- Line items picked up from 500 to 1,200
- Significant picking accuracy improvement
- Increased inventory control
- Increased customer service levels
Created in February of 2003, the Lombard, Illinois–based Christian Art Gifts Inc. is a distributor of books, journals, book-marks, cards and other unique gift items. The company ships its products to approximately 1,000 retailers around the world.
When Christian Art Gifts began distributing gift items throughout the U.S., the company’s 20,000 sq. foot warehouse was run through its ERP system, Microsoft Great Plains. Received orders were entered into the ERP system which would then generate a picking list. The list would then have to be printed out and employees would use it to manually move through customer orders. The paper-based system quickly proved to be a challenge. Many of the Christian Art Gifts products, like books, bookmarks and journals are difficult to distinguish. Very often the size, shape and even colour of the product are the same, with the only marked difference being wording and a unique barcode. Because a paper-based system does not allow for picking by barcode, staff were struggling with finding the products they needed to fill their orders—this challenge was negatively affecting both revenue and customer service levels.
After four months of operation, the company realized that its current system would not be able to support its growing business. In September 2003, Christian Art Gifts working with Associated Material Handling decided to introduce AccellosOne Warehouse to its warehouse. AccellosOne Warehouse is a cost-effective, yet feature-rich warehouse management system (WMS) designed for small- to-mid-sized wholesale distributors like Christian Art Gifts. The organization is able to optimize warehouse operations by automating the materials handling process and providing productivity tools, helping the company to create a paper-free warehouse.
In October of 2003, after having only used AccellosOne Warehouse for one month, the company is shipping twice the volume with the same number of staff.
Due to growing business demand Christian Art Gifts is gearing up to expand its warehouse. The company's new warehouse will also leverage AccellosOne Warehouse and integrate it with the FedEx QuickShip system.
"AccellosOne WarehouseLite is a great tool for small businesses. A lot of small businesses work off manual picking lists, thinking they just can't afford systems like this," Johnsen says. "But we started the company only about six months ago and look at our warehouse now; everything is done through wireless scanning. We couldn’t have done it without Accellos."