Integrated WMS, duty and billing solution does IT for InBond

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INFORMATION: A free brochure, white paper or datasheet is available from Red Prairie on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

InBond is a specialist logistics provider that offers quality, cost-effective warehousing solutions to meet its clients needs. The company also provides a professional bonded service, maintained by experienced Customs clearance staff. Its bonded services are used by leading UK supermarket chains and importers of wines and spirits. Goods can be collected from all major UK ports and transported to InBonds 500,000 square foot depot in Eaglescliffe, north east England, where they are stored under excise bond until delivery to the customer.

InBond required an automated warehouse management solution that would enable it to operate a multi-customer, real-time environment while incorporating duty management and compliance with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) regulations as a seamlessly integrated solution. InBond needed to address the following challenges:

- Costly, slow, labour-intensive depot management processes
- Inaccurate system data, resulting in order and invoice errors
- Lack of inventory accuracy and slow stock taking
- Need to write new applications to meet specific customer needs.

The company chose RedPrairie to deliver its DLx Warehouse, DutyMaster and BillingCtl technologies, offering warehouse and duty management as part of an integrated solution. This comprehensive offering provided a long list of results for the customer, including:

- Integrated solution for warehouse and duty management
- Reduced cycle times for depot management processes
- Automatic tracking of handling charges for each customer
- Faster, more accurate invoicing
- Faster picking
- Increased order accuracy
- Stock takes completed in minutes, not days
- Improved inventory accuracy
- Information accessed in seconds, versus hours
- Seamless interface with back office ERP systems
- Automation of all key HMRC documentation
- Guaranteed compliance with HMRC legislation
- Faster generation of duty reports for customers or HMRC
- Scalability to support business growth
- Ability to add functionality incrementally as required.

RedPrairies team completed the implementation of DLx Warehouse and DutyMaster in two months. This was followed by a further two months of system testing and training for users of both solutions. After the obligatory HMRC inspection, attended by RedPrairie, the solution went live.

Configurable software to meet all client needs
InBond used DLx Warehouses flexible configuration to tailor functionality to its specific needs during implementation. Additional criteria fields and data have since been added to several screens to incorporate features needed by individual customers. InBond has also inserted a final quality check of all orders between picking and despatch.

Faster picking and increased order accuracy
Pallets arriving at InBonds depot are scanned using a truck-mounted RDT scanner and received into DLx Warehouse. Instructions appear instantly on the screen, advising the warehouse operative where the goods should be stored. DLx Warehouses intelligent storage calculation capabilities ensure pallets are transported directly to their storage destination in a single movement. RedPrairies intelligent picking functionality has resulted in significantly faster picking and a substantial increase in order accuracy.

The former walk and count operation for each customers twice-yearly stocktake, would last up to three days, and required InBond to completely halt operations for that client during that time. Inbond is now providing better customer service with RedPrairies solutions. Inventory controllers now scan each pallet with a hand-held RDT scanner, enabling the entire stock count for each client to be completed in minutes. In addition to significant savings in staff time, InBond has seen a substantial improvement in inventory accuracy.

Faster, more accurate invoicing
Tracking handling, storage and other charges payable by each customer using RedPrairies web-based BillingCtl tool enables InBond to present accurate invoices to customers, giving them complete visibility of all costs incurred on their behalf. With BillingCtl the transaction charges agreed with each customer are entered just once into the system and the total is calculated automatically. The data is then routed to InBonds financial management system, with which the DLx suite interfaces seamlessly, ensuring prompt, accurate customer invoicing. In addition to faster, more accurate invoicing and better customer service, BillingCtl has helped InBond cut billing administration costs.

Complete solution for all bonded warehousing needs
DutyMaster allows InBond to simplify and automate the day-to-day complexities of handling bonded goods. Full integration with DLx Warehouse means that duty management can be handled as part of normal depot operations. Audit reporting facilities allow users to track the movement of goods from collection to final shipment, in compliance with HMRC legislation.

As compliance is key in bonded warehousing, InBond gives RedPrairies technical and support teams full remote access to its DutyMaster application, which speeds up problem resolution. Using DutyMaster ensures that InBond will always be compliant with HMRC legislation.

Performance improvements
The integrated solution gives InBond apid access to data and allows reports for customers or HMRC to be generated much faster than using its old legacy systems. Information that used to take half a day to locate can now be accessed in seconds by managers at the desktop, which improves business transparency and saves time. InBond has added user-defined fields to RedPrairies standard reporting formats that the system populates automatically with the latest information.

After just 10 months of implementation, performance against all major KPIs has increased and further improvements are expected over the coming 12 months. In addition, InBond is able to use its implementation of the solution as a selling point with prospective new customers.

InBond is now extending its use of DLx Warehouses core capabilities to optimise the benefits gained by using its comprehensive functionality. The company is currently implementing RedPrairies Integrator interface to provide an integration and connection backbone with its customers ERP systems. This will allow pre-advised receiving, enabling InBonds clients to transmit electronically full details of each consignment, such as stock code, pallet number, weight, number of items and expiry date, prior to despatch. InBond also plans to use the web client of DLx Warehouse, to give its clients remote access to details of their consignments.

INFORMATION: A free brochure, white paper or datasheet is available from Red Prairie on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy

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