to exchange sales orders and shipment data. Internally, GMI wanted a more flexible system of tracking inventory items, date codes and warehouse locations as well as a more precise system to track lot, batch and date codes on products.
GMI put together a wish list for the new WMS solution that included an on-demand solution that could be up and running quickly with little capital expense. GMI also wanted the system to be easy for staff to learn, for new clients to be set up simply, and for existing customers to easily use the system.
After shopping around, GMI chose an on-demand, SaaS-based WMS (RedPrairie, redprairie.com) that integrates inventory and warehouse management processes through one centralized system. The solution also automates manually based processes from purchasing to shipping, with complete visibility for trading partners.
All of GMI’s customers ship directly to retailers and individual consumers, so the system offers complex services like complete electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities serving every retail trading partner in North America and direct delivery for Internet and catalog customers.
In addition to enhanced real-time inventory accuracy, the system provides 24/7 access from anywhere in the world.
“Results were immediate,” says GMI president Keith Gordon. “Right away we were able to provide inventory visibility to clients, including complete date and lot code tracking. Deploying the system was not difficult at all, and end user training was simple. This on-demand solution has really given us a competitive edge in the market.”