Improves Order Fulfillment with Automated Shipping Processes

We’ve seen an enormous improvement in fulfillment efficiency—at least 80%. With instant order verification, wireless barcode scanning has dramatically improved our picking, packing, and shipping productivity. And we can create labels automatically without having to shuffle hand-written documents from the warehouse to the office. Descartes OzLink has been a total  lifesaver.
-Martin Kudo, WMS IT Manager, Incipio

Incipio supplies technology solutions that meet the needs of active mobile consumers worldwide. Processing a high volume of orders across its ecommerce, retailer, and distributor channels, the company required a hyper-efficient, integrated warehouse management solution. Descartes OzLink™ for NetSuite automates and streamlines Incipio’s order fulfillment processes to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve accuracy and inventory control.

The Challenge:
Enhancing eCommerce Order Fulfillment Process 

With the rise of mobile, technology-driven lifestyles, Incipio’s products are in high demand. In addition to its ecommerce channel, the company ships 50K-250K units per day to retailers and distributors, including heavyweights such as Walmart, Target, Verizon, and AT&T. Peak times associated with marquee product launches (e.g., iPhone 7) and holiday shopping periods are characterized by especially high volumes and order fulfillment complexities. Incipio’s inefficient paper practices could no longer keep pace with increasingly complex shipping, warehouse, and logistics requirements.

The Solution:
Streamlined Order Fulfillment Process

Incipio deployed Descartes OzLink for NetSuite in 2009 to automate shipping processes with key carriers at its Irvine, CA location. ASN automation for large retail partners and bar code scanning in the warehouse followed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. With the 2016 acquisition of a mobile accessories provider and its warehouse in Nashville, TN, Incipio has started to move some fulfillment to Nashville to take advantage of its location as a more central shipping hub. Descartes OzLink is a key component of these new operations.

“Descartes OzLink has completely modernized fulfillment for us. Before, we had to write everything down—weight, number of pieces, quantity, pallet dimensions, etc.—and take the hand-written documentation to the office to print labels; no one in the warehouse could print a label. It was extremely backwards and inefficient,” explains Martin Kudo, WMS IT Manager, Incipio.

By integrating seamlessly with NetSuite and carrier applications (e.g., UPS WorldShip, FedEx Ship Manager, USPS), Descartes OzLink has streamlined Incipio’s pick, pack, and ship processes. Using mobile barcode scanners, 20 pickers in Irvine pick single and multiple orders at much greater levels of efficiency and accuracy than before. The system also makes it easy to verify orders during the process, including ASNs. In addition, it ensures accurate cycle counting, eliminating the need for physical counts.

“Descartes has been great at configuring functions for our business practices too. For instance, we have special oversized carton labels for Walmart, our highest volume customer. We can easily print EDI-compliant labels in advance for Walmart’s large orders,” notes Kudo.

The solution is also instrumental during peak times. “In periods of high demand, such as Black Friday or a new iPhone launch, our warehouse runs 12-14 hours a day with full-time and temporary staff to fulfill orders. It’s so much easier and faster to train people on Descartes OzLink than on the administrative-intensive ways of the past. It’s been a huge boost to productivity,” Kudo emphasizes.

Benefits of Automating Shipping Processes

90% Greater Order Accuracy & Automated Label Printing

Order validation with barcode scanning reduced picking errors dramatically. Automated labels and packing lists and seamless integration between Descartes OzLink, NetSuite, and various carrier applications has also increased order accuracy.

80% Increased Shipping Efficiency 

  • Scan gun technology in the warehouse has streamlined the order fulfillment process to handle routine and high volumes efficiently. Multiple order picking, automated labels, and elimination of paper-based processes have boosted productivity.

Tighter Inventory Control 

  • Wireless, mobile barcode scanners enable better inventory visibility and support daily cycle counts. With Descartes OzLink, Incipio no longer needs to shut down warehouse operations for a full day to perform annual physical inventory counts.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

  • Descartes OzLink has helped Incipio save money by eliminating inefficient, error-prone manual processes, reducing warehousing costs with better inventory control, and decreasing labor costs through increased productivity.