Wholesalers and retailers have for years deployed IT solutions to decrease order cycle times, improve labour productivity and reduce transportation costs. But increased regulatory pressures and intensified competition from mega-retailers have forced them to seek enhanced solutions to further improve efficiencies, visibility, and control.
For example, the pressure on businesses to handle multiple inbound orders from suppliers and deal with volatile last-minute inventory movements has increased. In addition, wholesalers are under pressure to drive out costs and quickly respond to quality control issues. As a result, they need help in the ongoing drive to achieve optimum efficiency. RedPrairie claims that it has addressed these and other market demands through its newly expanded suite of integrated solutions. These provide an accurate means to assess employee performance and develop productivity improvement programmes.
RedPrairie's comprehensive, integrated solutions suite for the grocery industry includes warehouse management; transportation management; advanced labour management; slotting; visibility; performance measurement; and RFID.
"RedPrairie has served the leaders in the grocery industry for 40 years," said RedPrairie company leader John Jazwiec. "We have now integrated new capabilities to build on this legacy and provide a comprehensive suite to better serve our customers in the grocery industry."
The majority of grocers' labour cost is related to high volume pick-ship processes. RedPrairie provides two additional capabilities to help address this challenge; optimised slotting and voice technology.
RedPrairie's slotting capabilities enable optimal picking productivity by compressing pickers' travel paths and situating high volume items in the most ergonomically ideal positions. By integrating voice-enabled picking capabilities, RedPrairie also offers wholesalers accurate and efficient hands-free, eyes-free picking to further compress pick cycles.
High inbound order volume from multiple suppliers is another significant challenge for grocers. RedPrairie's dock door scheduling application helps grocers better handle their transportation and yard processes with synchronised loading schedules and trailer movements at the dock. Integrated appointment scheduling allows grocers to manage changing carrier schedules and shipping volumes, and best schedule their labour workforce.
For outbound shipping, RedPrairie's load building module directs trailer loading to take advantage of space utilisation within the truck and achieve proper load balancing and pallet sequencing.
RedPrairie addresses traceability mandates with best of breed inventory control. This includes capabilities for multi-level holds, catch weight control, shelf life/expiration dates, quarantine, and product traceability for recall purposes.
RedPrairie also provides strong environmental control of inventory processes across multiple buildings for frozen, refrigerated and dry product lines.
"Although the grocery industry has been a forerunner in utilizing sophisticated supply chain solutions, until now they have not had access to several key applications," said Tom Kozenski, vice president of product marketing at RedPrairie.
"RedPrairie has rounded out its robust solution to address the unique, changing needs of this market. We have leveraged our decades of grocery expertise throughout our comprehensive logistics suite of applications, enabling grocery customers to respond to their specific supply chain challenges."