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Hunter Douglas ships approximately 500,000 packages a year, to a large global dealer network consisting of retailers and interior designers.
Most shipments are dispatched via small parcel carrier, which means that the variety of service levels and costs of shipping can vary greatly by region and carrier. A long-time user of SAP, Hunter Douglas had relied on another third-party solution for their transportation needs. However, the software had some inherent limitations that prevented a full upgrade, restricting Hunter Douglass ability to respond to a changing market and business model.
While the high-end window fashion business was being squeezed due to the downturn in the US housing market, carrier fuel surcharges and overall costs were increasing. Hunter Douglas needed to adapt its internal processes to control costs while still meeting customer expectations and demand.
Single system simplifies shipping operations
To meet its need for a scalable and flexible transportation management system that integrated with its core ERP system, Hunter Douglas chose the TRAXi3 solution from Precision Software, a division of QAD. Prior to purchasing TRAXi3, Hunter Douglas had considered a number of other solutions on the market. However, it recognised the Precision Software solution to be the best fit for its requirements. Joanne Johnson, senior analyst at Hunter Douglas, explained the rationale behind the companys decision to source TRAXi3. The primary focus was to replace our existing outdated software solution and allow full carrier services, as well as the initial expectation of integration with our ERP system. While Hunter Douglass implementation plans would change from integrating to the ERP system to that of its in-house WMS system, the adaptable nature of TRAXi3 enabled a straightforward black-box deployment in a very short timeframe.
Top productivity and scalability
Hunter Douglas has completely replaced its previous systems offerings, allowing multi-carrier shipments via one system. This has resulted in greater consistency and continuity across all company divisions. In addition, TRAXi3 has facilitated enhanced carrier compliance and provided Hunter Douglas with the ability to update and/or upgrade carrier offerings as and when required.
When TRAXi3 went live Hunter Douglas started to realise tangible benefits immediately. Users are now more easily able to process, change, void shipments, as well as utilise service levels which were unavailable in our legacy system, explained Johnson. This allows us to meet our customers expectations and demands, by providing more service level options, [and at the same time] managing internal processes and expenses. Other confirmed benefits include cost reductions through the ability to pass freight discounts to the companys customers (this was not available in Hunter Douglas previous system), increased efficiency through ease of use for shipping clerks, and greater reliability through minimal system downtime as well as easier and faster routine updates.
Delivering benefits up and down the supply/demand chain
Hunter Douglas will look to expand the system to foreign shipment processing, including generation of export documentation. Johnson concluded: Precision was selected for its long-term potential, with international documents and reporting capabilities, as well as the initial expectation of integration with our ERP system.
About Hunter Douglas
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions manufactures high-quality custom window coverings and their related components designed to provide window treatment solutions ranging from privacy to light control, while offering the latest in style and innovation.
Originally formed in 1919 as a machinery distribution company in Germany, it was the development of a new technology to produce lightweight and durable aluminum in 1946 that shaped the multinational company that exists today. Part of the European-based Hunter Douglas Group (HUDN), Hunter Douglas is headquartered in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and employs a workforce of 3000 across its eight US manufacturing and shipping locations.