Rapid response

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PDQ Distribution is a market leader in the primary distribution of software within the UK. Over the past 12 years it has built an enviable reputation of speed and efficiency from the third of the computer games publishers in Europe that use PDQ to provide contract warehousing and distribution services. With high volume and high value product, security, care and attention to detail are fundamental in their approach to business.

PDQ has about 4,000 individual line items and despatch about 100 bulk orders per day, peaking at 400 orders in its busiest season. Since 1982, when the company was formed, PDQ has been at the forefront of bulk distribution to major retail stores – from the days of the ZX81 and Spectrum, to the current explosion of multimedia and 32/64 bit consoles.

Together with its sister company, Centresoft, it distributes £3-£4M worth of goods daily from its National Distribution Centre at Holford, Birmingham. The site accommodates four physical warehouses providing retailers with best sellers such as game consoles, software and other point of sale stock.

Maximising business performance PDQ needed to upgrade its warehouse management requirements to ensure that it could continue to meet its customers sophisticated needs in a timely, cost efficient way. The solution implemented was a Microlise Opus Logistics Centre running on a single HP9000 rp5450 server.

This new installation provides an effective rapid response system for the efficient roll out of bulk stock to their customers, the major retail stores, and includes full tracking and traceability of stock throughout their warehouse operation. The Opus Logistics Centre interfaces directly with PDQ’s Oracle line of business host application to provide the complete warehouse management capability.

Goods in, put away and goods out are directed through Symbol hand-held and truck-mounted radio data terminals (RDTs) communicating via spread spectrum over a radio local area network.

Orders are received and processed through an elaborate manual pick and pack operation, using hand-held RDTs, with despatch on the same day for next-day delivery to retail stores. The collating and packaging of goods for despatch is carried out by use of PDQ’s own transport, or Parceline – to which Opus interfaces directly.

Gary Feeley, warehouse manager at PDQ, comments: “Before the implementation of the Microlise Opus Logistics Centre our operation was very labour intensive with individual people assigned to specific contracts. The new system allows everyone to process any order. We have achieved greatly improved accuracy, with complete traceability of orders, using less labour as overtime requirements have been reduced.”

Microlise, which has extensive understanding of supply chain and logistics, has worked in partnership with PDQ every step of the way from the initial requirements specification, right through to the end solution. n

A similar Opus Logistics Centre is scheduled to be implemented at Centresoft.

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