50K Investment brings further benefit to Cync and its clients
"TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN DISPATCH, THROUGH THE POWER OF CONNECTIVITY"
Pre ‘E’-volution logistics and warehousing was very much the grunt work to support bricks and mortar retailers and wholesale companies. Fulfilment centers were an unknown concept. The norm was that each importer or retailer held their own DC and supported their operation with a team of operatives using their own systems and processes.
As we all witnessed the boom of the ecommerce market and the possibilities available to the average Joe, logistics and warehousing had to change in order to a) maintain its own survival and b) support the demands of the next generation of retailers.
The traditional concepts of deep storage and pallet in and pallet out were now the scarcity of work required and instead the demand was for fast paced, informative dispatch which could never be pre-planned.
Enter the Amazon model, which set the benchmark for most warehouses to aspire too.
The very first warehouse I developed into a fulfilment centre was based in the north east of England. Stumbling across the possibility at an accidental trade show and realising an opportunity, with our first tentative clients we managed inventory and dispatch notes with excel. Clients were allocated their own zones and the sharing of information was via email exchange of attached spreadsheets and everyone hoped for the best.
It’s insane to think that this was just seven years ago.
As with every business, development and investment has been key to growth. Many would consider this to be investment requirements for racking, trucks, platforms, ramps, totes etc and although this is key, the equal investment in I.T is what really brings with it change and
I.T is the main tool that separates the warehouse from the fulfilment centre.
Having been home grown in ecommerce logistics and having had the benefit of being one of the first to experience the
revolution and the equal measure of joy and pain of systems such as Linnworks, Channel Advisor etc we have taken the best of each of these systems and developed something which I feel is really quite special.
By using this experience and having the benefit of physically not being able to actually do the grunt work I have been fortunate enough to have a thinking role rather than a doing role. This thinking time has enable us as a business to develop bespoke, structured systems to remove entirely the thinking required by the warehouse team. By removing thinking you are removing bad decisions and ultimately human error.
After almost one full year in role at Cync and after a full year of unwavering support from a board of directors and parent company, we have this month turned a real corner.
The result of twelve months of hard work, tears, tantrums and a team that could see my vision is that we have freed up over 10K of space in our warehouse and increased efficiencies by over 138%.
What does this mean for us? It means a happier client base, the ability to onboard new clients and a team that come to work to progress rather than react.
What does this mean for our clients? It means that despite rising costs such as minimum wage, running costs and increased overheads for hardware, we have been able to keep our prices keen and current to reflect the market challenges that they face.
One case in point is a client who is heavily seasonal. As an online retailer of Sheepskin products such as slippers, gloves etc, they outsourced a selection of lines to us due to pressing space demands at their current site. The original pick and pack fee and rework fee meant that these lines were the only ones which held sufficient margin for them to enable them to outsource. This meant that as a business we were missing out on around 10K additional picks per year because our current process didn’t allow us to work efficiently enough to be able to deal with the contract in a way which would enable us to maintain our required revenue per SQFT but reduce the fee to the client.
Through teamwork with the client and through the implementation of new storage concepts and more importantly from moving the dispatch function away from Linnworks and to our own bespoke system, we found we could not only pick and pack the orders in less than half of the time we had been able to achieve previously, but we could receive stock and kit stock not only more accurately, but again, much quicker.
The three scan process for each stock item during its lifecycle with us means that we have 100% inventory accuracy, which everyone assumes is the norm but how many retailers can actually say this is the standard that they receive.
The automation of customs labels and kitting requirements means that no order is received by the retail customer in an unexpected condition or held and never actually received.
The default store and picking locations on the system route the operative the most efficient way for picking but also for putaway and by having to scan the location for putaway as well as the product, the office team are no longer required to manually input ASN documentation and therefore run the risk of poor handwriting or typos.
By reflecting on what we have achieved on just this one client and ultimately being able to progress our partnership to the point where their pick and pack fee has reduce by 35% and our number of picks per annum has increased by over 10K units, I again fall in love with this industry.
I don’t know of any other industry which has grown not only as quickly as this one has but with such ferocity and demand for technology. The demand for such technology does not just sit with the google spiders, or the listings tools, but we are evidence that the demand for technology runs right through every part of the customer experience, from picking up the ipad or laptop right through to opening the door to the smiling courier.