In 1981, a third grade teacher in Lubbock, Texas decided to earn some extra Christmas money by designing, making and selling fabric picture frames. The frames proved popular and by the following Yule season Alexandra (Alix) Buckley had left the teaching profession. With husband Steve, Alix began operating Alexandra and Company out of the couple’s garage.That initial effort has since become an international operation, still headquartered in Lubbock but now occupying some 80-90,000 square feet of office, warehouse, and creative space in multiple buildings. Alexandra and Company is now just one of four divisions comprising the couple’s larger enterprise, Stephen Joseph, Inc. The division still sells picture frames but it also markets an assortment of products ranging from clipboards and sticky notes to towels and travel mugs intended to appeal to college coeds, the sorority set.
Strategy and Sourcing
Stephen Joseph’s in-house design team creates the company’s products, with production contracted primarily to sources in China. It normally receives 60-70 pallets of merchandise each week; usually full truckloads shipped F.O.B. from China in containers, with the shipper advising the company via email.
Time for change
For much of its corporate life, Stephen Joseph’s internal business activities have been manual; with warehouse activities executed and documented on paper forms. As the company continued to grow, management purchased a Sage 300, formerly Sage AccPac, ERP solution to manage its business activities. Though the company was experiencing change in certain areas, processes in the warehouse remained essentially the same.
Always HighJump …
Things changed for Steven Joseph’s warehouse in 2012. Management was ready; the company had experienced substantial growth over several years and the issues could no longer be ignored. The obvious choice was to automate warehouse procedures.
On arrival in Los Angeles, merchandise is cleared through customs by a freight forwarder, who arranges for line haul transportation from the port to Lubbock, notifying the company that the shipment has been dispatched and sending the Bill of Lading (BOL). With the BOL in hand, warehouse personnel analyze the arriving contents and prepare for their arrival so that when the container hits the dock, all that remains is to unload it and put away the goods.
HighJump Ship Delivers
Once orders are assembled, they immediately enter the automated HighJump Ship environment. The previous methodology involved two persons staffing a metering station, weighing, metering and performing a series of manual operations, right at their carts; but HighJump Ship has changed all of that.
Warehouse management involves a constantly moving collection of details that often defies pencil/paper tracking.With HighJump WMS now driving Stephen Joseph’s warehouse processes to unprecedented levels of productivity and service, the company turned to HighJump Pulse to monitor and interpret those details and present them in an easily understandable form.
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