Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Fulfilling customer demand

The best testimony any company can have for its products and services is when a customer comes back for more. That is exactly what specialist magazine distributor Woodgate Fulfilment did when it installed an ATMS warehouse management system (WMS). Within months of the first phases going live, Woodgate nearly doubled its spend with ATMS to expand the system.

This sort of investment is not made lightly and must deliver tangible benefits. And that is exactly what ATMS has achieved for Woodgate with its StockTrackPLUS warehouse management system.

Ian Kidner, of Woodgate Fulfilment, explains: “Our clients are demanding and we have to meet ever more stringent distribution requirements, so getting a stock control system with better reporting and 100% visibility was critical to our business.”

The company required a system that offered stock control and traceability and specified the ATMS FastTrackPLUS project, which is based on the StockTrackPLUS warehouse management system.

“The ATMS FastTrackPLUS system incorporates physical pallet identification to provide the pallet with a unique birth certificate against which it can be tracked and recorded and against which an audit can be held,” says Gursh Atwal, regional sales manager for ATMS. “For our client it was imperative that we provide tracking, traceability and quality control, all features of the FastTrackPLUS system.”

The system installed by Woodgate uses Intermec radio data terminals and TEC barcode printers to update the supply chain system instantaneously with information such as pallet movements, despatches and stock takes. The terminal can also display live information such as stock data or order transactions.

Of equal importance to Woodgate was the staff training provided by ATMS as well as the expertise to implement the system and get it up and running as smoothly as possible and with minimal disruption to existing work deliveries. The ATMS team includes specialists with many years experience in manufacturing, distribution and warehouse management able to work with customers and their trading partners to bring their expertise to bear on the supply chain and management of the warehouse in particular.

Guided put-away

Since the initial installation, Woodgate has ordered additional licences and terminals to cater for its expanded operations with total investment in the ATMS warehousing systems now exceeding £79,000.

Woodgate handles as many as 10,000 pallets of print materials through its 10,790sq m warehouse in Rye, Sussex.

The ATMS StockTrackPLUS system incorporates a variety of features that were important to Woodgate, including physical pallet identification, tracking traceability and quality control. It also provides guided put-away to optimise warehouse efficiency, as well as task scheduling to interleave and prioritise warehouse tasks.

The system will provide picking case, pallet layer and full pallet levels, despatch control to identify, validate and record all loaded items and it will also provide cycle counting/perpetual inventory to eliminate full stock takes and to ensure total stock accuracy.

ATMS has been working for more than 15 years with national and international market leaders in manufacturing and distribution helping them improve and gain better control over their supply chains. And it is supply chain control that lies at the heart of the success of any modern business regardless of its size.

Supply chain control is vital for providing high standards of customer service and operating efficiency. Sound warehouse management systems are essential for companies to maintain accurate and visible stock information and to optimise the flow of materials. Investment in good warehouse management systems is the only way to achieve these goals.

ATMS systems operate on the majority of hardware platforms. Systems are flexible and will grow with the business. They can also be moved to other hardware platforms as the needs of the business change. And as expected in this day and age, users can be located anywhere bringing together departments, divisions, customers and suppliers to form an integrated supply chain.

The system will provide detailed management information vital to managing a business. Users can define their own reports using industry standard open database connectivity reporting tools.

There is no excuse for allowing profits to be frittered away on poor and inefficient warehouse management systems. The technology is there for any business to be at the cutting edge of good warehouse management. n