Internet Wine Distributor Eliminates Warehouse Inefficiencies with 3PL WMS

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Accellos, provider of supply chain execution software solutions, has issued a case study of AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL (Third Party Logistics) warehouse management customer Europa Worldwide Logistics, located in the UK. With almost two decades experience as a public warehouse operator, managing inventory and logistics for companies ranging from elite London fashion houses to cleaning products distributors, management at Europa Worldwide Logistics faced a fresh set of challenges when approached by a new wine retailer. The retailer was leaving the traditional wine distribution method in favor of a web-based model.  This was to be done by offering a huge selection of product from wine-producing venues world-wide; do so at costs well below conventional retail; and deliver orders next-day and sometimes even within hours of the time an order was received.

Based in Suburban London (Erith, Kent), Europa debuted as a transportation/logistics company in 1966 and now operates worldwide, offering complete logistics solutions through seven operating divisions. Together, Europa's warehouses comprise more than 500,000 square feet of racked storage space and are connected to a data center in London over a virtual private network.

The Internet wine retailer's distinctive approach centers on sourcing wines from vintners across the world, many of them undiscovered, and contracting to purchase all, or a defined portion, of their output. Some 100,000 online customers pay a monthly fee in exchange for discounts on their purchases, with the retailer using the money to help fund wineries that produce its inventory -- mainly champagne, white, red, rose, and sparkling wines.

Europa examined a number of logistics software alternatives, among them were two Accellos competitors as well as the AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL and several other smaller solutions. "Of those we considered, the Accellos system satisfied 90 percent of our stated requirements. It allowed us to tailor our production processes and provide an extremely high level of efficiency through computer control," Europa CEO Russell Keep says."

AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL is a modular logistics management solution that integrates all of the management activities of a multi-client warehousing operation, incorporating concurrent multi-client workflow processes, customer on-demand self-service, labor planning and automation, and revenue management. Using the Accellos software, operators can establish and monitor minimum warehouse operating standards, enhance/support discrete management practices, and enforce client requirements across the entire range of receiving, storing, picking, repacking and shipping processes.

Under the Accellos system, the wine contract is operating smoothly, with no capacity problems and allows the company to charge the client by the number of individual picks – whether wine or auxiliary content. Productivity has soared: in all of 2010, Europa shipped 274,000 orders for the wine client, and in December 2011 alone, the company handled 107,000 orders. Keep projected that December 2012 shipments would surpass those of 2011, with total shipments exceeding 634,000 orders for the year. The Accellos software has made it possible for just one person to administer the wine account despite volumes having grown over five times since its inception. Additionally, Europa has been able to maintain its operating costs throughout these significant increases.

"The Accellos software allows us to tailor our production processes with complete control," Keep says. "A single order can be anywhere from 6 - to 15 bottles of wine, in addition to the other materials – up to 20 individual picks in one box – and we now handle up to 3,000 orders per day. We do all of this within the Accellos system, versus having to employ additional computing resources." Keep continues, "We really like Accellos. We have done well with them and we maintain a great ongoing relationship. They display a solution-oriented, can-do attitude that is really helping us with our continuing expansion in third party logistics."

"Accellos is very pleased with the results that Europa has achieved by using our software," said Joe Couto, Senior Vice President of Accellos. "Europa's ability to deploy our solution within weeks of their peak season whilst improving their operating and administration functions to plan is a testament to Europa's team and our product's fit for the multi-client 3PL marketplace. I'm truly happy that Europa has yielded significant results in client satisfaction and streamlined operations."

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