To meet growing current and predicted sales Home Creations decided to review the automation of their picking and despatch processes during the second quarter of 2006.
Having reviewed proposals and presentation from a number of suppliers, Home Creations proceeded with the Aspin MiniPick Warehouse Management Software, going live in September 2006. This was the beginning of their peak dispatch period, during which MiniPick was able to provide an immediate benefit.
In January 2007 Aspin talked to Ian Travis, Home Creations's Managing Director, about MiniPick; why they chose it and what they hope to gain from it in the future.
What was the drive behind your reviewing the use of a handheld Warehouse Management application in your warehouse?
We wanted to increase the accuracy of the goods-out process in the warehouse and as such we needed to reduce the human element within the process.
What specific areas of your operation were you looking to improve?
Our main focus was on picking, packing and dispatch. Primarily we wanted to reduce the likelihood of items being missed off orders, the wrong items being sent out or even orders being misplaced.
Has the MiniPick software achieved what you had hoped?
Very much so, picking accuracy has improved significantly in just a couple of months and we hope to see further improvements as MiniPick is settled in over the coming year. We implemented MiniPick not just for our current operational size, but also in anticipation of growing sales over the next two to three years. As such we regard this as a pre-emptive implementation which will enable us to be proactive rather than reactive. With MiniPick in place, our warehouse team are confident that they will be able to cope with the expected influx of orders.
Have there been any un-expected benefits?
What surprised us most was how straight-forward it was to setup MiniPick, it worked out of the box. The MiniPick graphical interface is clear and has a very modern intuitive feel. This has allowed the warehouse team to get to grips with the software with relative ease.
However there are benefits yet to come. For instance, we are looking forward to the addition of the MiniPick goods-in module which will help to deal with the receipt of goods into the warehouse.
Are you satisfied with the hardware you are using with MiniPick?
Following the recommendation of Aspin, we rolled out Symbol PPT8800 rugged handheld terminals. To date these have proved to be well suited to the demands of our warehouse. Later in the year we expect to our increase our number of users and will again use the Symbol devices without hesitation.
How have you found working with Aspin as your software partner?
Aspin have been very friendly, easy to talk to and approachable. They initially worked closely with us to scope out our requirements and helped to identify a number of processes which could have easily been overlooked.
The project implementation was managed with a high degree of professionalism and everything that was asked for, both before and after going live, was delivered promptly and as required. Aspin provided comprehensive training and support on-site and over the phone to both the warehouse staff and the customer services team. That said you don’t need to be a techie to run MiniPick, having been proved to work well for non-technical people.
Home Creations is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of home fashions. Their products include designer ranges of table and bathroom textiles, offering exciting and colourful themes to make that lifestyle statement. Based in Manchester, England, Home Creations supplies leading UK names in various retail sectors including: Store Group, Home Shopping, DIY, and Independent Retail.Sales are driven from a number of different channels including a field-based sales force.