When the Eagle landed at PaulB Wholesale, it wasn’t long before Latitude arrived to help it soar.
The Epicor Eagle is a retail business management system that helps manage inventory, customer contacts, vendors, price changes and more. Latitude is a warehouse management system that creates real-time control of inventory accuracy and cycle counting.
Epicor Eagle and Latitude were “married” here so that the inventory-locating muscle of the Eagle got a boost from the inventory-depth of Latitude. It was the first custom integration of its kind, and in-house customization tailored capabilities even more.
Eagle manages inventory and Latitude boosts the ordering process of that inventory. In the end, it means that customers of PaulB Wholesale can expect stellar efficiency and accuracy when it comes to fulfillment, including logistics.
Another improvement will be quite noticeable when it comes time for the yearly inventory count. With these systems integrated, there will be no need for an annual physical inventory.
Before the new systems were installed, “we would shut down during that time,” said Jim Hostetter, PaulB Wholesale president. “It would be ‘All Hands on Deck.’ It was horribly inaccurate and we would just be blitzing to get it done.”
The integration requires associates to scan items and then match the items to their bins, which are also scanned. It sets up a pick path.
“This offers real-time inventory to our sales folks,” Hostetter explained. “The old system didn’t post all the ships until the end of the day.” That lag time is now eliminated.
The pick path also enables associates to pack more orders per day. Every item is scanned; no writing is necessary.
“Latitude has unlimited bin location. You know how many products are in every bin at any time. You can run reports to fill that bin from secondary bins. It records multi-stock locations.
“We can do more with the same staff, so we’ll be able to grow without adding people,” Hostetter added. In the end, it lessens overhead.
Eventually, the system integration will enable metrics to reveal the production per man, per line, per day. It will also enable staff to scan items onto trucks for delivery, and off the trucks for confirmation of delivery.
One less important benefit: PaulB Wholesale will be able to track the whereabouts of its gray, heavy-duty delivery boxes that sometimes end up missing. (It was once discovered that a customer had borrowed a gray tote as a bed for a pet.)
The new system is easily learned, according to staff.
“The learning curve for a new shipper goes from 2 weeks to 2 days,” Hostetter added.