Warehouse Logistics Optimization

United Distribution Services (UDS) is an established presence in the textile warehousing industry, known for innovation in freight and logistics services. Founded in 1995, the privately owned and operated 3PL got its start in the motor freight transportation sector. Consequently, UDS company culture is a standout among competitors as particularly in tune with manufacturer and retailer priorities. 


Supply Chain Planning and Execution

UDS invests significant resources, time, and energy into advising customers to make the right logistics decisions to ensure optimal efficiency and cost savings. The company’s leadership believes in harnessing the power of technology to customers’ advantage, making QSSI an ideal partner. Both our companies ultimately want to liberate clients from supply chain planning and execution, freeing up time and resources for them to focus on primary business functions: manufacturing, marketing, and sale of goods.

Fortune 500 manufacturers and retailers turn to UDS to solve logistics challenges, but so do designers wanting to move their well-structured start-ups to the next level. The company has collaborated for years with experts in warehouse material handling, engineering, and design. 

The goal is to leverage the latest technological development to raise customers to the next level of productivity and competitiveness. QSSI followed a similar strategy when initiating discussions about the effectiveness of UDS processes related to warehouse management, execution, and controls.

To effectively leverage technology, we started by asking UDS pointed questions about their current WMS. Could it provide detailed answers to inquiries, like “How is handling different (or more difficult) this time?” We learned that critical information, such as the precise cost and time investment to fulfill an order, was absent from decision-making protocol.

I had worked with other WMS software in the past and understood the potential for improved CRM. But, ROI for PowerHouse is exponential. With implementation, we went from 10 users to more than 100. You learn PowerHouse, you can now do whatever you want with it, which means my WMS and my company grow together.

Carl Ingargiola, President, UDS
Strategies for Rapid Response to New Customer Demand

For UDS operations to expand exponentially, their WMS needed to support the rapid onboarding of new customers. PowerHouse successfully connects various new revenue streams with a series of warehouse functions and services. UDS now had the ability to configure, reconfigure, and scale its operations (equipment, people, space) in response to evolving customer demands—without expensive modifications to the WMS application.

PowerHouse also supports multiple business models simultaneously—another key strategy employed by UDS to meet increased customer demand. In response to the shift in recent years to Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) shipping, UDS has engineered fulfillment processes and procedures to position its partners to meet their online consumer’s immediate expectations. 

Communication is the key to converting process changes into business opportunities. PowerHouse is a systems integrator for complementary supply chain management software and for all leading e-commerce, marketplace, and carrier software, including shopping carts and customer portals. Therefore, we worked effectively with UDS to handle volume fluctuations flawlessly and at a moment’s notice. Increased flexibility also translated into reduced overhead and the ability to specify a fixed cost per unit.

Tactics Employed for a High-Volume Operation

UDS is an exceptionally high-volume operation, as demonstrated by the 200+ packing stations that keep business booming. The QSSI team partnered with UDS to identify and develop optimal solutions for a full range of customer requirements, from shipping DTC via an e-com site to drop shipping via a carrier. Orders are mapped specific to their type, e.g., flagged as e-com.

UDS is giving its customers the ability to compete with the largest e-com outlets out there. Orders are processed instantly, leaving the warehouse within 12 hours from when the transaction was first initiated.

Ed Troianello, President, QSSI

Through constant reporting, PowerHouse delivers high-level order management and oversight. Quality, actionabledata is made available for informed decision-making. According to the UDS website, automated reporting, among many factors, contributes to the company’s “impeccable fill rates and turns.”

  • Item velocity analysis
  • Pick flow setup
  • Inventory count
  • Location accuracy

Clear order visibility is another important strategy for delivering within a high-volume operation. UDS keeps its customers informed through many PowerHouse capabilities, including transmitting EDI transactions, pushing order status, and tracking information. UDS can also send a branded, yet personalized, email alert, generated by Powerhouse and containing all order information, tracking numbers, and customer service contact information.

Consolidated Dedicated Returns Processing

UDS prioritizes returns processing. The company has dedicated facilities to handle vendors and retailers’ consolidated return services. PowerHouse is an integral part of this process, as well as key to capturing revenue through additional efficiencies and improved customer satisfaction.

A multi-pronged approach ensures the timely reconciliation of return charge backs and consumer credits. UDS leverages as much PowerHouse data as possible to monitor returns volume, eliminate manual data entry, apply credits, and quickly refurbish and transfer goods back to appropriate fulfillment centers. 

PowerHouse captures and monitors data on multiple levels.

  • Return authorization validation
  • Carton level ASN EDI 180
  • Quality inspection
  • Refurbishing to first quality condition
  • Damage and disposal maintenance
  • Trend analysis and advanced BI reporting
A Reliable Partner in Retail Distribution

“Accuracy, accountability, and speed” are the crucial factors in the retail distribution pick & pack environment, according to UDS. The company maintains a 99.98% financial and statistical inventory, achieved through “stringent receiving variance approval procedures, obsessive cycle counting, and utilization of UPC and RFID barcode scanning” (UDS website, 2021). 

All these disciplined procedures are sustained through PowerHouse.

United Distribution Services

Cranbury, NJ

Distribution Center
  • 2,000,000 square feet
Customers
  •  Apparel
  • Home goods
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
Warehouse Environment
  • Garment-on-Hanger and flat pick & pack fulfillment
  • Just-in-time retail replenishment
  • Direct-To-Consumer shipping
  • Same-day e-commerce fulfillment
  • Full case distribution
  • Retail deconsol/consolidation
  • Domestic transportation
  • Overseas pre-packs
Solutions in the Design
  • Systematic wave modeling
  • Bulk pick line zones
  • Scale counting
  • Pick-to-light
  • Flow racking
  • Automated customized compliance labeling
  • Automated rate shopping
  • Reserve to active replenishment location

Automation-Aware Order Releasing

Origami Owl’s business model is difficult to categorize. Forbes magazine once characterized the privately owned, multi-level marketing custom jewelry company as the 14-year old’s $250M “big idea” (Oct. 2013). Currently, 45,000+ independent sales consultants (“designers”) purchase materials and tools from Origami Owl for product direct sales to customers, primarily via in-house sales parties. What is clear is that this level of thinking outside the [jewelry] box requires that technology evolve and adapt with similar innovation and agility.


Product Customization and Personalization

PowerHouse supplied the logic to make the floor automation in Origami Owl’s warehouses work for the company’s changing requirements, regardless of original design intent. 

Technology needed to evolve to keep pace with the company keeping ahead of developing market conditions, including trends toward product customization and personalization. All aspects of operations needed to work as a single unit to achieve the desired enhancements in materials handling. The “choreography of movement throughout the warehouse,” as described by QSSI’s Chief Product Manager, Rob King, required a turnkey solution.

We considered the entire order journey, more than 1.5 miles of cabling, with the objective of quadrupling production capacity.

A Turnkey Solution for Logistics Automation

PowerHouse enhances the production of automated material handling technologies and concentrates the power of robotics. In effect, it provides the logic for releasing orders using an efficient, business savvy protocol that is specific to the user. 

Origami Owl needed individualized solutions for when, where, and how to sequence various fulfillment scenarios and trigger restocking items. By gaining oversight and control over all moving parts in the warehouse, we were able to affect overall productivity and deliver greater efficiencies. Automation-aware order releasing (as well as automation-aware pick pod selection, path planning, and labor scheduling) helps ensure a productive, cohesive work pace across all work zones.

PowerHouse safeguards that no element within Origami Owl’s warehouse is working in isolation.

For example, scan a box and the system will assess which worker and what route he or she should take, depending on where the remainder of the order is located. Also, no worries about flooding the pick-to-light system, because automation awareness means that the right number of picks will be released into the system in the first place.

ORIGAMI OWL

Chandler, AZ

Distribution Center
  • 100,000 square feet
Customers
  • Custom jewelry design 
  • Apparel and textile
  • Direct sales
Warehouse Environment
  • Complicated sourcing requests
  • Split orders
  • Low minimum order requirements 
  • Combined order and customer processing
  • Just-in-time delivery
Solutions in the Design
  • Embedded TMS
  • Real-time order visibility
  • Scale counting and scan & pack
  • Automated customized compliance labeling
  • Automated rate shopping
Global Supply Chain
  • US
  • Puerto Rico
  • Canada

It’s almost always about managing the release of work. So, you begin by learning how a company does pack & ship—because everyone does it differently, in response to specific programs and compliance requirements.

Russ Schumacher, QSSI’s VP of Applications
Simplified Integration Strategies for Complex Order Management

Origami Owl averages approximately $70 per order. However, multiple highly individualized orders are typically shipped to the same location, at the same time, for the company’s sales events. This reality is a fulfillment challenge experienced by many companies in the creative industries, and the solution is gaining full operational oversight and control.

Who: Origami Owl
What: WMS implementation focused on operational solutions
Where: new state-of-the-art warehouse
When: 3 months leading up to holiday season
Why: optimize $4M already invested in floor automation
Wow: up 45,000 orders avg. per day, down 70% pickers

User-friendly, simplified integration strategies for Origami Owl involved solutions for specific equipment and controllers on industrial networks. Increased oversight and control over automated equipment gave our client distinct advantages.

  • WMS + print & apply labeling—triggers next fulfillment step
  • WMS + handheld devices—enables geofencing and positioning data
  • WMS  + predictive analytics—enhances routing, picking, slotting, etc., processes
Connection between Visibility and Capacity

During a critical period of growth, as Origami Owl ramped up for the holiday season with a brand-new facility, we helped with enhanced interface management. PowerHouse delivered full ERP function integration and directly/indirectly supported enterprise application software. We also supported seamless communication with our client’s EDI, OMS, supply chain management software, and the numerous e-commerce, marketplace, carrier, and customer portals employed by the company.

For Origami Owl, a direct correlation now exists between real-time location visibility (product, assets, people) and a real-time view of warehouse space and storage capacity. PowerHouse’s location capabilities include constant insight into an order’s journey through the entire facility. Floor managers have access to useful data that can be immediately acted upon.

  • Dwell times/congestion analysis
  • Equipment overload mitigation
  • Optimization of underutilized resources
  • Asset tracking 
  • Cross-docking strategies
WMS as the Brain that Drives the Muscle

We built a WMS for Origami Owl that excels with evolving warehouse planning and execution processes. We understood from the start that operations would be routinely impacted by changes originating from variable markets and a global supply chain. Small-scale, transient disruptors, such as influencer driven trends and seasonality, would also be the norm. Operations would need to scale up to meet sales goals.

In response, PowerHouse is made more intelligent with real-time quality data about automation system use and material flow. It is the brain that can adjust to changing conditions—even on an hour-by-hour basis, grouping work for increased efficiency at certain times but also automatically increasing capacity for hot orders or imminent carrier pick-ups.

PowerHouse is effectively thinking for the many systems that comprise the warehouse. For an e-commerce enterprise facing complex order fulfillment requirements, like Origami Owl, this depth of knowledge is a huge competitive advantage.

High-Volume E-commerce Fulfillment

Inc. magazine twice listed Mud Pie as one of America’s fastest growing private companies (“Inc. 5000”). Woman-owned and woman-led, the innovative wholesale company is known for its popular lifestyle brand and rocket-fueled growth to national prominence. Mud Pie award-winning baby & kids apparel, fashion & accessories, and home pieces are available in 16,000+ specialty retailers and department stores worldwide.. 


Warehouse Automation with ERP, WMS, and WCS Integration

Mud Pie’s move to a totally automated environment was rapid and seismic in terms of operational impact. Just two years before the transition, inventory control was entirely paper based and fulfillment utterly reliant on labor-intensive piece picking.

The company followed a common trajectory for high-volume, fast-paced e-commerce fulfillment environments: sizeable investment in physical automation in response to increased demand—but without adequate ERP, WMS, and WCS integration. 

When QSSI was first engaged, Mud Pie had already implemented robotic systems for piece-picking and packing. PowerHouse brought improved visibility and operational insights to conveyance and sortation, as well as to automated storage and retrieval. In effect, PowerHouse brought the business intelligence for effective automation orchestration.

Adapting to Existing Warehouse Automation

“Steel is steel,” said Russ Schumacher, QSSI’s VP of Application Services, referencing the hard reality of working with an existing complex conveyor system. “You adapt the software to the steel, not the other way around.”

QSSI developed a customized, multi-pronged strategy, involving both people and infrastructure-driven processes, to ensure that Mud Pie would see maximum returns from their significant capital investment.

For example, we made labor more efficient with task interleaving and wave planning. We also equipped people with the right tools for the task at hand. Our team was there for Mud Pie at every step of the transition from pick-and-pass to more complex order picking/restocking methodologies (zone-batch-wave) using tablets and wireless handheld devices with pick-to-light technology.

 In addition, we simultaneously made smart functionality for warehouse controls a priority.

Split Orders and Other Integrated Decision-Making

PowerHouse provides Mud Pie with insights into any number or combination of automation performance metrics (pile-on, pod-station visits, throughput, etc.), but order sequencing decisions ultimately reflect a deeper logic. During PowerHouse implementation and on an ongoing basis, the results of models in different instances are compared with various potential sequential methods. The result is a structured, integrated response. 

A standout scenario for Mud Pie is splitting orders.

Diverse retailers mean diverse customer orders, which can lead to severe inefficiencies in how search and travel tasks are performed. Therefore, it’s critical for the wholesaler to be able to differentiate between oversized, non-conveyable items and conveyable items for warehouse pricing flow. In response, the QSSI team concentrated on the operational logistics of splitting an order. PowerHouse introduced pick pod selection and path planning protocols to improve automation controls. Similarly, pod repositioning protocols address the replenishment process.

MUD PIE

Stone Mountain, GA

Distribution Center
  • 250,000 square feet
Customers
  • Furniture/home furnishing 
  • Apparel
  • Gifts and novelties
  • Wholesale trade
  • Small independent retailers
  • Big box stores
Warehouse Environment
  • B2B, B2C, D2C 
  • Complicated sourcing requests
  • Split orders
  • Low minimum order requirements 
  • Combined order and customer processing
  • Just-in-time delivery
Solutions in the Design
  • Scale counting and scan & pack
  • Automated customized compliance labeling
  • Automated rate shopping
Global Supply Chain
  • China (manufacturing)

Order picking can constitute 50%-65% of Mud Pie’s operating costs. Processing orders quickly and accurately is a competitive advantage. PowerHouse brings the brains to the machinery that is the company’s lifeblood.

Redesigning a Warehouse for Optimal Efficiencies

Mud Pie has continued to grow its business exponentially. Subsequent warehouse floor modifications and expansions build on the efficiencies originally introduced by QSSI. As part of our next project for the company, PowerHouse supported 9,000 new locations. The new multi-level facility contains 24 zones/pick modules. With Mud Pie, the QSSI team developed and then helped implement a high-bay, narrow-aisle picking concept to maximize the space for a new conveyor system, an impressive 28’ in length. 

Our collaborations also extended to Mud Pie’s manufactures with innovations in packaging. “More conveyable” items inevitably lead to less touches with each induction. With the improvements, 60% to 70% of boxes interface with the conveyor only. This work also resulted in measurable improvements in quality control and speed to resolution.

WCS-Based Automation Visibility

The PowerHouse dashboard is credited with much of the success of the narrow-aisle picking concept. “When you can see all, you can direct all,” said Schumacher. “And, more importantly, you can direct with specificity.” 

The dashboard captures critical information, which means that even in tight spaces it’s possible to follow a serpentine, one-pass packing method. In addition, floor managers can access a graphic of each cart’s contents. RF devices also incorporate graphic displays.

So much more than the sum of its parts, PowerHouse serves as data aggregator and integrator, as well as smart middleware. It eliminated the need for Mud Pie to interface directly to control systems for individual pieces of automation. But, perhaps, most importantly, we introduced a higher level of accountability into the fulfillment process. Warehouse planning and execution are made more intelligent precisely because of the quality information coming from the automation level. 

Getting Real About Advanced WMS Features

Answer: People.

For a moment, let’s focus on what’s really important. Specifically, what you can control in your warehouse.


Integration of the Human Element in Warehousing

Most WMS must-have-feature lists settle on some combination of ERP integration, optimized inventory management, and mobile deployment. Deeper discussions list data collection capabilities, especially the extent to which your inbound/outbound inventory flow tracking can lead to real-time insights into how to run your business. 

However, for a truly substantial “must-have” discussion, you have to consider feature performance in the context of how people will interact with their WMS. Removing the human element from your WMS formula leaves you with only half a solution.

Calculating the Human Element in Preparedness

Warehouse operational preparedness is highly affected by the human element, and your WMS can play a central role in achieving 100% uptime. A WMS determines the what, when, and where product will flow in and out of your warehouse. A truly smart WMS will determine whether or not the who is prepared to handle that work at any given moment. Furthermore, it will tell you how to bill for maximum profitability.

“’Exactly how well prepared are you to do business?’ is what I always ask our clients,” says Ed Troianello, President of QSSI. “It’s the question to ask first, last, and repeatedly throughout a conversation about WMS features.” 

Ed stresses that situational awareness is the key to operational efficiency and effectiveness. QSSI people are deeply rooted in a mindset of due diligence. The warehouse is understood as a “live” environment with immediate cause and effect ramifications for a person’s actions. “Cultivating a culture of continuous improvements is the most important thing we can impart to a client’s people,” says Ed. “During system implementation and years later, as a company expands into new markets, we always circle back to this idea. You want to remove human error from the equation? You need to first understand how people impact the warehouse and how the warehouse impacts people, in time and space.”

“The business disruptions of the past year remind us to focus like a laser beam on improving enterprise operations through investments in technology.”

Felecia Stratton, Editor, Inbound Logistics Magazine

QSSI PowerHouse, 2021 Inbound Logistics Top 100 IT Provider
How to Assess WMS Features Incorporating the Human Element

Recognize the interdependence of critical operational components in the warehouse. The value of a full stack WMS toolset increases at an exponential rate when your people can leverage multiple, interconnected sources of data for labor, inventory, orders, shipping, automation, and more. An enterprise-wide solution to warehousing involves customer service, management, executives, and client relations, in addition to operations. 

Imagine a high-functioning query tool capable of generating warehousing solutions impacting all aspects of your business. Redefine competitive advantage. During the implementation process, the ideal is the three-legged stool approach to planning your warehousing system: configuration, preparation, and resiliency. All three should be addressed together and at each stage of the process. All three require integration of your company’s human capital. 

For example, configure for maximum uptime, prepare for inevitable change, including new opportunities, and build into the system the capacity to be resilient in the face of supply chain disruptions. A balanced implementation strategy is more than the sum of its parts and, therefore, capable of addressing multiple issues at once: substantial increases in order volumes and e-commerce demands, decreased processing times, and the challenges associated with acquiring qualified labor.

WMS as Common Operating Environment

Most companies need actionable insights into their business, not more data, which is why indiscriminately piling on the WMS features doesn’t make much sense. To outperform the competition, decision-makers at all levels of your organization require knowledge of how your business is performing. 

A WMS that serves as a common operating environment allows for the expansion of operations where it counts.

People interacting with intelligent systems, working in tandem with smart technology tools.

WMS Functionality

Environments that demand uninterrupted functionality perform best within a common platform, because this is also where people perform at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. PowerHouse provides that common thread rooted in a common application, for a holistic solution, from document management to ERP integration.

Closing Thought

With the right information at the right time, your people can extend and then built new revenue channels, avoid unnecessary downtime, and achieve maximum efficiencies. For 30+ years, we’ve seen people as the answer, whatever the challenge. Move forward with the right people to help.

GAME CHANGERS
  1. Central point of access to data from all operational systems
  2. Collaborative channels for connecting and sharing in real-time
  3. KPIs at both facility and enterprise levels

WMS Functionality
  • Operations instrument for streamlining human observations
  • Analytics for decision-making and situational awareness
  • Benchmarks for troubleshooting and measuring KPIs
  • Early warning system for anomalies and trends
  • Data manager for records and reports
  • Training tool for skill development and knowledge transfer

WMS Support Services Defined

70% of all support calls are resolved within 15 minutes.

The same QSSI professionals who develop your specialized system will be the ones on the phone and onsite to help move your business into its next phase of growth.


No. 1: Depth and Diversity in Operational Experience

We are an employee-owned company—led, managed, and staffed entirely by professionals with firsthand experience in warehouse operations. Preserving or enhancing labor efficiencies are always top of mind. We see operational solutions first, before the technology.

Our people have served in a management capacity for apparel, medical/pharma, food, electronics, 3PL distribution, and manufacturing companies, across the US. 

No. 2: Enterprise-wide Connectivity with Your WMS

Advanced monitoring is key for riding out market disruptions, as well as for acting on new opportunities in a timely manner. QSSI provides a broad support system capable of connecting the dots from your existing and future supply chain. We see connectivity as integral to resiliency. We measure WMS performance value on its ability to function and adapt to changing conditions throughout your enterprise, regardless of the specific stress or disruption.

Why a collaborative platform? To deliver a superior customer service experience.

Move beyond integrations to APIs. Talk directly and effectively with multiple servers. From a user’s perspective, the experience is seamless, efficient, effective.

No. 3: Speed of Resolution

We mobilize technical support to meet the requirements of your exponentially growing digital applications, data processing, and storage requirements. The effective configuration and phase-in of high functioning WMS features require full ERP and third-party software integration, as well as ongoing data-driven fine-tuning for all possible scenarios affecting your warehouse. 

Helping Your People Do What They Do Best

We’ve created a hands-on classroom (for in-person and remote learning), making knowledge transfer accurate, contextual, and complete. PowerHouse grows with your business, which is why knowledge sharing is also ongoing. You have 24/7 access to implementation experts who know warehousing and know your business.

Customer Service and training are contextual, individualized, and real-world applicable, right out of the gate and forever.

QSSI “People Make the Difference” Philosophy

PowerHouse and the full QSSI support system expand and evolve with your business. Similar to machine learning ROI, the people learning curve also has measurable ROI; working with the same qualified team today and tomorrow translates into even faster speed of resolution.

Our knowledge transfer protocols are similarly designed to increase your expertise in the specific requirements of your WMS. Why settle for just an app when you can have a complete warehousing solution?

GAME CHANGERS
Focus on Operations
  • Diverse deployment experience
  • Versed in specific distribution environments
  • Deep benchmarks in retail, including product recall, manufacturing with distribution, and enhanced validation requirements
Focus on Training
  • Real world application—learn how to set-up rules and locations for specific operating procedures
  • Expert supervision
  • Emphasis on knowledge transfer
Focus on Implementation
  • Direct access to QSSI staff familiar with your system implementation
  • Support available 24x7x365
  • Guaranteed rapid response to all inquiries

Warehousing Strategies for Quality Control

Qosina is a leading global supplier of OEM single-use components for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Through a separate certified division (Qosmedix), the company also distributes beauty tools and accessories to the cosmetic industry. Qosina’s catalogs, which feature thousands of stock items, are widely considered authoritative resources.


High Function Integration with ERP

The integration of PowerHouse with Qosina’s ERP system delivers high functionality above and beyond supply chain execution—i.e., real-time intelligence instrumental in boosting workforce productivity by 30%

Qosina is also experiencing increased visibility at each stage of processing. This has resulted in measurable improvements in Quality Control and compliance documentation, as demonstrated by a 100% success rate with US Customs.

“PowerHouse brought together every aspect of our warehouse processing, under one integrated system,” said Thomas Iavarone, Director Operations at Qosina. “Even for a highly regulated industry like ours, efficiencies were immediate and systemic. We are seeing an average 30% decrease in picking, packing, and shipping times compared to previous years. Also welcomed, the ease with which we can now configure rules and process flows has directly contributed to our company’s growth.”

Directed Work in Real-time

Prior to working with QSSI, Qosina personnel were reliant on tribal knowledge, with valuable information about products, customers, and processes routinely going undocumented. Processing orders involved paper and laptops (no RF mobile devices), which, of course, led to cumbersome procedures for picking, packing, shipping, and restocking. 

Qosina took full advantage of PowerHouse’s configurability. Our software is sector nonspecific and allows for the user to modify the system when responding to operational changes. The capacity to map data, combined with backend analytics, led to significant changes in the order fulfillment process. 

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, e.g., Amazon vs. international importer
  • Automating rate shopping—for best shipping rate
  • Order tracking—visibility for customer, too
Compliance Labeling & Storage

Rules drive efficiencies for warehousing—perhaps, nowhere more evident than with the medical industry. Qosina maintains an immaculate warehouse as per the FDA’s standards for storing pharmaceutical items in safe, optimal conditions. The ability to configure rules and process flows to meet individual requirements of system operation has ensured consistent, dependable regulatory standards compliance.

Strategies for Quality Assurance
  • Clear location visibility—from component to group-of-origin
  • Lot control (no., exp. date, codes, product revisions)
  • Fully RF enabled
  • Fail-safe traceability—image association, color coding
  • Clear differentiation between new/old stock
  • AQL status tracking (pass, fail, quarantine)
  • Packer issued label only when order complete
  • Complete distribution process documentation
  • Audit and recall ready
QOSINA CORP.

Ronkonkoma Long Island, NY

HQ & Distribution Center
  • 95,000 square feet
  • climate-controlled
  • ISO certifications
Customers
  • medical OEM
  • bioprocessing
  • pharmaceutical
  • cosmetic
  • spa/salon (B2C)
Stock
  • 13,000+ catalogue items
  • 8,500+ medical SKUs
  • 40,000+ (avg) pieces 
    per 8’x8’x8’ box
Supply Chain
  • Europe (SRL)
  • Shanghai
  • Taipei
  • Netherlands (3PL partner)
Warehouse Environment
  • Pharmaceutical warehousing FDA CGMP standards
  • SOPs are ISO certification compliant
  • AES filing is Homeland Security compliant
  • Complicated sourcing requests
  • Low minimum order requirements 
  • Combined order and customer processing
  • Just-in-time delivery

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