Rapid E-Commerce Fulfillment

Independent family-owned retailer Rogers Sporting Goods is a formidable player in the sporting and recreational equipment industry. The company is a self-described provider of hunting gear for “the serious outdoor enthusiast” and routinely outsells larger competitors by offering more selection at the right prices. 


Supporting Omnichannel Sales Experiences & Service

Rogers has established a strong brand presence online and through its brick-and-mortar store. Consequently, their warehousing strategy is as agile as their business model. 

One-touch integration across both real and virtual channels gives our client a competitive advantage in a saturated market where suppliers typically try to be everything to everybody. Rogers, in contrast, is recognized globally for giving waterfowlers and hunters exactly what they want and for less. In just a few years, the company experienced substantial growth potential and, in response, initiated a major facilities expansion and an overhaul of order fulfillment processes. 

Location Visibility & Fast Inventory Reconciliation

PowerHouse delivered on a truly integrated platform by supporting clear product location visibility and fast inventory reconciliation, essentials for fast-paced, “real-time, all the time” warehousing. “We’re busy all year round,” explained Brett Patton, Snr. Purchasing Agent. “Lot traceability and live e-commerce are critical, because we’re moving inventory all the time.” 

Upstream & Downstream Data Analysis

As important, PowerHouse gave Rogers the ability to reach beyond their warehouse to gather upstream order information and downstream transportation data. We helped our client decrease dependence on safety stock and streamline open-to-buy budget planning, all while enhancing customer experiences.

“We knew that if we could expand our offerings, we could expand our customer base. Because the QSSI team could think outside-the-warehouse-box about output and potential efficiencies, we had the support we needed to double our business. And, by ‘double our business’ I mean double our output, said Patton.” 

Live in 6 Months! Accelerated WMS Deployment

Rogers moved into a new shell office building and implemented a new WMS in an expanded warehouse facility—all within the course of 6 months. The fast-paced project evolved in phases, each characterized by a new juncture in PowerHouse’s development. Rogers’ WMS went live with the initial set-up of the company’s main warehouse. We then configured and made the retail store operational, followed by the second floor picking mezzanine. 

The capacity to “configure and then reconfigure” in near-real-time is the key to a successful outcome for a complex WMS implementation. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Rogers’ warehouse manager, which necessitates demonstrating and testing the system sooner, rather than later.

Smart Warehousing during Company Transition

Significantly, the QSSI team migrated the new warehouse into live mode as the physical components were put in place. Move-in was happening as we built the system and integrated various elements. For instance, we configured the majority of WMS requirements for the mezzanine before it was  built. We also imported inventory into PowerHouse to provide data loading initially for a partial go-live. Our objective was to support business development during  the company’s transition; Rogers’ sales team had accurate data for their webpage. 

Effective Phased WMS Deployment

QSSI adopted an iterative approach to Rogers’ WMS deployment. To connect our client’s various revenue streams, we formulated a series of functions and services, tested the methodology incrementally and frequently, and then evaluated the results based on the latest feedback and evolving business requirements.

According to Roger Saarimaki, Snr. Application Specialist at  QSSI, “Effective phased deployments require constantly monitoring system configurations for changes that can improve efficiency or meet new data requirements.” Rogers’ new dashboard displays order status, work specifics, and any backlogs, which enables operations to respond in real time.

Key Integration Points for WMS Deployment

Integration needed to be in stages to meet Rogers’ ambitious deployment objectives. 

Once the warehouse was set-up, we worked on increasing speed and volume, followed by the integration of the retail store data. The QSSI team started with existing warehouse data. We matched rules to current restocking and picking requirements. As throughput increased, we further configured the locations and tweaked the rules to match. We subsequently addressed the retail store locations in a similar way. Finally, with the configuration of the second floor mezzanine, we could migrate to live as the physical structure was being built.

We based the ongoing changes on new processes to support the host data, as needed. The goal was and continues to be continuous improvement. Ultimately, PowerHouse doubled our client’s previous shipping capacity—without doubling their staff. 

Reducing the Day-to-Day Complexity of Order Fulfillment Operations

PowerHouse agility is also evident in improvements in operational efficiencies and workforce productivity. Rogers can now more easily adapt to shipping variations (ship ready, ship alone, etc.) and count on accurate, precise parcel measurements every time. But, perhaps the greatest cost savings came with the introduction of new processes for reducing time and touches.

Rather than significantly increasing the number of workers on the floor to meet increased demand, PowerHouse made Rogers’ existing labor more efficient. Cartons that don’t require repackaging (or a pack station) prior to shipping can now be picked, labeled, and shipped under one continuous procedure. Carrier compliant labels are printed from a mobile device when the carton is scanned. The worker simply “slaps” on the label and drops the carton at the conveyor to the truck. The fact that the carrier system is fully integrated with the TMS adds another level of seamless execution.

Flexible Order Picking Systems & Methods 

The inherent efficiency of the “slapper” process has resulted in more nuanced responses, e.g., only under certain circumstances is a case pick sent by itself. For Rogers, we configured such criteria in PowerHouse to recognize atypical conditions and to create case picking. Again, there is no need to send the item to a pack station for extra handling. In addition, the item will not incur extra shipping charges.

Similarly, oversized items can lead to uncommon picking scenario configurations. Rogers’ pick module includes reusable totes, but certain items arrive in boxes too big to fit into those totes. As a result, the tote and large carton picks need to arrive at the pack station together to implement the most cost-effective solution, i.e., tote picks packedinside cartons. In these situations, PowerHouse can connect a tote pick with a large carton in the same zone by having the carton “train”  after the tote. The pair move together to the next zone or pack station.

For Rogers, increased flexibility has meant adaptation—the ability to match their WMS to their warehouse environment over time.

ROGERS SPORTING GOODS

Kansas City, MO

Distribution Center
  • 200,000 square feet
  • Double (2-level) pick module
  • Fully RF enabled
Stock
  • 40,000+ SKUs
Warehouse Environment
  • Bulk purchasing
  • Low minimum orders
  • Just-in-time delivery
  • Same-day delivery
  • High volume returns 
    and exchanges
Solutions in the Design
  • Identifying labor in/efficiencies—at individual worker level
  • Picking in real-time (interfaces in seconds)
  • Scale counting and scan & pack—for easy picking and re-stocking
  • Automating customized compliance labeling
  • Automating rate shopping—for best shipping rate
  • Order tracking—visibility for customer, too

Warehousing for a Global Supply Chain

Most companies need business insights, not more data, to expand their operations. To combine information with analysis is to find meaning and a greater understanding of your current situation, with the goal of moving forward. A full stack WMS toolset is a start, but the ability to leverage data from multiple systems (TMS, OMS, LMS, etc.) is a competitive advantage. In the case of our client Standard Fiber, PowerHouse delivered on a number of levels: executive access, customer access, and insight access into their business. With these insights, they extended and then built new revenue channels.


Standard Fiber’s Expansion into New Markets

One of the largest producers of bedding textiles in the world is also a unique model for product development, manufacturing, and distribution. Standard Fiber is the first company in its industry to combine US and UK based innovation with manufacturing capabilities in Asia. Our client offers customers a seamless supply chain experience with access to advanced textile technologies and a premier design-development team, plus the significant cost savings of working with manufacturers in Pakistan, India, and China.

QSSI aligned our client’s warehousing with their ambitious expansion into new lucrative business partnerships.

Early Adaptation in Standard Fiber’s Warehouse

WMS easy scalability and rapid deployment helped our client harness a competitive advantage, specifically, in the bundling of bedding with other products, including mail order mattresses. Achieving this new bundling capability was instrumental in the company’s expansion.

Chris Thornton, EDI/Operations Specialist at Standard Fiber, described the difficult conditions that marked the early days of breaking into a new market. Meeting retailers’ immediate requirements for increased EDI capacity meant implementing the new WMS while dealing with accelerated schedules, high volumes, and complex global logistics.

Thornton credited QSSI with keeping both software and hardware on track and error-free, “QSSI’s people brought a ‘yes, we can do that’ attitude and the timeline for accomplishing the job.”

Smooth Implementation and Rapid Deployment

QSSI helps deliver a seamless customer experience as Standard Fiber scales up to meet increased demand.

Multiple new channels (and new clients) have since been added, but the first “bedding bundle” order was a short 9-week undertaking requiring an overhaul of Standard Fiber’s operations. Rather than significantly increasing the number of workers on the floor to accommodate the additional orders, PowerHouse made existing labor more efficient. We made the floor fully RF enabled and implemented a new process for reducing time and touches.

Cartons that don’t require repackaging (or a pack station) prior to shipping, e.g., bundled mattresses and bedding, can now be picked, labeled, and shipped under one continuous procedure. Carrier compliant labels are printed from a mobile device when the carton is scanned. The worker simply “slaps” on the label and drops the carton at the conveyor to the truck. The fact that the carrier system is fully integrated with the TMS adds another level of seamless execution.

Ultimately, PowerHouse enabled the company to transition to a drop-ship-to-consumer mode while increasing orders by as much as 900% per day.

Custom End-to-End Solutions and EDI Integration

Standard Fiber’s customers expect and receive reliable ecommerce fulfillment support for finished products. Because reputation is built on reliability, it’s important to make continuous improvements in the WMS process and product. You want your WMS to evolve with new business objectives. Chris Thornton, EDI/Operations Specialist at Standard Fiber, put it this way, “When opportunity knocks, you need the backend architecture to take advantage.” He explained, “You want to grow and scale quickly without worrying about system capacity.”

For Standard Fiber, individualized end-to-end solutions have resulted from ongoing collaborative consultation with the QSSI team. For example, we helped the company gain more from their EDI and achieve 100% compliance with their retailers. PowerHouse managed the orders fast enough to handle immense upticks in volume—at times, swelling from 300 orders per week to more than 3,000 per day.

We also integrated PowerHouse with Standard Fiber’s EDI VAN, providing the necessary data for their cloud-based supply chain management software (SPS) to feed their EDI requirements back to customers. PowerHouse leverages the data from multiple systems to “know when to send orders to fulfillment,” said Thornton.

Accessing Information for What Comes Next

For Standard Fiber, we delivered a solution that takes the entire customer journey into account when managing data. Furthermore, this solution is also extensible. Access to a continuous, reliable source of data—such as KPIs at both the facility and enterprise levels—empowers our client to keep making adjustments and improvements in response to an evolving business environment. Wherever Standard Fiber takes their business, we’ll be there to support them.

STANDARD FIBER

Las Vegas, NV

HQ & Distribution Centers
  • 4 corporate campuses
  • QC lab (textile testing)
  • 140+ Global Suppliers
Customers
  • manufacturers
  • distributors
  • retailers
Stock
  • 560,000+ catalogue items
  • 2,500+ SKUs
Supply Chain
  • China
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Vietnam
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
Warehouse Environment
  • Textiles warehousing
  • Omnichannel supply chains
  • Complicated sourcing requests
  • Multiple distribution centers
  • Individualized labeling
  • Drop-ship to consumer
  • Just-in-time delivery
Solutions in the Design
  • Fully integrated platform
  • Full visibility
  • Picking in real-time
  • Scale counting and scan & pack
  • Automated customized
    compliance labeling
  • Automated rate shopping