From cataloger to ecommerce retailer

Most of us remember receiving catalogs as a convenient way to shop without going to a physical store, but now over 25% of Americans shop online at least once per month. The Sportsman’s Guide relied on sending out over 30 million catalogs a year as their primary source of business, but now 80% of orders come via ecommerce.

With this massive shift in consumer behavior, came the challenges of meeting tight shipping windows, growing order volumes, and increasing labor costs, all while needing to deliver near perfect accuracy. The Sportsman’s Guide have been on a path to automate and improve their warehouse technology to meet the evolving needs of their business and to remain competitive in the changing world of retail.

A satisfied customer with every package

Started in 1970 out of St. Paul, Minnesota, The Sportsman’s Guide offers everything that relates to outdoor living. The company’s DC is a 330,000 sq. ft. facility containing over 30,000 products. Operating from the company motto “A satisfied customer with every package.” The Sportsmans’s Guide strives to meet that commitment by using the latest technologies that help them operate at peak efficiency.

During peak season, the addition of up to 2.5x seasonal workers makes meeting accuracy and efficiency goals even more of a challenge. The Sportsman’s Guide triples their workforce during peak seasons so technology that is easy to use and requires minimal training time is paramount. The Sportsman’s Guide understands how important order accuracy is in an ecommerce world. That’s why they sought the best automation tools to meet business demands and consumer expectations.

Accuracy and Efficiency Gains for Workers, Supervisors, and Delivery Drivers

The Sportsman’s guide implemented Jennifer, the voice and brains of the Lucas Warehouse Optimization Suite. “Some people learn Jennifer in 2 hours and get going right away.” states Manuel Bernal, Senior Lead of Distribution Outbound. Despite a lot of seasonal variation, the workforce delivers a 99.8% accuracy rate.

“It was great to work with the Lucas team. They came out and looked at our process… and we built our application together.” says Jason Clum, Director of Warehouse Operations & Distribution. Like other companies that Lucas has helped, the transition from picking on paper to intelligent picking was a welcome change. Jerry Marcott, Supervisor of HQ Outbound noted “I could not imagine going back to the way we used to do things, picking by visual paper. Now it’s just put the headset on, let Jennifer do all the work, except for grabbing the product.” The Sportsman’s Guide has increased their productivity by 18% since deploying the Lucas Warehouse Optimization Suite.

“One of the reasons we looked at Lucas… in this DC we pick with tuggers and they pulled carts. We wanted to get that paper out of their hands. We wanted it to be a safer motion for the pick staff and then also we were looking for the productivity and quality increase” explains Jason Clum.

“When we launched with Jennifer, we saw an 18% productivity gain.”

Jason Clum, Director of Warehouse Operations & Distribution

Maximizing productivity with seasonal help

Clum stated “With Jennifer, we didn’t have the need to bring in as many seasonal associates. ”The Sportsman’s Guide often has returning seasonal help. As the seasonal workers are already familiar with Jennifer and they can dive right back in.”

The Lucas Management Console also provides managers and supervisors with unique operational tools. “You can track associates’ productivity, keep track of their break times, send associates messages, and shift associates to different tasks as needed.” remarked Manuel Bernal.

With the implementation of Jennifer from Lucas Systems, The Sportsman’s Guide has experienced growth in productivity, improved accuracy, reduced the need for labor, and reduced training for new and seasonal help. The Sportsman’s Guide “A satisfied customer with every package”.

“In the past what we had an audit staff of 8 associates, now we no longer need that.”

Jason Clum, Director of Warehouse Operations & Distribution