“HighJump WMS was affordable and could be implemented quickly, which was important to us...” - Leonard Wolf
Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s oldest and largest fair-trade retailers having spent more than 60 years cultivating long-term, win-win relationships. The heart of its work is creating opportunities for artisans in more than 35 developing countries around the globe. The artisans receive a fair price for their creations, and consumers get access to unique gifts, personal accessories, and home décor; all of which is sold via the company’s website, tenthousandvillages.com, and in more than 350 retail locations throughout the U.S.
Finding the Right Solution
Ever since 2008, Ten Thousand Villages warehouse employees had been complaining about deadlocks, those dreaded standstills that occur when two or more competing actions are each waiting, and waiting for the other to finish; yet neither ever does. In the fall of 2011, the problem went from bad to worse, at the worst possible time of year.
Ten Thousand Villages had already been working hard to eliminate the deadlocks; they bought additional handheld devices, they installed a new Microsoft SQL server, they even asked Microsoft to help optimize their code. However, nothing they tried resolved their issues. That's when they decided to seek outside help. A simple Google search led him to HighJump, a warehouse management system that Ten Thousand Villages had good previous experience with.
Implementing the System
The company’s first step was defining its needs. Once their "must haves' were identified, they also added future capabilities to the list. Migration, which took place on Aug. 8, went without a major hitch, and the warehouse was up and running on HighJump WMS on Aug. 9, one day ahead of schedule. The project also came in a little under budget.
“Our deadlocks are nil,” says Leonard Wolf. “Orders can be shipped or invoiced whenever we want without having to worry about bringing the warehouse to a standstill. And productivity has really improved. Picking goes a lot faster because our pickers no longer have to stop to reboot their handhelds. And we don’t have to hire as many temporary employees during peak seasons. Employees are happy, I’m happy, management is happy; the pain has gone away.”
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