Jan K Overweel-logo
Customer Website:  www.jkoverweel.com

Key Benefits

  • Web-based architecture
  • Precise management of 2,000+ SKUs
  • Facile data exchange with Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Elimination of paper-based processes
  • RF directed putaway, picking
  • Flexible application to multiple warehouses
  • Easy to learn, use, via Web interface
  • Catch-weight capabilities
  • Eliminated language barriers via barcoding
  • More flexible work scheduling
  • Faster processes
  • Improved order/inventory accuracy
  • Improved space, labor management

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Jan K. Overweel Limited opened its doors in 1947 as an importer of Holland Herring fish products, soon broadening its offerings with specialty cocoa, grocery items and cheeses. The company now markets many of its products internationally under the EMMA brand and when its corporate slogan proclaims “We Shop the World,” they’re not kidding.

Operations
Overweel maintains five facilities, two of them manufacturing units in the Toronto metro area (Casa Italia in Brampton; Milano in Concord) and warehouse/distribution centers in Toronto, at 200,000 square feet; Montreal at 40,000 square feet; and Vancouver at 30,000 square feet. Staffing is heaviest in the Toronto location, which employs some 32 people in two warehouse shifts. Montreal and Vancouver operate with fewer than ten people on single shifts that can be extended if need be.

Tech Challenges
Overweel’s forward-looking management deployed Microsoft Dynamics GP to streamline corporate operations several years ago but the software’s positive impact on office operations did not transfer effectively to the warehouse. The Microsoft Dynamics GP system’s Inventory Management module, which the owners had hoped would establish a productive and error-resistant environment for the company’s three warehouses often proved unequal to their steadily increasing and often changing requirements.

AccellosOne WMS Spells Relief
Relief arrived in 2010 when, after enduring the growing situation for several years, management charged Joe with the task of identifying and deploying a comprehensive warehouse management software solution that would eliminate the delays and inefficiencies that plagued the paper-based environment. After an extensive search, Joe narrowed his options to three finalists, with the AccellosOne Warehouse Management System (WMS) emerging as the system that would best satisfy the company’s logistics needs.

Implementation
As noted, the hands-on implementation of the Accellos software at Overweel was performed by an Accellos team, with Joe’s active participation. And while the software was being readied, Joe and the warehouse staff reorganized the warehouse location system, manually relabeling each physical product location to conform to its representation in the new location maps defined by the software.

Workflow
Merchandise normally arrives from overseas by containers and the pallet labels are generated by the Accellos system. Inbound merchandise can replenish bins directly or can be placed in overflow until a specified stock level is reached in its respective bin, causing a drawdown order to be issued automatically by the software. The WMS system tracks inventory both in the bins and in overflow, dropping product to depleted bins from the most convenient overflow location and automatically maintaining FIFO currency through the software’s automatically enforced-cycle rules.

Impact
While reluctant to connect the discernible improvements in warehouse management directly to the steadily increasing prosperity of the company, Joe concedes that the software helps cope with such factors as decreasing overall margins.

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