Streamlined ecommerce customer experience
As a rapidly-expanding online supplier of tools and equipment with a long-standing reputation for exemplary customer service, The Tool Nut implemented the combined solution of Descartes OzLink™ Mobile Warehouse and Descartes ShipRush™ to drive operational efficiencies through its receiving and shipping workflow, ensuring streamlined customer experience and supporting continued growth without the need for additional personnel or warehouse space.
Descartes OzLink works perfectly in the hands of the line workers. I can’t stress this enough. When you lean on it, it stays firm—no data corruptions, no breakdowns. And when you watch the folks in receiving climbing all over the truck scanning items, Descartes OzLink doesn’t get in the way; it facilitates the process and makes their job easier—which is what it’s all about.
--Rudy Bergstrom, Operations Consultant to The Tool Nut
The Challenge: Increasing Volumes Stalling Order Fulfillment
With customer service top of mind, The Tool Nut progressed from paper-based receiving to Wi-Fi-enabled laptops with attached scanners working natively with its NetSuite enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This solution, however, was somewhat cumbersome and hampered productivity, with skids piling up in the receiving area.
As the business expanded and the volume of inventory steadily increased, The Tool Nut was faced with the costly prospect of adding more staff, more computing hardware and more warehouse space to keep up with demand. The ecommerce supplier required mobile and shipping solutions, fully integrated with NetSuite, to streamline its order fulfillment process and boost efficiency, ensure inventory accuracy, and support future growth. The Tool Nut needed a solution that integrated with its NetSuite ERP in order to better manage inventory and improve customer service.
The Solution: Efficiency Across Multiple Functions Propels Growth
With the aim of maintaining superior customer service as order volumes continued to climb, The Tool Nut implemented Descartes OzLink Mobile Warehouse with Zebra scanners to automate and expedite the receiving workflow, and Descartes ShipRush to simplify and accelerate shipping. Both solutions are fully integrated with NetSuite to ensure the activities on the warehouse floor are reflected in real-time in the company’s ERP. The Tool Nut deployed the solution during the holiday season, with spiking Black Friday volumes threatening to overwhelm receiving operations and negatively impact the customer experience. With the Descartes system, The Tool Nut was able to effectively manage the surge in orders, transitioning seamlessly from standard business to three times the shipment volume while using the same personnel and facilities.
“Descartes truly recognized the sense of urgency—and not in terms of lip service. They responded to our pressing Black Friday deadline with a call to action. Descartes’ sense of organization, skill, and commitment delivered results that were far superior to 90 percent of the implementations we’ve done in the past,” noted Rudy Bergstrom, Operations Consultant to The Tool Nut. “The workflow, logic, functionality, and features all represent a practical application developed in alignment with a real-life field environment,” said Bergstrom. “Descartes OMW is well-thought-out and intuitive—essentially bulletproof—so there’s very little need for technical support or training. It’s very clean and streamlined and works perfectly in the hands of field workers who just want to do their job.”
The Tool Nut had specific receiving requirements that necessitated different processing approaches. “Some truckloads have 600 to 700 individual items, while other truckloads have only five different items but each in quantities of 100, for example. Our receiving team needed to be able to handle both types of shipments easily and efficiently,” said Bergstrom. In a “classic example of agile development,” The Tool Nut and Descartes collaborated to develop the FastScan feature, eliminating the need to enter quantities for large shipments of single items. “And when a receiver comes across an item with multiple quantities, they can easily toggle from FastScan to the traditional method to enter the quantity, saving us a ton of time,” added Bergstrom.
Bergstrom added, “Descartes OMW ensures items are in the right bins for picking which has increased picking speed and improved inventory accuracy.” The Tool Nut is currently in the beginning stages of collaboration with the Descartes OzLink team to automate its picking process.
On the shipping front, The Tool Nut was dissatisfied with its current shipping solution but was dreading the three months or longer typically required to implement a new system. “ In a matter of weeks, however, not months, we completely switched over to the Descartes ShipRush solution. UPS, USPS, FedEx and ground-courier systems are all nicely tucked into the parcel solution and that operation is going very well, ” said Bergstrom.