Eliminating Paper to Optimize Ecommerce Fulfillment
Encumbered by paper-based fulfillment processes, USCutter implemented the Descartes Peoplevox™ ecommerce warehouse management solution (WMS) and Descartes ShipRush™ multi-carrier ecommerce parcel shipping solution across its warehouses. Integrated with the Brightpearl retail operating system (ROS), the combined cloud-based solution accelerated and simplified USCutter’s pick-pack-dispatch workflow, increased order accuracy, and created a detailed audit trail to help optimize operational planning and decision-making.
The Challenge: Inefficiency Hampering Growth
Ecommerce supplier USCutter has 35 employees dedicated to fulfillment across its Redmond, WA and Memphis, TN warehouses, offering same-day and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping of vinyl cutters and high-quality sign-making and customer apparel equipment to primarily wholesale customers across the globe. The retailer also manages will-call orders picked up at its WA facility. With high order volumes and customer expectations of same-day shipping, USCutter had outgrown its inefficient paper-based ecommerce fulfillment process. The retailer needed a fully-integrated, scalable WMS and shipping solution that could keep pace with 8,000 monthly orders, including managing its light manufacturing workflow dedicated to converting large rolls of vinyl into smaller rolls for customer orders.
“Our warehouse manager and his team love the paperless Descartes system. Picking is faster and simpler, productivity has increased by leaps and bounds, and we’ve made significant gains in transparency and accuracy across the order lifecycle. Plus, without a steep learning curve, cross training is easy, and new staff are effective on the warehouse floor in no time.”Karl Bowman, President, USCutter
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, USCutter is a growing online retailer of sign-making equipment and supplies that caters to both the casual user as well as the sign professional. USCutter strives to be the lowest cost sign supply supplier anywhere, selling via its website and Ebay store and shipping product all over the world.
The Solution: Integrated, Automated Fulfillment Workflow
Working with systems integrator b.solutions, USCutter replaced its inefficient paper-based order fulfillment processes with Descartes Peoplevox and its legacy shipping technology with Descartes ShipRush.
“The Descartes solution works seamlessly with our ROS: actions created in Brightpearl flow into Descartes Peoplevox; Peoplevox actions stream into Brightpearl to update inventory; Descartes ShipRush talks to Peoplevox and Brightpearl, offering full transparency into the order journey,” said Karl Bowman, President of USCutter.
“We’ve transformed fulfillment workflow through increased efficiency and visibility and fewer errors—while increasing order velocity and volume. This is where we should’ve always been.” He added, “On the shipping front, we’ve had rave reviews from the warehouse team, praising Descartes ShipRush as extremely user-friendly, even for LTL shipments.”
Using barcode scanners, USCutter can pick, pack, and dispatch orders faster while embedding accountability and discipline into the ecommerce fulfillment process. “Once you get an order onto a gun, Descartes Peoplevox shows you everybody who touched the order so that, if there’s an issue, you’re not left wondering,” explained Bowman. “Plus, we can track productivity metrics to quickly see who our most proficient pickers and receivers are and identify if an associate may need additional training.”
To meet customer expectations of choice, USCutter routinely converts large rolls of vinyl into smaller rolls, employing a Bill of Materials (BOM) application integrated with Descartes Peoplevox to ensure the warehouse has enough stock to meet demand. “When stock reaches ‘x’ level, the BOM app triggers a work order to convert a large roll into multiple smaller rolls,” said Bowman. “The Descartes team worked extremely well with our partner to create tailored integrations to ensure seamless workflows across our operations.”
More Orders, Faster
Using handheld barcode scanners in the warehouse, USCutter automated and expedited the pick-pack-dispatch workflow within its warehouses, ramping up output to process 8,000 orders per month with less effort and fewer headaches.
By replacing error-prone paper-based processes with barcode-based fulfillment, USCutter can validate orders to reduce mispicks and track every action to tighten inventory control across both warehouses, ensuring warehouse stock and website stock are synced in real-time.
Tight integration of Descartes Peoplevox and Descartes ShipRush with Brightpearl and the BOM app ensured a straightforward rollout and training process. USCutter can train new warehouse staff quickly and efficiently and cross-train employees with ease.
The detailed audit trail in Descartes Peoplevox reveals key fulfilment details and productivity metrics— who picked and dispatched the order, what time the order was processed, how long it should take to receive, fastest pickers and receivers—to inform tactical decision-making and long-term planning.
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