NetSuite implementation partner NoBlue introduced Sandpiper Books to WAER to get their warehouse operation in better shape and running more efficiently.
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.
Issues particular to Sandpiper that they needed WAERlinx to address were to:
The Waer team has developed solutions for these niche requirements and the project is ongoing with a scheduled go-live set for July 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 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.