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“Prior to SmartTurn, we lost a lot of trade discounts with our old system in the order of $40,000 a month!”
- Carlos Rubio - Director, Grayling
In this case, DiCentral’s SmartTurn was used to enable two companies, a 3PL and a manufacturer, to work together.
3PL Company Overview
Located on the US-Mexico border, Prologistics has a 24,000 square foot warehouse used primarily for consolidation, cross-docking, as well as temporary storage for its clients. Like most 3PLs, Prologistics provides multimodal transportation combined with value-added services. The ambitious company aims to differentiate itself from its competitors by significantly upgrading its inventory systems and providing efficient and accurate storage and fulfillment services.
Grayling Industries records annual sales of over $20 million in containment and control chemicals for safer asbestos abatement. It employs over 200 workers in a modern 60,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Juarez, Mexico. The company relies on raw materials from many sources, including US-based suppliers that do not move materials into Mexico.
The Challenge - Creating a Flexible Warehouse Management System For Both Parties
Grayling needed to find the right combination of 3PL services that could move and store supplies accurately and efficiently across the border, supported by an inventory and warehouse management system (WMS) that could keep up with the pace. Prologistics was well-placed to provide these services, but it needed to upgrade its own WMS to collaborate with Grayling Industries. The requirements were as followed:
To support its growing business, Prologistics also needed a system that could support multiple customers in a single warehouse. Affordable on-premise or client-server packages were often either too simple, not real-time or web 2.0 capable, and were not robust enough to match the ambitious team at Prologistics, nor would it fit the criteria for Grayling. Grayling’s outdated process and legacy systems did not allow purchase order and shipment bills of lading to be reconciled promptly, creating a void in its accounting workflow.
With increasing customer demand worldwide, Grayling’s extended sell-side logistics and sales abilities have seen rapid growth. Correspondingly, Grayling’s buy-side logistics had to keep up with the need for an agile supplier network, as well as an inventory and warehousing system that is flexible, quick to deploy, and easy to learn in multiple locations and it had to be affordable. “We needed a way to integrate our warehouse operations across the US-Mexico border over the web in real-time for our asbestos abatement product line. By ensuring we had a user-friendly, web-based system we were also able to onboard our 3PLs and manage our consigned inventory, error-free”, said Carlos Rubio, Director of Finance for Grayling Industries.
Prologistics needed to have a real-time inventory and WMS system in place before it could manage such critical path inventory for its clients. Keeping track of obsolescence for consigned inventory was a real challenge for cross-border items where a time limit of 180 days for temporary imports presented a significant financial risk for errors with US and Mexican Customs. The small but growing team at Prologistics would use the system not only to support Grayling’s requirements but help acquire additional customers. Fortunately, DiCentral was able to step in with SmartTurn.
Finding a Solution With SmartTurn
Due to SmartTurn’s secure, on-demand web-based solution, OracleCMS can provide each customer with real-time visibility into each inventory item’s quantity, location, status, and history within one warehouse or across multiple warehouse sites, facilities, locations, and even supply-chain partners. For example, one customer, a health food manufacturer, outsourced product fulfillment for over 100 customers to OracleCMS. The health food manufacturer’s products are shipped more quickly, and the appropriate personnel at the customer site can view inventory levels and shipment status in real-time.
In short, SmartTurn provided OracleCMS with:
Prologistics was able to implement the Inventory and Warehouse Management System SmartTurn together with their new customer Grayling. As part of its rapid implementation process, the SmartTurn team was able to plan, configure and deploy the system with Grayling and Prologistics entirely over the internet and phone. In two online training sessions conducted by SmartTurn’s Customer Experience Management team, Prologistics was able to assimilate its existing business processes with the system.
“This new capability has helped us win new customers,” said Carol Runnels, President of Prologistics “SmartTurn’s web-based system has kept our initial investment costs down, and since SmartTurn allows multiple user access for each licensed warehouse, we can onboard new customers at no additional cost to us.”SmartTurn’s pricing and deployment model makes it easy for the 3PL community to create virtual warehouses and global inventory views for all their customers at one fixed fee. Bringing on additional customers, therefore, allows 3PLs like Prologistics to scale without spending more on IT, while improving customer service levels, improving cash and information flows. Grayling is now able to move forward with a JIT inventory practice for its suppliers, eliminating human errors common in traditional data-relay or paper-based systems.
The Results - A Successful Collaboration
DSmartTurn’s WMS directly led to a successful collaboration between two fast-growing, ambitious companies. Additionally, the solution helped to deliver significant cost-savings and create further opportunities for both businesses. As Carlos Rubio pointed out earlier, Grayling was able to utilize SmartTurn’s capabilities to save $40,000 a month. No small feat for any business.
In a nutshell, the WMS solution has led to the following results:
As Carol Runnels explains, “With SmartTurn, we won’t stagnate. SmartTurn’s frequent and cost-free upgrades mean that we can plan to improve and adapt to the changing needs of our customers’ supply chains and match or surpass the systems offered by our larger 3PL competitors".
Headquarters: El Paso, Texas, USA
The Challenge :
Move and store supplies accurately and efficiently, supported by a WMS that could keep up with the pace of business
By ensuring we had a user-friendly, web-based system we were also able to onboard our 3PLs and manage our consigned inventory, error-free.
With SmartTurn, we won’t stagnate. SmartTurn’s frequent and cost-free upgrades mean that we can plan to improve and adapt to the changing needs of our customers’ supply chains.
With SmartTurn ... we can match or surpass the systems offered by our larger 3PL competitors
- Carol Runnels, President Prologistics
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