Box Components, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of bicycle components, implemented Descartes OzLink™ Mobile Warehouse to automate and streamline its pick, pack, ship process to manage explosive customer demand. Integrated with Box’s NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, the Descartes solution increased order fulfillment speed and accuracy, improved inventory control, and enhanced the customer experience.
The Challenge: Manual Processes Hinder Accuracy
Box’s small warehouse team manages B2B and B2C ecommerce fulfillment of bike components for customers around the world from its warehouse in Anaheim, CA. With the popularity of biking skyrocketing during the pandemic, the company experienced 25% growth in 2020 and is on track for even higher growth this year. Box was faced with the challenge of managing escalating order volumes while ensuring order and inventory accuracy—a difficult undertaking using manual fulfillment processes. To deliver a superior customer experience in the face of booming consumer demand, the company introduced automation with easy-to-use, mobile warehouse technology that would minimize order errors, eliminate short shipments, and improve inventory management.
“With the customer experience in mind, we were looking for a scalable mobile warehouse technology that could help us eliminate inefficient, error-prone manual order fulfillment. Descartes OzLink helped us increase order accuracy, save time and effort on the warehouse floor, and improve inventory control to avoid the need for frequent cycle counts. It’s totally transformed our fulfillment operations.”Teddy Pane, Purchasing and Logistics Specialist Box Components
The Solution: Optimized Order Fulfillment
Box ships thousands of bike components annually to customers around the globe and volumes continue to rise due to the pandemic-driven consumer demand for bicycles. In the face of escalating orders, the company deployed Descartes OzLink Mobile Warehouse, seamlessly integrated with its NetSuite ERP, to eliminate time-consuming and error-prone manual order fulfillment processes that were hindering its ability to deliver a superior customer experience.
“Our manual fulfillment practices were holding us back. Every morning, the sales department would print off pick tickets for orders that came in overnight. Everything was picked manually, going down the list of items,” explained Teddy Pane, Purchasing and Logistics Specialist at Box Components. “We had to manually double-check each order for accuracy before shipping so that we didn’t ship the wrong items, short ship items, or overburden the customer service department—not to mention throw off our inventory.”
With mobile picking and barcode scanning, the scalable Descartes solution helped Box increase order accuracy and fulfillment efficiency, enabling the distributor to handle more orders with less effort. “Using the handheld scanners, we know the order is accurate once it arrives at the ship station. Everything gets shipped out correctly the first time, which cuts back on the time our customer service department spends handling inquiries,” said Pane.
Descartes OzLink also improved Box’s inventory accuracy. “Before Descartes OzLink, we performed a cycle count any time we saw a severe discrepancy when picking orders—on top of our regular quarterly count,” Pane noted. “We’ve been able to cut back on the frequency of cycle counts because we now have greater inventory control. And with real-time visibility into our inventory, we can better serve our customers.”
Pane added, “An added bonus has been the ability to easily transfer inventory between locations within our inventory system. Any time we’re in the warehouse and notice a problem with an item, we can use the scanners to move the item to Warranty or Marketing within the system.”
90% Order Accuracy
Descartes OzLink increased order accuracy by reducing picking errors through barcode scanning and order validation. Box can ensure customers receive the correct order, even in the face of escalating order volumes.
Improved Inventory Control
By replacing manual picking practices with mobile scanning of order items, the Descartes solution enables increased inventory accuracy and enhanced visibility into inventory, eliminating the need for frequent cycle counts.
80% Increased Efficiency
By replacing manual picking with mobile handheld scanners and eliminating the need to doublecheck orders, the scalable Descartes solution automated Box’s order fulfillment workflow, enabling the small warehouse team to easily manage increasing volumes.
With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, Descartes OzLink simplifies the onboarding process by minimizing training time. The entire Box team—warehouse, sales, accounts receivable/payable—quickly became proficient and is able to help out in the warehouse as needed.