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Sandpiper Books Chooses WAERlinx to Manage its Unique Warehouse Operation

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Apr 26th, 2017

NetSuite implementation partner NoBlue introduced Sandpiper Books to WAER to get their warehouse operation in better shape and running more efficiently.

The Detail

Sandpiper Books is a UK based company selling discounted and newly published books through its monthly catalogue and website.

The company purchases end of line and excess stock from publishers and wholesalers, of which there are around 700–800, and sells them, primarily through the catalogue, which is published on a monthly basis and distributed to 125,000 subscribers.

At any one time Sandpiper has around 8,500 titles in the warehouse, rising to 14,500 at peak times. Of these, approximately 2,500 are active in the catalogue/website.

The peaks occur on a monthly basis when the catalogue is published, with the major peak being at Christmas when 4,000 orders/day are handled. A typical order will be for 3–4 books.

The company needed a new warehouse management system to work in partnership with their ERP – NetSuite – and following a detailed selection process, chose WAERlinx.

The Solution

Issues particular to Sandpiper that they needed WAERlinx to address were to:

  • Store pallets of received purchase order lines without breaking the pallet so that they could rapidly receive items and only have to manage them at a SKU level when they became due for sale
  • Receive items into both stores but primarily perform this activity in the receiving store, in order to separate out the deep storage inventory from the picking inventory
  • Separate out inactive titles to locations where they could be picked occasionally until they were removed from the store completely
  • Identify obsolete items that should be considered for destruction
  • Identify ‘mint’ inventory and segregate it from ‘off-mint’ inventory
  • Pick books by ISBN for dropping in packing area to be stored alphabetically for packing.

The Waer team has developed solutions for these niche requirements and the project is ongoing with a scheduled go-live set for July 2017.

WAERlinx Gets a Make-Over

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Apr 18th, 2017

At Waer, our goal is to reach a point where all releases are customer-driven. And as part of this, we are interviewing WAERlinx users and asking what they would change if they were in charge.

The feedback so far has been invaluable, and has driven a very exciting development…

I’m pleased to announce that the WAERlinx home screen is getting a complete overhaul.

   

The new Control Center will give an instant snapshot of all Open, In Progress and Completed work in the warehouse, and simultaneously provide one-click access to the areas of WAERlinx most frequently used by warehouse supervisors.

Watch this space for more teaser screenshots which we’ll release in advance of the SuiteWorld 17 expo. (we’re at booth #1332, come and say hello.)

To find out more, please get in touch. We’re keeping this fairly quiet just for now but we’ll keep you posted on developments so watch this space…

HSNF streamlines its warehouse operation, integrating Amazon FBA, Groupon, eBay and direct sales with NetSuite, thanks to WAERlinx.

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Apr 5th, 2017

The Detail

HSNF has two warehouses located in North London. Most of their sales orders are placed via web portals including Amazon, Groupon, eBay and their own site, www.justbeauty.co.uk,.

NetSuite was installed at HSNF in 2014, and a paper-based system was used in the warehouse. There was, however, a lack of accurate inventory visibility with this system, and limited functionality to record pick rates or errors.

The WAERlinx solution

A detailed proposal for integrating WAERlinx with NetSuite was submitted in the first quarter of 2016 and implemented in September. As with all WAERlinx installations, the baseline product was configured to meet the exact needs of the business:

Assembly handling was a key development in this project. Now the HSNF team can quickly pick hundreds of base kits and put them away to stock. When a sales order is received, the operator picks the base kit and then picks the variable item – such as nail colour – separately, saving a huge amount of time.

Integration to Royal Mail and Yodel using Net Despatch: this includes international and Channel Islands shipments, and the packer is able to change the shipping method at the packing stage if required.

The average number of order lines is typically 1.8 and there is a high degree of commonality in the products. When the new feature, View High-Demand SKUs is clicked, a new view is presented, which displays SKUs in order of the number of unfulfilled lines that currently have unassigned pick tasks. Each line can be selected and the user can release multiple orders of identical SKUs to the operator for picking.

SKU images: this allows for 100s of orders to be released for picking extremely quickly and substantially minimises the volumes of repeated pick visits to a single bin.

Product images are displayed throughout WAERlinx, including the handhelds, resulting in far fewer queries or mistakes. This value-added feature has become essential for visible validations of SKU selection for packing.

As orders are dropped at the packing bay by the picking operator, a packing note is downloaded as a PDF for printing, initiating the pack process. Packing instructions can then be displayed if required.

The operator scans the packing note and each SKU code as it is packed into the carton. Once all SKUs are packed and despatched, the carrier booking continues automatically and the shipper’s label is printed.

HSNF’s tailored WAERlinx solution gives pickers the choice of Single picking – sequential picking with no grouping, or Wave picking – grouping of order pick tasks where common SKUs are picked individually.

If inventory exists elsewhere in the warehouse, the operator is presented with a View Alternate Location button. This is available during putaway, picking and inventory management, and assists the operator if they cannot physically reach a location or wish to reorganise the inventory in the warehouse.

WAERlinx’ complete integration with NetSuite means that HSNF now has vastly improved visibility of the warehouse operation. Errors have been virtually eliminated and the work-rate has seen a dramatic rise.

NetSuite Solution Provider NoBlue recommends WAERlinx WMS for online retailer and current NetSuite user, UK Home Shopping.

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Mar 29th, 2017

UK Home Shopping (UKHS) Ltd is an online retailer based in Nottinghamshire, selling power and hand tools, workshop and automotive tools, generators and electrical items. http://www.ukhs.tv/

Already using NetSuite, the company wanted an integrated warehouse management system (WMS) in order to better support current and future operations.

The Detail

UKHS has two warehouses, both located in Nottinghamshire.

The first is the main distribution centre, consisting of pallet racks and shelves for pick faces, with dedicated areas for receiving, packing and despatching.

The second, referred to as the service warehouse, is a physically separate warehouse located within the same site as the main warehouse.  It serves several purposes:

  • As an overflow location for the main warehouse
  • Receiving for customer returns
  • Receiving for warranty repairs (all items are sold with a 12 month warranty) which are assessed and repaired or sent to third-party vendors
  • Sales of ex-demo or repaired items
  • There is a plan to add a sales counter in the foreseeable future.

In both warehouses, the existing paper-based system meant there were issues concerning a lack of inventory visibility and no existing pick-walk sequences, resulting in inefficient operations and limited customer return functionality.

The WAERlinx solution

A number of small adjustments were made to the baseline WAERlinx solution:

UK Home Shopping ships to Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man so these have been incorporated into the project.

Waer provided carrier integration with Royal Mail and Yodel via Net Despatch and for pallet handling, direct integration with TNT.

The transition from paper to handhelds has resulted in huge improvements to pick accuracy and time taken for picking.

A robust inventory-counting solution now allows UK Home Shopping to action regular inventory counts without disruption, rather than shutting the business down for an entire weekend in order to carry out the task.

 “Since the implementation of WAERlinx our warehouse staffing levels have reduced by three full time employees.”  Paul Strickland, UK Home Shopping Warehouse Manager.

Online Retailer Cox & Cox Chooses WAERlinx

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Mar 14th, 2017

Online Retailer Cox & Cox Chooses NetSuite with WAERlinx WMS to Support Their Business, Now and into the Future

Launched in 2001, Cox & Cox (www.coxandcox.co.uk) is a unique collection of practical yet beautiful homeware products, unavailable in traditional catalogues.  The eclectic mix of old and new makes the site a go-to for independent-minded home owners and interior designers alike, and the company has a strong and ever-growing loyal customer base.

Having enjoyed steady growth, the company needed to start streamlining its operations and improve efficiency, with the installation of an ERP and warehouse management solution. Cox & Cox needed a system that was able to scale to its current size and have the capacity to grow as the company expands.

They quickly settled on a shortlist of two ERP systems: NetSuite and MS Dynamics. Jonathan Baldwin, Corporate Account Executive at NetSuite, introduced them to Patchworks – a NetSuite solution provider – and suggested WAERlinx as the most suitable solution for the warehouse.

Patchworks simplifies the adoption and management of the world’s most popular software, such as NetSuite, and is Europe’s leading cloud integration platform, as well as being the only Built-for-NetSuite accredited connector.

For Cox and Cox, Patchworks delivered fully automated synchronisation of all of their business critical data between NetSuite and Magento 2, enabling them to accelerate growth and increase speed to market with new products whilst providing a seamless customer experience.

WAERlinx provides NetSuite customers with all the functionality you would expect from a world-class warehouse management system, addressing all inbound, storage and outbound processes, fully and seamlessly interfaced to NetSuite.

Its storage management functionality gives customers real-time visibility of all stock, from warehouse to zone, rack and shelf at any location in the world, providing accurate stock count and perpetual inventory as standard, and on the outbound side of the supply chain, pick sequences are set up for maximum efficiency and can be driven by many factors in line with business requirements, keeping disruption to a minimum and providing customers with exactly what they need.

WAERlinx’ flexibility and scalability are its biggest assets, and it was these two elements that clinched it for Cox & Cox.  Aynsley Peet, E-Commerce Manager at Cox & Cox, said:

“We really liked WAERlinx’ flexibility and scalability. The team at WAER gave us a number of demos, we talked to several existing customers and the support so far has been fantastic.  We are really excited about starting this new project with NetSuite and WAERlinx.”

For more information about Patchworks contact Julie Halford at Patchworks julie@patchworks.co.uk or 07904 664011  www.patchworks.co.uk

 

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Installs WAERlinx to improve Efficiency across Three Sites

Category : Kitting, NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Mar 7th, 2017

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Ltd is an established UK supplier of gardening products including flower and vegetable seeds, young plants, soft fruit trees and a range of garden equipment, fertiliser, pest control etc.  They have a broad mix of customers; both B2B e.g. garden centres and DIY merchants; and B2C e.g. allotment associations and consumers.

Fothergill’s has been using NetSuite for several years and they approached Waer Systems to provide better warehouse management across its three sites. WAERlinx’ renowned flexibility meant that the company’s specific requirements were easily accommodated into the package, including:

  1. A feature to allow the automatic build of works orders and commit the inventory to sales orders with minimal user involvement.
  2. The introduction of barcoding and scanners for receiving, putaway, pick and ship at their Kentford facility (including the ability to cluster pick a number of sales orders)
  3. Production of delivery notes that reflect the appropriate brands
  4. Integration to a number of carrier systems using GFS – Hermes, Royal Mail, Secured Mail, DX Nightfreight.

The company ships a huge number of order lines. For example, in one week they shipped over 16,900. So the potential for efficiency savings was huge.

How WAERlinx was configured to meet Fothergill’s requirements

Automatic Build of Works Orders

Once the inventory is received in WAERlinx, the purchase order is updated in NetSuite and the inventory is committed. WAERlinx users then release the items for picking by brand and/or product category.

WAERlinx adds the items to pick lists which are then given to the service provider, Rookery Farm Packing (http://www.rookeryfarmpacking.co.uk/) to manage all picking, packing and shipping of the items.

Once the items are physically picked and checked, packing lists and delivery notes are printed, and NetSuite is updated.  Once packed, the shipping label is scanned and the carrier booking is made.

Cluster Picking

This new feature in WAERlinx allows the user to restrict the number of sales orders assigned to a picker, giving Fothergill’s the flexibility to choose how they set up their operation and allowing them to manage the picking and packing functions together, should they wish.

WAERlinx moves forward with exciting developments thanks to Mishimoto

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Feb 21st, 2017

Our development team is known for their love of a challenge, and our customers choose WAERlinx because of its adaptability to their needs.

Take one of our most recent customers, Mishimoto, for example.  In the process of scoping out their project, they have requested the ability to receive goods by packing list reference, thus enabling automated receipt processing for multiple items based on a supplier’s packing list or delivery note.

The second development request was to have pallet packing – the functionality to assemble shipping pallets by recording either the uniquely numbered cartons contained on the pallet and/or the loose (i.e. unpacked) items that are contained on the pallet.

Thirdly, they needed to have calculated weights of cartons and pallets.  This way, there would be clear visibility of what had been placed onto each pallet, and fewer customer service issues of the ‘my product hasn’t been delivered’ type.

None of these has been requested by customers to date, but part of what makes WAERlinx unique is the fact that there is no ‘off the shelf’ version; it’s built to adapt, so these were all easily incorporated into the final solution.

For Mishimoto, the advantages are set to make a huge impact on efficiency in the warehouse:

 

# New Function Title Description Benefits
1 Receive by Packing List Reference Automated receipt processing for multiple items based on a supplier’s packing list or delivery note. Rapid and accurate processing of receipts for a specific supplier shipment.
2 Pallet Packing Function to ‘assemble’ shipping pallets by recording either the uniquely-numbered cartons that are contained on the pallet, and/or the loose (i.e. unpacked) items that are contained on the pallet.

Calculated weights of cartons and pallets.

Clear visibility of what has been placed onto each pallet.

Fewer customer service issues of the ‘my product hasn’t been delivered’ type.

3 BlueGrace Integration Provides a ‘Rate Shopping’ function in WAERlinx, using data retrieved from the BlueGrace system.

Allows bookings to be made for the selected carriers.

Management of ‘Less Than Truckload’ (LTL) shipments.

Lower overall freight costs.

4 Pallet Placard, Carton Labelling, Repack Carton labelling Replacement of hand-written sheets with neat, clearly-readable labels & documents.

 

WAERlinx’ – as flexible as our customers are unique.

 

We’re Recruiting…

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Jan 24th, 2017

We are looking for a new Java Developer to join our fantastic team; someone with exceptional programming skills and the ability to work with minimal supervision.  Please see below for details.

To apply, please email myoung@waersystems.com with your CV and a covering message.

Qualifications

IT based degree or equivalent
2–5 years’ experience in Java web-applications, including in a commercial environment

Special Aptitudes
We are looking for someone with an analytical, problem-solving mind.  A good listener with clear verbal and written communication skills.

This person will have good time management and the ability to prioritise tasks, as well as the ability to share ideas through presentation and work with little supervision.

They will be open minded, and able to focus on the needs of the business – capable of seeing the bigger picture.

Ideally they will have experience with J2EE, ORM and SQL.

The position will require occasional travel away from home and additional hours when required.

WAERlinx introduces picture labelling for multi-national workforces

Category : NetSuite, warehouse management, WMS · No Comments · by Nov 23rd, 2016
WAERlinx introduces picture labelling for multi-national workforces

When it comes to product development, our customers steer the way. Earlier this year, we made a great new development…

When it comes to ERP integration, all Warehouse Management Systems are not the same…

Category : warehouse management · No Comments · by Sep 9th, 2016

On the face of it, warehouse management applications can seem pretty similar and you would be forgiven for wondering where to start in choosing between them.

So you’ve set to the task of investigating the options for your company’s new warehouse management system. Naturally, you’ll want one that is compatible with your existing ERP. So if that happens to be SAP, for example, you’ll be looking for one that can integrate with that. If your business uses NetSuite, you’ll want to check out what WMS SuiteApps are available.

So far, so good. But how do you really go about choosing which one is going to work best with what you already have? After all, you want this to slot in as smoothly as possible and get back to business as usual asap.

Dig a little below the surface, however, and you will find that product A does everything product B appears to do, but when it comes to interfacing with your existing ERP, product A starts to show some cracks. And you might be looking at some serious headaches.

Not so with WAERlinx WMS for NetSuite. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer:waerlinx8_screen1

• Online visibility of orders that are available to pick
• Paperless picking (i.e. no printed picklists)
• Flexible picking policies: discrete orders, wave picking & batch picking
• Bin-level visibility and control
• Pick face management (replenishment from bulk storage)
• All barcode formats supported
• Optional packing functions
• Flexible labelling and delivery documentation
• Performance metrics specifically designed for warehouse operations
• Visibility of stock in-transit between warehouses
• Courier integration and labelling
• Proof of Delivery App
• Lot, Serial and Expiry Date handling
• Supermarket scanning option for receipts and stock counting.

So how does it work?
Integration between NetSuite and WAERlinx is implemented using SuiteTalk web services, which provides a full complement of SOAP web services across the NetSuite framework.

In WAERlinx these are managed through a console which provides options for scheduled tasks, allowing managers to control which interfaces are running, together with their frequency. For example, the Sales Order interface might run every two minutes while the Currency interface might only run once a day.

This is coupled with a set of configuration options within WAERlinx, allowing fine-grained control of each interface. Exceptions are tracked and logged, and automated emails inform system managers of any problems affecting the interfaces.

We’ve yet to find another WMS that offers such flexible and comprehensive NetSuite integration; just one more compelling reason to choose WAERlinx for NetSuite.

For a more detailed description of WAERlinx’ interfacing mechanism, please email dsnelson@waersystems.co.uk.