As the industrialization of the livestock industry continued to intensify price pressure on suppliers, a group of regional animal health product distributors joined in the mid-1980s to form Phoenix Pharmaceutical, Inc. in response. They reasoned that the buying power they could leverage as a group would generate better pricing from their own sources and enable them to sustain profitability. The group also sponsored and won federal legislation to allow development of generic products, not then available, and launch a company to manufacture them. Double-digit annual growth followed.
Fast forward, 15 years: The profitability squeeze imposed by the large animal trade endures and market opportunities are diminishing. Conversely, an area of the animal health field not losing but actually gaining ground is the pet or companion animal sector.
Again demonstrating their resiliency, members of the Phoenix group formed Clipper Distributing Company LLC to channel generic and branded products to distributors and wholesalers addressing the pet market.
Based in St. Joseph, Missouri, privately owned Clipper found what its principals were looking for. Like its predecessor, it experienced double digit annual growth both in revenue and in units sold virtually since start-up. Its small-animal focus accounts for 70-80 percent of sales, most of the balance in bovine and equine products such as antibiotics and fluid therapy products. Its product mix is strongly generic with over 1,400 products but also includes branded products from manufacturers such as Bausch & Lomb, Pfizer Animal Health and Abbott Laboratories.
Until the installation of the HighJump WMS software in January 2009, Clipper followed warehouse procedures developed at Phoenix Pharmaceutical, unchanged in 20 years with the exception that they were now executed though a Microsoft Dynamics ERP system.
In its search for a warehouse solution, compatibility with Microsoft Dynamics was a critical issue for Clipper. The company reviewed three alternatives before deciding on HighJump WMS. The HighJump solution was superior because it offered a fully featured solution and also had a proven track record as an integrated solution with Microsoft Dynamics.
WMSI approaches its installs not as a “software project, but as a complete solution with a strong professional services component”, says WMSI Managing Director of Implementations Tim Renne.
WORKFLOW WITH HIGHJUMP WMS
“To appreciate the impact, HighJump has had on Clipper‟s warehouse operations, you can eliminate about half of the paper-based activities,” McKibben says.
According to McKibben, the HighJump version installed is basic but open, with additional opportunities that will come into play as Clipper‟s business continues to grow in volume and complexity. And despite its power and flexibility, the system is amazingly easy to learn, he says. “We are looking towards adding a second shift and this will be quite important,” he says. “Looking back we realize that under our old business model, there was a six month learning curve. After installing the HighJump software, we took a temporary worker „off-the-street," gave him a 10-minute orientation on using the scanning device, and by the end of the day he was picking more lines per hour than our most senior employees were doing last year.” At least half of the paper-based processes have been eliminated and those retained have been significantly improved, for, for example: An aging inbound inventory tracking system has been replaced with a new barcode process, greatly reducing time spent later in the process from putaway, to picking and shipping. Pickers use wireless devices to scan the barcodes as the HighJump system routes them through a blind pick process, accelerating the pick and eliminating human error. The new pack slip produced by the HighJump software adds a carton content label with a description of the contents of every pallet. Pre-HighJump, it did not identify the pallet or indicate how many pallets were in a delivery. Integrating a carousel system brought the ability to pick eaches and low volume cases quickly, where previously these were picked directly from pallet racks.
HighJump is a global provider of logistics, warehouse, 3PL, transportation and mobile fleet management solutions. HighJump addresses the supply chain management and execution market with warehouse management systems for multiple environments; Microsoft Windows-based transportation management solutions; and in-field mobile resource management solutions. HighJump" powerful supply-chain execution solutions are easy to customize and implement, providing our customers with more innovation for less investment while producing significant savings and greater profitability. Through a culture of innovation, HighJump strikes the perfect balance of customer satisfaction, employee fulfillment and shareholder value, delivering greater profitability and rapid return on investment for our customers and accelerated logistics and warehousing services for the clients they serve.
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