How We Helped a Tennessee Factory Boost Picking Efficiency by 200 Percent
Want to improve picking efficiency? It’s one of our areas of expertise, and here’s the story of how we helped a North American manufacturer to improve picking efficiency at its Tennessee factory by 200 percent.
Costly Offsite Storage Was the Main Problem
When AMH began working with one of the largest towing recovery equipment manufacturers in the world, the manufacturer was having a storage issue at one of its three North American factories located in Tennessee. The company was renting an offsite building because there was no more storage space at its facility.
Accessing the Storage Challenges
The first step in developing a customized solution was to visit the plant, assess the situation, and look at the offsite warehouse and the types of materials and equipment that were being stored there.
The AMH team developed ideas right away on how to best solve the storage challenges. Then we did something that might be considered a little unconventional. We took the manufacturer to visit three other plants where we had installed equipment.
3 Factory Tours
AMH wanted our potential new customer to see the automated equipment in action and to better weigh the different equipment options. We later discovered that this was one of the main reasons the manufacturer chose to work with us. Here’s what the general manager at the towing recovery equipment manufacturer had to say in their own words about the two reasons the company chose to work with AMH:
“One was that they had the ability to provide all three types of equipment that we wanted, and two, the fact that they invited us to go visit three other factories with them, and were very open and candid about letting us talk to them. They went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable with the equipment that we were buying. That tells you a lot when they let you walk in and talk to their other customers.”
Proposing & Implementing the Right Solution
After making recommendations and taking the manufacturer to visit past customers and view equipment options, AMH proposed a solution and developed a turn-key implementation plan.
Once the client was on board, we proceeded with the plan, which involved the installation of:
- 8 Kardex XP Vertical Lift Modules
- Power Pick Global Warehouse Management Software
- Safe-T-Rack Movable Rack System
- Automated Storage & Retrieval for Pallet Storage
The Results & Customer Feedback
Was the customer satisfied with the implementation and the results? Here’s how the general manager for the factory responded to some questions asked by a third-party interviewer to independently gauge their level of customer satisfaction and to ensure we’re always doing a good job for our customers.
Once the implementation process began, how did that go?
“They were extremely flexible the whole time. I can’t say enough about how flexible they were. If we got behind, they didn’t push us. They were great.”
Can you tell us what AMH did in terms of software integration?
“We have three systems. Each system has its own standalone software system. And they did a good job of getting those three systems talking.”
How have the new systems benefited your organization?
“We’ve completely moved out of our offsite warehouse. They gave us the amount of cubic feet that we needed to get out of that rented warehouse, so less transportation, truck driving, and people to man the place. We’re completely out of that warehouse and our pick efficiency’s up! It’s been good.”
How long since AMH installed the new systems and how would you rate AMH’s service and support?
“We’ve had the products in for probably a year…had a couple small kinks from an IT standpoint. AMH was always extremely receptive and actually helped leverage their relationship with Kardex to get things done if we had any problems. It was never that we couldn’t get hold of AMH. They always stepped up to the plate and really held Kardex’s feet to the fire. AS/RS has probably been in about nine months. Same thing here…they were great. If we had any problems, issues, they held AS/RS’s feet to the fire. The mobile racks, we probably finished up about 3 months ago and haven’t had any problems with them yet, so all good.”
Now that you’ve been able to move out of your offsite facility and picking efficiency has improved, how does that translate into ROI?
“We shoot for 30% ROI and I don’t see why we won’t be able to pull that off. Our customer service level has increased considerably, especially since we got the Kardex, because we can pick, package and ship much faster than we could before. So, our overall customer satisfaction is up, too.”
Want to Improve Your Factory’s Picking Efficiency with Automated Solutions?
To learn more about how our automated solutions can help your factory improve picking efficiency, or if you need help solving a warehouse storage or inventory management issue, contact us today for a free on-site consultation.