As a successful sales rep and consultant to warehousers, trucking companies and intermodal carriers, Susie Christiansen was constantly on the move. She realized that her situation was not compatible in the long-term with her growing family responsibilities so she found a solution. By developing a service that matched the needs of shippers to a variety of transportation resources, and with no transportation assets of her own, Christiansen became President and CEO of Performance Freight Systems, operating out of a small office in Ontario, California. “It was much simpler back in 2003,” she says.
“We were the little engine that could … trying to keep up,” she says. Keeping up became much easier in 2012 when PFS implemented HighJump Warehouse Management System (WMS) for 3PL software system, spurred by the growing requirements of its largest warehousing customer, a national bottled water company.
Operations and Facilities
Currently, PFS maintains an approximately 50-50 balance between freight forwarding activities and 3PL services. The company maintains a high level of flexibility, variously operating from 300,000 to 500,000 square feet of space and with upwards of three dozen workers deployed around the clock, seven days a week.
PFS had long relied on an IBM AS/400 computer and more primitive software to manage its freight brokerage and back office operations. But accommodating the bottled water account brought a set of complexities that required more precise tracking, receiving, storage and shipping operations.
HighJump Warehouse Management System for 3PL
It was quickly apparent to PFS management that its technology needs that it was time for a new approach. Hunt and Christiansen launched a search for a warehouse management solution that would facilitate third party logistics operations, reviewing offerings from several tier one solution providers, including HighJump.
Working from the functional specifications in the automation specialist’s Business Process Review, PFS’ technology partner began the implementation process in June 2012, identifying the required modules and activating them – primarily selecting from HighJump’ wealth of onboard options -- and adding specific functionality as needs arose.
Pre-HighJump WMS, inbound orders would arrive electronically from the bottler. As drivers arrived to deliver or pickup, PFS would confirm the respective activity with the client’s software, which would generate documentation on PFS’ on-site printer. The order would specify a warehouse door, the driver would position his unit, and PFS would proceed with the respective receiving/putaway or picking/shipping process.
Results and Projections
All of PFS’ warehouse operations follow FIFO (First-In, First-Out) specifications that are defined in the HighJump WMS, assuring that no product stays in storage more than two or three months.
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