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ommunity Foods has improved stock recording accuracy by 15% in just six months using a new wireless warehouse management system (WMS). The natural and organic dried food supplier adheres to strict food standards requiring accurate traceability and record keeping.This previously entailed keeping detailed, time- consuming manual stock records. John Davies,Community Foods director


of operations, explained: “We did have a management system but it wasn’t warehouse specific. It had a manual paper-based workflow, which was batch updated during the course of the day. From our order-processing perspective, we were plagued with the uncertainty of quantity and freshness of stock in the warehouse when we came to picking orders.This resulted in a high degree of stock loss and shrinkage by not being able to control our inventory movements. “Secondly, we were experiencing a high level

of picking errors. Warehouse operatives picked the wrong product because it was in the wrong

location or poorly recorded.As a result of these picking errors, we had a high level of invoice errors, which consequentially resulted in a lot of customer claims and credits.” The new Accellos WMS from Balloon

One has improved warehouse inventory accuracy, reduced wastage and improved stock reconciliation.This is also driving the planning and replenishment processes, ensuring that orders are fresh and providing age control for the products and batch control for traceability. “We import products from every continent around the world.To provide the necessary due diligence we need systems that will help control our processes.The real time functionality of Accellos gives us much better information from the point of view of processing orders in real time to visibility of stock movements in real time,” Davies added. “It is fair to say that we’ve seen stock record accuracy move from the low 80% to about 95% in six months. In a short, we have seen significant gains since installing Accellos and we expect a lot more to come,” he said.



New research from Cranfield School of Management and supply chain standards body GS1 UK has revealed the financial benefits of the barcode, 60 years after its first patent was registered. Basing their findings on a proprietary

French home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin recently selected distributed order management (DOM) systems from Manhattan Associates to support cross- channel retail operations. Having previously implemented

Manhattan’s Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Intelligence offerings, Leroy Merlin has already streamlined and optimised a significant part of its distribution operation. DOM will optimise the fulfilment point selection process by simultaneously factoring in inventory, transportation cost, labour and service levels. Cécile Laroumanie, supply chain director

at Leroy Merlin France, commented: “With the significant growth we have seen in our

e-commerce activity, we saw Manhattan’s DOM solution as the perfect fit – in terms of its ability to help us to manage, monitor and optimise our e-commerce and cross channel orders. Specifically, the DOM solution will provide us with real-time, global visibility of inventory, thus boosting service levels and enabling us to sell more at each point of customer engagement, as well as allowing us to fulfil those orders in a way that maximises profit for the business.” Laroumanie added: “In a highly competitive

environment where the cross-channel sale is becoming more and more important for the business, close control and monitoring of our operational and logistics costs are critical to supporting our goal of margin enhancement.”

GS1 metric, the organisations said that barcode use enabled the UK retail industry to save £10.5 billion last year. Over 5 million barcodes are being used globally to manage shipments, storage, ordering, sales and products. Standardised GS1 barcode data is now also used for electronic data interchange (EDI) systems or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Consumers also scan them with

smartphones to check pricing and product, nutritional and allergen information.They can be used to receive location-based promotions, redeem e-vouchers on smartphones and quick response (QR) codes to access websites, video and marketing material.


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