Laboratory products supplier Camlab has slashed inventory costs and achieved 99 per cent stock accuracy with warehouse management solutions from Balloon One. In 12 months, this saved Camlab £100,000 in stock costs. Camlab expects to use the software to reduce stock holdings further while maintaining customer service excellence.
Camlab has been trading for more than 60 years. In 2007, it acquired Patterson Scientific and increased its total inventory to 55,000 SKUs (stock units). This enabled customers to procure everything from a single source but it presented a major warehouse management challenge to the company’s original computer system.
Camlab replaced its ageing computer system with a SAP Business One enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Although the new ERP software offered a warehouse management module, Camlab recognised that it would not perform the job it needed for managing such a massive number of product lines.
"Our SAP partner recommended Balloon One as our warehouse IT partner. The company has significant and demonstrable expertise in integrating warehouse management systems with SAP. Its radio-frequency warehouse management system offered the flexibility, accuracy and speed we needed to automate the warehouse for maximising efficiency and reducing operational costs. The system quickly provided 95 per cent accuracy, which was a big leap forward for us and now we consistently achieve over 99 per cent accuracy. The annual stock take is a thing of the past as we now have a perpetual inventory allowing full and instant visibility of stock and stocking levels," said Rowan Maulder, Marketing Director, Camlab.
Camlab takes a scientific approach to inventory planning by using an artificial intelligence-based tool from Balloon One. Within six months, the software helped the company to reduce stock by almost 10 per cent, which paid for the software. It also reduced dead and inactive inventory by 50 per cent and increased weekly productivity by 75 per cent. The software analyses every single product line – numbers of items, turnover, buying patterns and supply.
"The software allows us to drive service levels and manage our costs. It has given us a clear view of our inventory and allows us to take firm control by helping to balance the stock and reduce stock holding. A year ago, we held £750,000 of stock and now it is nearer £650,000 while maintaining satisfaction levels. It is a brilliant piece of software," said Rowan Maulder.