Crest delivers good numbers for retailers

By Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE: Crest Electronics, an Australian supplier of Philips and Sony peripherals, has released figures concerning the accuracy of its new warehousing system. The results make for good reading for retailers, as the company’s new pick-to-light delivery system means that a retail outlet will get the products they requested quickly and with 99.7 per cent accuracy.

The new system cost over $2 million to install and became operational in late 2005. At that time, Crest employed 35 full time warehouse staff. The new system has allowed the supplier to cut this figure down to 12, improving the cost-efficiency at a similar rate to the efficiency of delivery.

According to Crest Electronics distribution manager Rainer Globke, the most recent distribution statistics show Crest as a trailblazer in retail efficiency.

“The new pick-pack-dispatch system means that any order received before 2pm will get to stores between Mackay and Sydney on the east coast the next day,” said Globke. “This of course depends on our delivery partner fulfilling their agreement with us”.

Globke continued to say that the Mackay to Sydney bracket represented around 50 per cent of all retail outlets, and that most remaining outlets should receive their orders within two days.

In terms of accuracy, of the 2.6 million units of stock Crest shipped in 2007, sent in 134,000 separate cartons, the supplier achieved 99.7 per cent box accuracy. For Crest, this represents enormous savings in redistribution and reduced unsold stock quantities.

For the retailer, it means that a salesperson can confidently give guarantees to its customers of when requested stock will be available for purchase. Additionally, it virtually eliminates the frustration caused by finding incorrect stock in a box and the unnecessary time wasted organising a second delivery.

Better systems for perishables

Optimisation company RedPrairie has announced enhancements to its warehouse management solution designed for perishable goods.

Food distributors and grocery retailers, along with multi-environment distribution operators, are expected to benefit from the upgraded solution, which is devised to improve the quality and efficiency of shipment and delivery of food and other sensitive items.

In food and grocery distribution, shipments usually consist of frozen, refrigerated and dry

goods on a single vehicle.

While multi-stop loads are common in retail and grocery delivery, the method is not appropriate when loading a multi-temperature controlled trailer or when loading orders from multiple buildings within a campus environment.

The program provides advanced algorithms for picking, staging and loading perishable goods across multi-temperature and multiple building campus environments, taking into account multiple loading doors, temperature zones and stop sequencing.

The new solution is expected to protect the quality of food and other perishables, improve the accuracy and efficient of loading operations, and reduce shipping costs and damages.

The multi-temperature loading enhancements are contained in the latest version of RedPrairie’s WMS system, which is now available in general release.

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