Accellos Welcomes PolyQuest Inc.

PolyQuest Inc. has recently joined the Accellos team with their purchase of AccellosOne Collect for Microsoft Dynamics® GP! This will help the company to automate their data collection and therefore increase warehouse management efficiency. 

 

Headquartered in Wilmington, NC, PolyQuest Inc. is a leading polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin provider throughout North America. They serve a variety of markets including the bottle, film, fiber, and sheet markets. They have been in operation for 14 years and continue to grow and find success within their industry.

 

Welcome aboard PolyQuest!

 

To learn more about this company and their products, click here.

The Business Case (ROI) for WMS – Webinar Follow Up

On August 27th Chris Barnes returned for the fourth and final part of Accellos’ Optimize for tomorrow Webinar Series.  Chris went over the importance of having a successful Warehouse Management System (WMS), and how it is no longer an option for many companies, but a means of survival.  Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM) manages and monitors many methods and activities, which means a greater need for WMS that can provide real-time activity tracking and inventory visibility. 

If you missed this webinar, please catch-up here: www.accellos.com/optimizefortomorrow

PROFIT in Alaska: Report on our Kaizen Peer Performance Group Meeting

We recently completed our performance group and networking meetings in Alaska.  It was an incredible trip in terms of the sheer beauty of the location, hospitality of the host, and the countless business practices shared. 

 

DAY 1: TEAM BUILDING

 

On the first “official” day, our group and many of our family members met for a day-long Alaskan adventure.  We visited a wildlife refuge in the morning and then took a 6-hour glacier cruise out of Wittier.  During this time the owners of home furnishings retail businesses casually mingled while witnessing the backdrop of the Alaskan coastline.  The camaraderie that is developed during these type of informal group socials really helps foster professional trust and personal friendships.  The CEO’s always have someone to call on for an honest opinion or to bounce an idea or challenge off of.

It had been 5 months since we last met in Texas.  Of the 10 companies represented, the mood of business expressed was with that of optimistic growth.  The members came from a geographic areas that spanned from Aruba to Anchorage.  100% of us agreed that business was in a time of growth in both revenue and profitability.  The foreseeable future is one of opportunity.  It is a critical time to continue improving all levels of business operations.  It was definitely not a time to sit still.  Growth strategy was what we would focus on in our meetings the next few days.

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DAY 2: RETAIL STORE TOUR AND PEER FEEDBACK

 

On the second day we toured Treeforms Furniture.  We visited the distribution center, the Anchorage furniture gallery, and the Anchorage Bedding galley.   Following this, at the Alyeska Resort we shared our opinions and voiced our key learnings.  Due to the confidentiality agreement shared amongst members, I cannot get into the details.  However, from my point of view, I was again impressed by the clear direction and items of opportunity provided to the host member.  As well, I was equally impressed at some of the innovate practices learned from our host that several members are now going to implement in their operations.  

At the end of the second day we all took a tram to the top of the mountain to have dinner.  It was a beautiful evening in the land of the midnight sun.

 

DAY 3: BEST PRACTICES AND BENCHMARKING

 

On the third day we focused on 3 key areas: Goals, Best Practices/Ideas, Key Performance Indicators

In the goal session, each member presented the results of their goals committed to the group from the last meeting.  Here, we hold each other accountable.  We congratulate each other on objectives accomplished expect an answer if the goals were not achieved.

In the Best Practices session, the members bring something to the table.  Anytime you get 20 smart motivated people in a room, sharing – good things happen.  This session has been the source of countless profit $ generated.

In the Key Performance Indicator session, we compare the metric of all the operations and help retailers benchmark against each other.  We can easily spot areas of strength and areas requiring improvement.  The conversations and practices that come out of the KPI meetings are gold to the members.

I will give one example from the probably 100’s of ideas jotted down or voiced:

We all realize that online review and digital media are becoming more and more a critical part of getting new customers in the door.  Prospective customers visit sites like google review, yelp, and Facebook before shopping.  To get good reviews on the sites current customers need to be impressed – not sometimes, but ALL the time. Recognizing the importance of this 2 members approached this challenge from different perspectives and systems. 

Without going into detail, they found ways to obtain digital feedback after the sale with a good rate of response.  Now, they are able to find out immediately when customer was not happy and deal with the issue immediately.  They established overall customer performance ratings.  Finally, positive reviews are now posted automatically on the various online review sites.  This is expected to have a snowball effect putting them above their competition in terms of ratings, service and web generated in-store traffic.    

 

DAY 4: GOAL SETTING

 

On the final day, we wrapped up with our Next Steps sessions.  Here, each member reported their goals and strategy to improve their business for the next meeting.  This is hugely valuable as members get time to reflect on where they came from prior to the meeting, what they have learned, and where they need to take their business NOW.  Support and feedback after listening the goals are given to each member. 

Finally, we discussed details of our next performance group meeting for the “Kaizen Group”.  We are visiting an operation with a brand new store in Aruba in February 2015.  In July 2015 we will visit and operation in Calgary and stay in the resort town of Banff. 

Alaska was another success in a long string of great performance group meetings dating back over 10 years ago.  But don’t take my word for it, here’s what our members shared during the trip:

If you are not part of a peer group like this, I encourage you to learn more.  If you are a CEO or business owner committed to never-ending improvement, sharing ideas, and are interested in joining one of our performance group, we are maintaining a waiting list for available space.  You can contact me at david.mcmahon@accellos.com

Accellos Welcomes Kwik Tech, Inc.

This past July, Kwik Tech, Inc. purchased Accellos’ warehouse management system software. This will help integrate their accounting and shipping functions, and therefore shorten their order fulfillment times.

 

Founded in 1991, Kwik Tech is an exciting company that produces a variety of watersports products including wakeboards, kneeboards and water skis. They are a parent corporation of numerous branded products including Airhead, Sportsstuff, and Dry Pak (among others). On these websites, customers can shop amongst hundreds of products ranging from snow sleds to boating equipment and accessories.

 

Welcome aboard, Kwik Tech!

 

To learn more about this company, please click here

To learn more about warehouse management software from Accellos, please click here.

Benefits of the Cloud Follow Up

On August 20th Jared Mendenhall, Accellos’ technical services specialist, shared his knowledge of the cloud in our third part of the Optimize for Tomorrow webinar series. Jared explained what the cloud is, and how it would benefit your business.  He also dicusses the performance and connectivity to the cloud, the total cost of ownership, the implementation costs, the service Accellos offers with the cloud WMS, and the ERP integration.

If you missed it, check it out now here: www.accellos.com/optimizefortomorrow

Accellos Welcomes Port City Logistics

Port City Logistics purchased Prophesy Dispatch, the robust transportation management solution for medium sized businesses offered by Accellos, this past July. Port City Logistics was in need of a solution that fit the needs of their company, and Prophesy was the winning choice.

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Port City Logistics’ transportation division is based out of Savannah, Georgia and provides services across the United States, Canada, and Mexico through a hand-picked fleet of com[any drivers and owner operators. Transportation services offered include TWIC Certified and Bonded Drivers, Hazardous Materials Certified, 24 Hours a Day Freight Storage Yard Security, and Container Freight Station Onsite. Other Account services offered include; Carrier Management, Consolidated Shipments,Mode Selection, Freight Bill Audits, Consolidated Billing, Vendor Management, Private Fleet Utilization, Inventory Management, and New Market Distribution.
 
The Accellos team looks forward to serving Port City Logistics for year to come!

Accellos Welcomes IMUSA, USA LLC

Accellos would like to welcome aboard IMUSA, USA LLC! This company purchased Accellos’ warehouse management software to help streamline their operations and improve efficiency and order accuracy.

 

IMUSA is a Hispanic and international cookware company located in Doral, Florida. They offer unique product lines, each with appliances and gadgets that can be used to cook food from around the world. Customers can also visit their website to find international recipes and watch video demonstrations for their cookware products.

 

To learn more about this unique company, visit their website here.

To learn more about Accellos WMS, please click here.

Is your pricing strategy killing your bottom line?

In today’s competitive retail market, home goods store owners and managers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to approach pricing. There are many methods for achieving this, but times have changed and it is important to know which methods work.

PROFITsystems has been working with home furnishings retailers for many years, helping them develop a framework and pricing model for achieving higher profitability. Common pricing models are based on cost, competitor pricing, grandpa’s profit wheel, or even just setting a price based on what the retailer believes is best. However, there is no black and white in setting a pricing model; it is a combination of activities that contributes to the bottom line.

Markdown” is a common word in the retail furniture industry, and is defined as the process of adjusting pricing to meet customer demand. These items are usually slow-movers, but successful store owners and managers see this list of non-sellers as an opportunity to make money. Dedication to a successful profit strategy can help identify the sweet spot between margin and sales volume of the product.

Key performance indicators like GMROI help retailers understand the performance of an item and set pricing on future items. There are Retail Management Software packages available that can help with reporting, and certain systems are even capable of auto-markdown. It can be made a lot easier with the proper tools!

With this framework in mind, it is extremely important set achievable goals. Have a plan of reviewing and assessing information and commit to a schedule. Even an hour a day spent on pricing can greatly contribute to your bottom line. Can I raise the price a little bit more? How much more money can I make on the same inventory? It is important to ask yourself these questions when evaluating a pricing strategy.

Work on your business, not just in your business! Keeping current with competitive pricing is just as important as managing expenses in the warehouse or managing the sales staff to make sure you have the best people. Being proactive on pricing strategies can be the difference between sitting on inventory and having a lean warehouse full of top sellers.

For help with determining if you are ready for a software platform to help achieve these goals, feel free to contact Kevin at kevin.white@accellos.com or download our recent webinar

Accellos Welcomes Blackrock Logistics, Inc.

Accellos would like to welcome Blackrock Logistics, Inc. into its family of users! This company purchased Prophesy transportation software to help integrate their accounting and dispatch departments. This has allowed them to quote rates, handle billing, and track cargo shipments more efficiently.

 

Blackrock Logistics, Inc. is a trucking company that operates out of Pleasanton, CA. They currently operate 30 trucks which ship a wide variety of cargo for their customers. This company continues to prosper and service their customers more effectively with QuickBooks.

 

Welcome aboard!

 

To learn more about Prophesy transportation software, please click here.

Accellos Welcomes MAS Industries

Accellos would like to welcome aboard MAS industries! This company purchased Accellos EDI this past June to increase the speed and accuracy of their order processing.

 

MAS Industries is a unique company that offers a full line of chassis parts and control arms. They also carry products for all Asian, European and North American vehicles. To help their customers find the products that they need, they offer a thorough catalogue that is easy to navigate. Additionally, they have created a part numbering system which helps classify each part type and brand.

 

To learn more about this company, please click here.

To learn more about Accellos EDI software, please click here.

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