Transformation Starts With Receiving
Marcone Supply is the largest North American distributor of appliance parts and accessories, serving thousands of businesses through a network of 50 store-front locations and 11 Regional Distribution Centers. In addition to shipping to branches, Marcone’s RDCs also support direct fulfillment of customer orders. When you call to have your air conditioning or refrigerator repaired, chances are your repair technician is relying on Marcone to provide the parts he needs to get the job done. Shipping out the right product in a timely matter is crucial.
The Lucas Project at Marcone
To improve RDC operations Marcone embarked on an end-to-end mobile work execution system implementation project to reduce receiving backlogs, improve next-day delivery performance, and reduce distribution costs. Like many other companies, Marcone had considered replacing their legacy WMS and moving to RF-based processes, but working with Lucas they were able to achieve their process improvement and inventory management goals without changing their existing systems. On the other hand, unlike other companies that implement voice-directed solutions in picking before considering other warehouse processes, Marcone’s goal from the start was to use voice-directed mobile applications in receiving and putaway, in addition to picking. Marcone is also using barcode scanning alongside voice to optimize process efficiency and accuracy.
As summarized by Jim Scheetz, CFO of Marcone Supply: “The Lucas software integrated seamlessly with our WMS, practically eliminated downtime in receiving, and increased our shipping capacity by 50%. It’s totally revolutionized our warehouse operations.”
Prior to installing the Lucas solution, Marcone was using paper for in-bound and outbound processes, and performing physical wall-to-wall inventories in every DC. First and foremost, the operations team was looking for solutions that could reduce the time it takes to receive and put-away products, improve inventory accuracy, and reduce costs from end-to-end. Previously it took several days for product received on the dock to be available in inventory, and increased order volumes were placing new pressures to reduce cycle times and ship product quicker.
The Lucas Mobile Work Execution system is installed in 11 US and Canadian locations, ranging in size from four to 72 users.
The Lucas Solution
- Lucas Engage Work Execution Server for work creation, assignment management and process orchestration
- Lucas mobile applications featuring Jennifer for receiving, putaway, picking and cycle counting – all applications use voice direction, speech recognition and barcode scanning
- Engage Management Console for real-time productivity reporting, work process management, system configuration, and management reporting
- Lucas EAI for integration with legacy WMS
- Motorola MC3000 mobile computers and Motorola RS 507 Bluetooth ring scanners (used in receiving only)
Results: Improved DC Productivity
- Reduced time to perform standard receiving tasks more than 50 percent
- Increased shipping capacity 50% in the same space and staff
- Improved overall warehouse productivity an estimated 35% (did not have detailed productivity metrics before Lucas)
- Eliminated the need to shut down operations to perform physical inventories
- Reduce new employee training and ramp up time
Results: Reduced Errors and Waste
- Reduced shipping errors 90% (to .1%)
- Saved 12 tons of paper (at a single DC)
- 90% decrease in overall waste stream