GraysOnline boost warehousing productivity by 15-20% with Honeywell and Manhattan SCALE

GraysOnline is an Australian online retail and auction company, offering a huge range of consumer, industrial and commercial goods directly from manufacturers and distributors.

Business drivers

Six years ago, GraysOnline decided to re-evaluate its warehouse operations by consolidating its four existing warehouses into one centralised distribution centre (DC) of 323,000 sq. feet (30,000 sq. meters) at Homebush, Western Sydney. The overall aims were a reduction in long-term operational costs and streamlined processes.

The company was looking for technology that extends its engagement with Manhattan Associates to help facilitate growth and integration of the inventory oo.com.au, a newly acquired online department store into its existing warehouse operations with minimal disruption to customers.

While GraysOnline made the decision for the two brands to remain separate, they reviewed oo.com.au’s warehouse operations and decided to consolidate all inventory into one warehouse.

Limitations of the old system

Prior to implementing Manhattan SCALE the old system had limitations in controlling the inventory and the ability to adapt to changing needs. With over 30,000 products and servicing 10,000 customers, they needed to ensure the integration of inventory into the Homebush warehouse was seamless and caused limited downtime.

Additionally, the outdated RF-enabled processes no longer offered the flexibility, speed and accuracy that was required for Graysonline’s business growth.

The upgrade

GraysOnline upgraded its entire warehouse management system (WMS) to Manhattan SCALE: Supply Chain Architected for Logistics Execution, to streamline operations, drive greater efficiencies and introduce clearly defined processes.

With over 30,000 products and servicing 10,000 customers, they needed to ensure the integration of inventory into the Homebush warehouse was seamless and caused limited downtime. The company turned to Honeywell Vocollect for its seamless integration with Manhattan Scale.

Honeywell provided GraysOnline with the Vocollect Voice solution for seamless integration with a real-time interface to Manhattan SCALE. This resulted in clear instructions to workers, correct verifications and registration of respective responses.

A real-time snapshot of the entire picking operation of a facility was provided so that the impact did not affect the other parts in a cascading manner.

    

Information could be transferred from each worker’s voice device to the WMS allows process optimisation in all the areas of a facility. This reduced the time per task, combined tasks between workflows, and interweaved tasks to eliminate unnecessary downtime.

New workflows and functionalities were applied to operational demands due to its highly scalable and flexible voice system.

Vocollect replaced all the outdated RF-enabled operations for a ‘Hands-Free, Eyes-Free’ workflow. Workers concentrated on fulfilling their tasks without having to flip-and-read slips of order sheets, or type on the keypad of handheld devices.

Vocollect facilitated a real-time, two-way data flow between workers on the distribution floor and the WMS, making it easier for managers to generate monitoring reports, get comprehensive and accurate insights on the operation – right down to an individual’s performance.

Implementing Manhattan SCALE into the warehouse, gained greater control and visibility across the entire supply chain while achieving a 15-20 percent productivity improvement in our warehousing operations. It proved that this solution had the flexible nature and integration strength needed to ensure minimal downtime during such a complex task.

The Benefits

The integration of oo.com.au’s inventory into the existing warehouse took less than one month, which is unprecedented, particularly given the scale of inventory and product SKUs that were being integrated. This enabled the company to service its customers with minimal disruptions to orders and deliveries during the transition period.

There were also significant improvements in productivity across all areas of its warehouse operations. There was also greater visibility of inventory at every stage in the supply chain and employee safety improved because the employees were aware of their surroundings at all times, reducing the chances of injury.

As an example, with the Vocollect Voice/Manhattan SCALE combination, shipping 2,500 – 3,000 full cartons of wine per day became an outstanding achievement, given that prior to using any of this technology, they were picking approximately less than a third of this amount with more staff.

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