RIF Logistics, a rapidly expanding third party logistics (3PL) business headquartered in Bedfordshire, has started to streamline operations and improve efficiencies after implementing a new warehouse management system (WMS) from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The company, which saw business grow by 40% in 2013, began to roll out the system in March 2014, and will be fully live this summer.
RIF Logistics staff will use the WMS, which also includes a 3PL customer web portal and a billing module, to manage the warehouse stock selection process and to automate a number of key processes such as shipping and stock handling. Other benefits include two-way traceability and enhanced management of information.
The complete system is expected to deliver a return on investment in around six months and will help drive further growth.
Dominic Bacon, Managing Director of RIF Logistics, said: "Having a superior market leading WMS in place will enable us to capitalise on e-commerce growth.
"We have investigated a number of warehouse management system providers and Advanced’s WMS stood out from the competition. It will provide us with a solid platform to serve customers more efficiently, win new business and grow, but importantly, without having to take on new staff.
"Investing in the new system was largely decided by the benefits of automation – streamlining our internal procedures, making the whole end to end process more efficient – key to any 3PL environment where there is a process to undertake. If you can take steps out of that process, it becomes quicker, more efficient, and effectively lets you do so much more, and we are already starting to see these benefits."
RIF has also implemented Advanced’s 3PL web portal, OpenWMS Portal, which allows customers to keep closer tabs on their stock handling and replenishment, and to access order delivery details remotely. Additionally, RIF will be using Advanced’s billing module, which is expected to save the business many man hours.
Bacon says: "The new billing module will give our customers peace of mind that they are being charged correctly, and that’s invaluable. It will also save significant time in terms of administration, particularly data recording which the module can manage automatically. We will be able to quickly produce the statistics for the billing spreadsheet, which presently requires a member of staff delegated to tally all orders on a daily basis.
"In terms of the overall process it will halve the workload, freeing up staff to do more useful work elsewhere and provide more accuracy. A manual system always has a margin for error which is eliminated by automation."