Leveraging expertise for high-ROI modifications and integrations creates time, cost and labor savings
Organization: Beaver Street Fisheries
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Industry: Wholesale Seafood Distribution
- For more than 60 years, Beaver Street Fisheries has been a leading importer, manufacturer and distributor of quality seafood products from the USA and around the world.
- Beaver Street’s Bahamas-based sister company processes and packages seafood products for global markets and provide wholesale goods to the local food service industry.
- In addition to wholesale seafood, Beaver Street Fisheries offers retail seafood specialty items under the Sea Best brand.
Business Benefits Realized
- Streamlining the order fulfillment process has reduced 40-person warehouse shifts in Jacksonville by 2-3 hours each day for a savings of more than 20,000 work hours annually.
- Decreasing time-to-pick has reduced 65-person warehouse shifts in the Bahamas by 3-4 hours each day for a savings of more than 50,000 work hours annually.
- Increasing order picking accuracy and improving pallet sequencing has reduced manual processes, lost inventory and shipping errors, resulting in cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.
- Improving manufacturing inventory visibility for ingredients has created better lot traceability, more production uptime and better purchase forecasting.
- Integrating retail operations in the Bahamas with WMS software has resulted in significant improvements to inventory visibility and an improved order fulfillment process.
- Adding one-stop lot traceability and recall visibility reduces time needed to track a lot or perform a recall from 4-8 hours to just minutes.
As a leading distributor of wholesale seafood products for more than seven decades, Beaver Street Fisheries has become adept at evolving and improving. Today, what started as a small family-owned business has grown into a company of more than 400 employees providing quality products to the food service industry and the retail market. As a result, the company had long outgrown its homegrown, largely paper-based warehouse management system and decided the time was right to invest in top-tier Warehouse Management System (WMS) software.
“We have two operations, one in Florida and one in the Bahamas, and there wasn’t enough time in the day to keep up with demand using our paper-based order picking process,” says Beaver Street Fisheries Chief Information Officer Scott Lane. “In addition, we wanted the increased visibility and product tracking capabilities that WMS could provide.”
The company chose to implement JDA RedPrairie WMS software without any initial modifications. “Though this isn’t the typical path for implementation, it was the right decision for our business because it forced us to update our processes to fit a more standard workflow and helped us ensure that when we did do modifications down the line they were cost-effective and made sense for our operation,” says Lane.
Learn More About BSF & JDA WMS
After taking some time to adapt to the new software, leaders at Beaver Street began to develop a better understanding of what customizations they might need to get the most out of their WMS software investment. They enlisted the help of a consultant to make some needed changes to the work order system in Jacksonville – but ran into a series of dead ends.
“We needed better visibility of our inventory for manufacturing and it seemed natural to bring that into WMS,” says Lane. “The consultant we were using initially had some good ideas for screens to forecast shortages and input orders, but they worked for several months and couldn’t get it right.”
Frustrated by the delays, Lane finally asked for a fresh set of eyes – and was introduced to North Carolina-based supply chain software consultant Accelogix. The company flew one of their experts down to Jacksonville, and after spending less than a day onsite not only was the new work order management system integration complete, but several other needed changes had been made as well. Immediately, the work order customizations created improved manufacturing inventory visibility, better lot traceability, more production uptime and better purchase forecasting.
“We instantly realized Accelogix was a partner whose expertise allowed them to jump in and deliver a solution quickly and cost-effectively – they understood that we were running a live business and couldn’t afford to wait weeks or months for a solution,” says Lane.
A Proven Partner
Following the success of the initial project, Beaver Street asked Accelogix to help them determine how to better use JDA RedPrairie WMS at its sister company in the Bahamas. “Though we were able to use JDA in Jacksonville effectively with relatively few modifications, our operation in the Bahamas was in need of much more customization,” says Lane. “One of the biggest challenges was that we run a retail store for the local food service and hospitality industry from within our Bahamas warehouse, which was operating completely outside WMS and negatively impacting our inventory accuracy. However, we had been told that integrating this operation into WMS would be cost-prohibitive.”
Accelogix sent two of its JDA software experts to conduct a site assessment, and the team quickly identified a number of improvements that could yield a high return on investment: WMS integration with a homegrown inventory-tracking system, recording of weight-tracked items in WMS, improvements to the list-picking process and integration of the wholesale retail operation into WMS.
During the months that followed, Accelogix began to make many of the recommended customizations – and Beaver Street began to reap the benefits of a much more robust and functional WMS. “What impressed us about Accelogix was that they never rushed to push us into a high-cost solution,”says Lane. “They took the time to understand what was causing our headaches and offer solutions, and then helped us find the most sensible solution that solved our business challenges in the most cost-effective way.”
Maximizing Their Investment
For Beaver Street Fisheries, the partnership with Accelogix has delivered significant business benefits. The supply chain and order picking efficiencies created by the JDA WMS along with the software enhancements from Accelogix have shaved 2-3 hours a day off daily 40-person warehouse shifts in Jacksonville and 3-4 hours a day off daily 65-person warehouse shifts in the Bahamas for a total savings of more than 70,000 work hours each year. In addition to impressive labor savings, these efficiencies provide much-needed bandwidth to accommodate the company’s ongoing growth.
Beaver Street executives say they’ve also benefitted from Accelogix’s ability to suggest customizations that can make a big impact, often at a relatively low cost. For example, the addition of single screen to access all lot traceability and recall information has shortened the time needed to track a lot from four or more hours to just minutes while minimizing risk and providing greater peace of mind. Integrating the retail operation in the Bahamas with WMS has not only improved inventory accuracy, it’s also greatly reduced the need for – and expense of – physical inventory counts. And along with time and cost savings, list picking improvements have resulted in greater customer satisfaction by reducing shipping errors and lost items.
“Accelogix has created countless efficiencies for our business, often through small changes,” says Lane. “Along the way, they’ve become much more than a vendor for us – they’re an extension of our own team. Most vendors are focused on simply selling a solution and making additional service money after the fact, but with Accelogix you have a partner who is focused on understanding what you truly need and working to find the most cost-effective way to meet those needs.”