To keep pace with growing customer demand, Eby-Brown, a 123-year-old wholesale distributor servicing 13,500 retail locations, has been forced to consistently expand its distribution network.
With this continued growth, a few key challenges have been encountered, including substantial reliance on inefficient and labor-intensive paper methods, lack of visibility into tasks across all facets of warehouse operations, lack of process and technology standardization across distribution centers. In addition, the company also faced minimal flexibility and scalability of mobile functionality to support growing warehouse operations and minimal accountability of accuracy of warehouse operations.
To support future growth, executive leadership needed a solution that provided real-time visibility into inventory and product movement, while enabling warehouse operations to move from a manual, reactive environment to a mobile, automated, proactive environment.
By implementing the SAP Best Practice for Wholesale Distribution solution with ITSmobile, Hitachi Consulting delivered a comprehensive warehouse management solution that streamlined Eby-Brown’s integration across all business functions (Procurement, Sales, Finance and Production) and addressed key business challenges.
The SAP mobile solution improved critical business processes by introducing and enhancing the following functionality:
Inbound processes – Support for yard management, putaway and stock removal strategies, expected goods receipt, cross-docking, pick from goods receipt and push deployment, transportation cross-docking, value-added services and quality management
Outbound processes – Wave processing and replenishment processing
Storage-bin management and optimization − Manage handling units, use slotting functions and take physical inventory
Distribution center processes – Enable planning and monitoring, radio frequency support, serial number support, resource management, labor management, automation and support for material flow systems
In addition to the SAP mobile functionality, Hitachi Consulting worked with the company to identify and prioritize expanded mobile functionality, which included Stock Management Reporting, Appointment Management and Shipment Loading/Unloading.
Hitachi Consulting and Eby-Brown worked shoulder-to-shoulder to successfully implement the warehouse management solution at all of EbyBrown’s distribution facilities.
The implementation enabled the company to provide superior customer service while realizing several key benefits. Using mobile functionality, personnel are now able to monitor and react to real-time inventory changes across all warehouse business processes and have been able to standardize warehouse processes across distribution centers. Through expanded mobile functionality, they now have greater visibility into what’s happening in the warehouse, when it’s happening and who’s responsible, allowing for quick resolution of issues that may impact overall customer satisfaction. By leveraging SAP stock movement strategies and mobility across all warehouse operations, they have reduced paper output from all warehouse business processes. The implementation has enabled Eby-Brown to make further warehouse acquisitions for growth without losing visibility or operational control.
Teaming with Eby-Brown, Hitachi Consulting delivered a robust warehouse management solution by implementing SAP Best Practices for Wholesale Distribution. The solution enabled tighter integration across all facets of EbyBrown’s supply chain while enabling continued growth and maturation across all business processes.
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