Warehouse Management Operations Helps Integrate Four Facilities Under One Roof, Increase Pick Operations
Alliance Beverage Distributing needed to bring four facilities under one roof, with an eye for future. It also wanted to effectively and efficiently manage the influx of new SKUs, increase pick and load rates and accuracy, while measuring and analyzing metrics to improve overall operations. Seamless integration would be paramount.
“Prior to our joint venture, we developed a home-grown pick-to-belt system, but it did not perform as needed when our footprint expanded,” says Shannon Gary, VP of Operations at Alliance Beverage Distributing. “We needed to ensure we could easily manage the seasonality of our business without sacrificing pick rates or accuracy.”
With eoTouch, eoStar’s iOS sales app, Alliance Beverage Distributing salespeople create and submit orders from the field. Orders are then dispatched and processed from within eoStar, which adjusts order quantities based on inventory and stages them to be palletized. Built-in Palletization functionality enables Alliance Beverage to optimize pallets for each route. With coordinated systems, eoStar sends partial work for the pick-to-belt crew and simultaneously deploys the pick-to-pallet team via Voice Pick.
“eoStar’s pick overview screen helps us monitor metrics, including pick rates per employee, short picks, out of stocks, and overall work completion percentages,” Gary says. “eoStar’s Warehouse Management System and tablet app help us manage additional warehouse operations. Every pallet received is recorded with the item, supplier, code date, and quantity.”
Gary says each location in its warehouse is tracked so employees are always aware of the product location. Forklifts are equipped with long-range scanners and mounted tablets to facilitate product movement in the warehouse, ensuring the accuracy of inventory and FIFO activity.
“Our new warehouse operations rely heavily on our Route Accounting Software (RAS), WMS, and WCS systems being synchronized. eoStar RAS with integrated WMS work seamlessly with our new conveyor system, which feeds directly back into eoStar to complete the picking process.”
Alliance Beverage saw a 39% increase in average cases picked per hour after three months with this integrated system.
“We experienced a more than 50% reduction in warehouse breakage, significantly lower team fatigue, and improved morale overall,” Gary says.