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06 Nov 2019

JDA WMS enables DCS business expansion with warehouse management solutions

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Health, beauty and household brands distributor DCS Group had outgrown its 11-acre site in Stratford-upon-Avon and opened a new facility in Banbury in 2017.

It made a significant investment in the new Banbury site with the new facility featuring a huge lorry parking area for 26 trucks and trailers and a new six fast-tracking loading bay allowing the DCS Group to handle an increased amount of volume.

The 200,000 sq ft distribution centre in Banbury needed a new and sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS) that would enable effective management of stock across both the new site and the existing Warwickshire premises, with full integration to the company’s ERP system. It was also critical that the new WMS could handle the increased level of order volume the company would now be operating with, including a new pharmaceutical division.

Key capabilities which needed to be delivered by the WMS included:

  • FEFO (first expired, first out) methodology: Being able to manage a FEFO stock rotation methodology was also particularly important in relation to product expiry dates being accommodated for.
  • Traceability: All products must be accompanied by a unique barcode number for traceability purposes. DCS Group needed a system that could keep such specific information about every individual product but also have this readily accessible at any one time, even after the product had left the premises.
  • Compliance – Good Distribution Practices: Ensuring product quality is maintained throughout the duration of the distribution process is essential. In addition to this, being able to trace and provide an audit of a products’ full 360˚ journey, including; specifically what happened to the item, who has been responsible for it and at what point and what equipment has been used in relation to the product.

Jorge Silva, IT director at DCS Group, said: “Sophisticated systems are essential when storing a variety of different products, each with their own unique requirements. Opening up a new distribution site and moving into Pharma meant we had to invest in our WMS to provide a best in class solution for our clients, using the best software available”

Solutions Delivered by JDA and Socius24

The DCS Group selected JDA WMS as their WMS, implementing the system at their Banbury site. JDA WMS scored higher than any alternative solution on DCS Group’s functional requirements grid and in particular, was able to support the company’s scale and bespoke requirements.

Socius24 was chosen based on their deep understanding of the JDA WMS solution and also because of their extensive experience of warehouse operations. The entire project from project management and training to installation was provided by Socius24, including after service support.

  • Upgrade to JDA WMS at original Warwickshire site: Socius24 initially upgraded the original Warwickshire distribution facility to the then current version of JDA WMS, so that it would integrate with their new ERP system.
  • Install JDA WMS at Banbury Distribution Centre: JDA WMS was installed into the new Banbury site, including configuration of their user defined requirements
  • Socius24 User Service Portal (USP): To provide DCS Group customers with access to more information on their orders, Socius24 implemented their User Service Portal (USP) application.
  • Training Workshops, service support: Training was provided by Socius24, ensuring that everyone felt comfortable using the new system. Since go-live, Socius24 has provided ongoing support.
  • Outcome: JDA WMS and Socius24’s User Service Portal now run the entire warehouse operation at DCS Group, Banbury.

Since the implementation, DCS Group has seen:

  • Improved Productivity: DCS Group are now able to accommodate a throughput of product with greater scalability– with the system managing full end to end processes.
  • Increased Access to Information: Managing everything through one system has resulted in bespoke reporting and analysis, making it easier for Warehouse Managers to have full control of their operations.
  • Increased Access to Information: Managing everything through one system has resulted in bespoke reporting and analysis, making it easier for Warehouse Managers to have full control of their operations.
  • Compliance: Audit trails are now readily available, allowing all areas of the business to have full visibility of each product’s journey through the warehouse.
  • Real-Time Information: Real-time alerts allow Managers and Warehouse Operatives to monitor their key processes and intervene before performance thresholds are breached

Jorge Silva, IT director at DCS Group, said: “Socius24’s product knowledge and industry knowledge is excellent. Our experience with other projects has shown other companies don’t match this. We always felt Socius24 were there to support us – even after Go-Live.”

Socius24’s expertise comes from their involvement in the design and development of the original RedPrairie solution, which enables it to fast-track deployment and ensure that clients use its capabilities to the full. This reduces the cost and risk of deployment, leveraging a broad set of pre-built templates and plug-ins, allowing their customers to quickly gain the functionality they require.

Benefits of this solution include:

  • User Friendly Interface: A user-friendly interface that is tailored to your business with extra functionality available as you grow at a national or global level.
  • Traceability: Traceability is critical for some industries, so you will know where your stock is from and information about serial numbers, expiry dates. This all helps particularly if there is a need for a batch recall.
  • Increased Visibility: Increased visibility of your inventory from the moment it enters your warehouse or is manufacture, to the point of sale.
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