Case Study | Griffiths Equipment
(supplies major automotive and hardware outlets)
CHALLENGE Griffiths Equipment Ltd wanted to cut down on costly, time-wasting picking Griffiths Equipment mistakes in its warehouse
SOLUTION Greentree’s Mobile Warehouse Operations Suite
RESULTS Errors reduced nearly 80 per cent in the first month of use.
On average, Griffiths’ warehouse picks 40,000 product lines a month, generating more than 5000 invoices and errors in the picking of products were costing time and money.
The sheer volume of goods picked and packed, the similarity of part numbers, and pressure to get orders out the door, all combined to produce mistakes on a daily basis.
“Our error rate was about 200 lines wrong per month out of 40,000,” says Managing Director Peter Griffiths. “It wasn’t bad, but nevertheless that’s 200 things you have to fix up.”
You’d think an accuracy rate above 99 per cent would be considered pretty good, but Griffiths Equipment wants to maintain its leading place in the highly competitive auto parts & accessories business.
Griffiths Equipment needed something that would slash those errors by ensuring that its warehouse staff picked the correct items each time. A demonstration of Greentree’s Mobile Warehouse Operations Suite convinced them that they’d found the answer.
Greentree’s Mobile Warehouse Operations suite provides warehouse and customer service staff all the tools they need to be able to efficiently and accurately fulfil customer orders and sharpen inventory management processes, to save time and money.
With a wireless network installed in its warehouse, Griffiths equipped its warehouse staff with rugged hand-held devices that not only allows live picking of goods as orders come in, but also scan barcodes on each item, or the boxes containing them, to ensure the correct items are picked every time.
When an order is entered or received, it appears on Greentree’s Workflow desktop, which is visible to all staff. The order then shows up on the hand-held device, indicating where the items concerned are located. The warehouse staff can then pick the items for packing by following the shortest route, indicated by the device. Not only do they spend less time walking around, but the built-in barcode scanner tells them if they’ve picked the correct item or not.
“Most of the time they work it out in the warehouse; they scan it, the scanner beeps, tells them they’ve picked the wrong one,” says Todd Walter, Customer Services. “It’s picking up errors from our suppliers as well – so now we’re advising them that they need to fix their barcodes.”
Training the staff to use the mobile devices took less than 30 minutes, and everyone is happy to see time saved and mistakes reduced. It was estimated that in just a month of use, the scanners cut the errors by up to 80 per cent, and Todd’s ultimate goal is to see them cut to zero. The next plan is to implement live stock-taking using the scanners so the inventory is checked on a daily basis. Greentree Mobile Warehouse already has that function; it’s just a matter of turning it on and training staff to use it.
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