- Order volume has increased by 11%
- 0% increase in personnel.
- Floor staff is picking 28% more orders
- Inventory integrity improved to 99.9%
- Backorders are down by almost 15%
- Order errors are down below 5%
SNELL Packaging and Stationery is a stationery and packaged goods distributor representing over 8000 products through its network of five warehouses in the major centers throughout New Zealand. Founded 35 years ago, SNELL is strongly people-focused and customer oriented, and committed to constant improvement in all its operational processes. Recent innovations in the last decade have helped propel SNELL to increased revenues from NZ$3m – NZ$40m.
Proud to remain New Zealand-owned, SNELL is committed to supporting local business while ensuring that it remains globally competitive. With around 10% overseas imports, SNELL continues to have a vested interest in the local packaging and stationery industry, while still positioning itself as a global player by always keeping abreast of international industry trends and concerns.
SNELL’s passion for the products it represents is rivaled only by its passion for delivering superior customer service. To keep up with customer demand and changing customer needs, SNELL constantly reviews and refines its business processes. One major upgrade to the business processes was the implementation of Microsoft® Great Plains in SNELL’s back office. The resulting improvements were impressive. SNELL was able to launch an e-commerce site and bring over fifty percent of its customers on to the network. Customers were not the only ones impressed by this innovation. SNELL’s technology partners also took notice, with SNELL receiving "Excellence in the use if Information Technology" from Oracle and being endorsed by Microsoft as a "proven and Microsoft certified solutions provider."
In 2002, SNELL decided to extend this process revolution into the warehouses. SNELL needed a solution with integration capabilities to Microsoft Great Plains and one that would not interrupt operations with a lengthy installation or complicated training requirements. Turning to the expert warehouse solution providers at Accellos Australia, SNELL was introduced to AccellosOne Warehouse, a cost-effective, user-friendly warehouse management system designed for mid-market distributors and featuring an interface to Great Plains.
"Being the first company to implement Accellos in New Zealand was a risky proposition," admits Bruce Toetu’u, National Procurement and Logistics Manager at SNELL." But given Accellos' success in Australia and the United States, we decided it was a risk worth taking."
The system was installed at SNELL’s warehouse in Auckland in October 2002, and the benefits began to accrue almost immediately. Featuring the seamless transfer of information between Accellos and Great Plains, the new system completely opened the warehouse to customer service staff who now have up-to-the-minute information on inventory as it moves throughout the warehouse. It takes a mere three seconds for order information inputted by a customer service representative to travel through the Great Plains system into Accellos. That means that within three seconds order information is available to floor staff in the warehouse who can begin picking the order. Using RF handheld scanners and barcodes, floor staff record every move a product makes in the warehouse and that information is transferred back to the back office through Great Plains.
"November 2002 was one of the toughest months of my life as we were placed under a microscope every time the phone rang, but I must add that we saw results immediately," says Mr. Toetu’u. "When stock is received it is recorded, if it is touched in the warehouse, it is recorded, and when it is shipped it is recorded. Within a month we were seeing an accuracy rate of 98.3%. That is significant."
Consistent with its focus on customer satisfaction, SNELL was most impressed with the AccellosOne Warehouse features designed to increase customer satisfaction. AccellosOne Warehouse lets SNELL customers modify orders, track and trace shipments and even accommodate those who plan their stock requirements over the long-term by scheduling orders for non-immediate delivery. Customer service representatives can provide a full order history for any customer looking for information on when the order was keyed, when stock was allocated, when the order was picked, packed or shipped, and the estimated time of arrival for the shipment.
SNELL was so impressed with the initial installation of AccellosOne Warehouse that it wanted all of its customers to share in the benefits of the new system. Within six months plans were executed to install Radio Beacon at three of its other warehouses in Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington.
ONE YEAR LATER
In October 2003, SNELL celebrated its one-year anniversary with Accellos and was impressed with the tangible benefits it is seeing with the system. With customer satisfaction running at an all time high, order volume has increased by 11%, yet without a corresponding increase in personnel. In fact, floor staff is picking 28% more orders using fewer staff. Inventory integrity has improved to 99.9% and backorders are down by almost 15% now that the warehouse staff has come to rely on the accuracy of the information in AccellosOne Warehouse. Inventory isn’t the only gauge of accuracy at SNELL, order errors are down below 5% in just one year and the downward trend line is expected to continue as SNELL implements even more efficiencies with AccellosOne Warehouse.