Northgate Case Study


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  • Precise reverse logistics management
  • Fast upgrade to new software version
  • Streamlined warehouse operations
  • Graphical user interface controls
  • Software-driven 3PL warehouse activities
  • Reduced software customizations
  • Increased process flexibility, control
  • Increased visibility across operations
  • Directed putaway/picking
  • Systematic sorting/tracking, inbound shipments
  • Expedited cross-docking, inbound parts
  • New staging functionality, outbound shipments
  • Flexible order-route coordination


Like the machines it produces, the automobile industry is made up of thousands of parts, all critical to the performance of an industry that collectively represents some 15 percent of the U.S. economy. Some of the component enterprises are huge and highly visible. Most operate largely out of sight, like NorthGate, the Flint, Michigan-based company that has been handling reverse logistics for a major automaker and its thousands of dealers since 2002.


The reverse logistics operation supports a new parts recovery service that allows dealers and parts retailers to return certain items under certain defined conditions. The complex process was created around an advanced multi-client warehouse management software system that evolved to become HighJump WMS. In early 2012, NorthGate underwent its second comprehensive upgrade of the software, installing the newest version of HighJump WMS.


HighJump WMS is a complete warehouse & stock management solution that provides real time visibility of warehouse activities while maximizing operating efficiencies. It combines radio frequency and barcode technology with an n-tiered, cloud centric architecture to deliver a powerful, scalable and flexible real-time warehouse management system that helps boost productivity, reduces costs, and accelerates order fulfillment. Automating, streamlining and verifying all in-warehouse processes, it allows users to track every movement of stock into, out of, and within the warehouse, from receiving doors to the shipping dock.


“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of our upgrade,” Wellman says. “There is a high level of visibility throughout our operations and the new version has enabled us to eliminate more than half of our modifications, vastly simplifying and streamlining our processes.” Having gone through two major upgrades, the last one much easier than the first, Wellman has it figured out: “You need a good program plan and you must remain involved,” she says. “You need to be team-conscious and put everything on the table. Identify and spell out your business needs and don’t be shy about it.”

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