The Works achieves 25% picking efficiency uplift with RedPrairie supply chain solutions

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UK value book retail chain, The Works, has raised warehouse picking efficiency by 25% only months after rolling out a range of supply chain solutions from RedPrairie, a global leader in supply chain technology solutions.

The Works commissioned a new warehouse management system at its state-of-the art distribution centre on the Minworth industrial park in Sutton Coldfield, in order to help it to maintain its position as the UKs leading supplier of value books. RedPrairie achieved a very rapid implementation, only 12 weeks from the decision to go ahead, until go-live.

Diane Smith, WMS Project Manager at The Works, adds, Store replenishment is now more accurate and we have the information necessary to manage our warehouse operation effectively. As the months go by, we will be expecting even greater returns.

Chris Maddox, Managing Director of The Works, says that the new warehouse management system has sparked off a range of benefits right across the business. He says, The stores are now getting more accurate and timely stock allocations than ever before and our new approach made a positive contribution to the 100m worth of business we did in the Christmas 2004 period.

The Works also reports that training on the new systems is very easy and staff can be up and running very quickly. Staff are told what they need to do using screen menus on the RF gun, doing away with the need for paper-training materials.

Smith adds, We can now benefit from a range of over 100 reports. For instance, we can look at pick rates per member of staff, enabling us to reward those that are fast and spend more time with those that are not. Pickers can also see their own pick rates, which provides them with an incentive to be more productive.

Receiving and allocation of publishers returns can now be carried out in a single process, which saves further time.

Smith also says, The new system has in no way constrained how we should work; we have been able to combine our existing best practices with the recommendations of RedPrairie and go on from there to achieve greater efficiencies.

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