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“It’s the daily visibility into inventory status that counts. I now have a five-day lead-time on my ordering and SmartTurn has definitely helped me manage daily inventory levels.”
- David McDaniel, Warehouse Manager Frozen Gourmet.
Headquartered in Redding, California, Frozen Gourmet Inc. ships everything from frozen pizza to ice cream to major grocery stores, convenience stores, and small mom-and-pops in Northern California. Up until last year, Frozen Gourmet relied on a manual system for checking inventory levels. Having grown steadily, 80 percent over the last ten years, the company needed to increase shipment accuracy and maintain greater control of its expanding inventory.
“Ten years ago, when I started with the company, we were small. Our inventory management system consisted of poking your head into the freezer, counting the products, and that was it”, said David McDaniel, warehouse manager at Frozen Gourmet, ”our customer base and the products we carry have grown substantially in recent years. We’ve almost doubled our routes, the number of trucks and employees we have”.
The Challenge - Increase Inventory Visibility to Reduce Stock-Outs
The fast growth of Frozen Gourmet has led to a number of challenges. As a small, family-run business, it had a limited budget to invest in a warehouse management system that would provide:
McDaniel and his team searched around for a solution. After going through some more expensive options, they eventually came across an affordable package with SmartTurn.
Finding a Solution With SmartTurn
SmartTurn’s Inventory and Warehouse Management System helps companies like Frozen Gourmet take charge of the warehouse by providing real-time inventory visibility and automating critical inventory and warehouse processes, such as purchasing, receiving, ordering, picking, shipping, and inventory control. Efficient warehouse operations are particularly critical during the peak summer season when demand for ice cream and frozen goods are high. “Stock-out reports, the ability to receive goods o POs in the system, and do cycle counting is terrific", said McDaniel, “But it’s the daily visibility into inventory status that counts. I now have a five-day lead-time on my ordering and SmartTurn has definitely helped me manage daily inventory levels to keep up with demand”.
Using SmartTurn, McDaniel noted that Frozen Gourmet also minimizes costs associated with excess inventory, “The longer you hold inventory, the more you tie up dollars in the warehouse. SmartTurn helps to avoid that”. Inventory also brings associated costs for space, utilities, and insurance. Such costs can grow quickly, sometimes amounting to one third or even one half of the acquisition value per year.
But holding too little inventory has its own unique problems. Companies that hold too little inventory may have to turn away large orders, or even risk losing repeat business. “If you run out of a product, customers will call you on it. And that used to happen more often when we had our manual system”, said McDaniel, “With SmartTurn, we have fewer stockouts. I know what I have coming and how to prepare for spikes in demand, such as the big holiday ads.”
For many companies, training users on warehousing systems can be a difficult task. But SmartTurn provides an intuitive interface that accelerated end-user adoption. After McDaniel trained himself, he found it was relatively easy to train others. If there are problems, help is just a phone call away: “The SmartTurn Help Desk is A-1. Even when I have a problem today, I get a response right away”, said McDaniel.
Additionally, SmartTurn is hosted on a secure, enterprise-class infrastructure and uses the latest security firewalls, virus protection, intrusion detection, encryption algorithms, and backup protocols. SmartTurn provides better protection for data than in-house systems or paper files.
Overall, SmartTurn provides a wide array of benefits to the growing wholesaler. The solution has reduced paperwork through an integrated inventory management process; automated the re-order of inventory with stock-out reports and provided greater visibility into inventory.
“When inventory levels can be trusted to be reliable, I can be safe, not sorry, when doing product ordering”, said McDaniel, “For our customers, that translates into high availability and fresher products, which in turn, lead to higher customer satisfaction”.
The Results - Double-Digit Growth
With Frozen Gourmet’s capabilities being vastly improved by incorporating SmartTurn’s inventory and warehouse management system, the company has enjoyed strong results:
Frozen Gourmet plan to leverage the wireless capabilities of SmartTurn to further automate receiving and shipping. With no modifications or additional software required, SmartTurn is compatible with any handheld with the Windows CE Internet browser. Frozen Gourmet employees will be able to log in to the SmartTurn Mobile application from anywhere in the warehouse, scan the data transaction into the system and update inventory levels in real-time automatically. Unlike traditional enterprise software that is difficult to implement at multiple sites, SmartTurn will make it possible for Frozen Gourmet to manage both Redding and Medford sites centrally. “Having that capability will be great, especially as we expect to grow anywhere from 10 to 15 percent this year alone”, added McDaniel.
To find out more about Frozen Gourmet, visit its website: http://www.frozengourmetinc.com/
Wholesale Distribution/Ecommerce/Food Services
Industry: Wholesale Distribution/Ecommerce/Food Services
Headquaters: Redding, Calif
The challenge :
Visibility into daily inventory levels
With SmartTurn, we have fewer stock-outs. I know what I have coming and how to prepare for spikes in demand, such as the big holiday ads
When inventory levels can be trusted to be reliable, I can be safe, not sorry, when doing product ordering
- David McDaniel, Warehouse Manager, Frozen Gourmet
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