Comfy Quilts improves inventory management & warehouse operations
Comfy Quilts had been using its SAGE 200 financial management system to manage its warehouse operations, relying on 100% manual data input and processing and a paper-based picking operation. Due to the scope for user error, Comfy Quilts suffered poor stock location and inventory accuracy, compounded by the fact that the manual nature of the operation meant that issues were only identified at point of dispatch, leading to failed customer deliveries. In the absence of any central stock information, Comfy employed multiple inventory controllers at each site to try to mitigate these difficulties and to investigate and rectify issues as they arose.
To support a more efficient and stable warehousing operation, Comfy made the decision to implement a best-of-breed warehouse management system and, following a review of five possible vendors, selected SnapFulfil due to its blend of rich functionality and ease of use. As a family-owned business, Comfy Quilts sets out to capitalize as much expenditure as possible and, in line with this requirement, SnapFulfil varied its standard contract to provide the system on a software, hosting and support only basis, leaving Comfy Quilts free to purchase the necessary infrastructure and hardware.
Implementing SnapFulfil has brought about wide ranging improvements in the productivity and accuracy of its warehouse operations, including significant and measurable reductions in administration, headcount, error rates, stock losses and order lead times and double digit increases in put-away and picking performance.
Specific improvements include:
- 60% reduction in administrative burden from Day 1
- 50% reduction in inventory management headcount
- 23% improvement in pick performance from 26 to 32 pallets per hour
- 29% improvement in put-away performance from 28 to 36 pallets per hour
- 0.02% reduction in pick error rates from 0.04% to 0.02%
- 2.5% reduction in finished goods stock loss from about 3% to less than 0.5%
- Scheduled to move away from bi-annual stock take to continuous inventory checking
- 80% reduction in manual processing
- 66% reduction in works order lead times from 72 to 24 hours
- 60% reduction in error rates in raw material supply
- 75% reduction in paper use
Comfy Quilts' Warehouse Manager, Mark Farrell says: "Over the last two years, we have been manually emulating everything a WMS does –we were the WMS. As well as being hugely time consuming and labor intensive, we have been at the mercy of human error and, as the business has grown, so has the margin for error. As a result, we were spending more and more time investigating and rectifying problems.
"Implementing SnapFulfil has radically improved both accuracy and operational efficiency which allows us to offer an excellent service to all of our customers – internal and external – as standard."
Comfy Quilts is implementing SnapFulfil in its 44,000 sq ft dedicated bed linen warehouse. In addition to Comfy Quilts' SAGE system, SnapFulfil will integrate directly with its customers' systems, massively reducing the level of administration in the operation. As a result, the company expects to reduce headcount by 15%.
In the same timeframe, SnapFulfil will also be fully integrated with Comfy Quilts' MRP system, providing real-time inventory visibility and saving approximately three hours work each day.