The Finish Line Inc. WMS Snafu

Finish Line Inc. the athletic retailer recently reported that they will be closing 25% of its stores after a deep quarterly loss due to a botched upgrade of its WMS.

This is a cautionary tale that no one wants to hear, but it can become a reality when a rigorous software vendor selection process coupled with detailed planning, configuration and implementation of warehouse management systems is not taken FinishLine-WMS

The Finish Line estimates the issue with their warehouse management and fulfillment system cost it $32 million in lost sales and led to a sales decline of 9.8 percent during October and November. They also incurred approximately $5 million of incremental IT and shipping costs trying to fix the problem.

“In October, we began experiencing issues flowing fresh inventory into our stores as well as fulfilling online orders as the new system was unable to process freight at volumes necessary to support our sales plans,” said The Finish Line Chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon.

Shipments from warehouses to stores plunged 25 % compared with the same period a year earlier. As a result, the amount of new merchandise on store shelves was about $41 million, or 14 percent less, on average throughout the quarter compared with a year earlier.

When selecting a warehouse managment system a thorough vetting process is critical. Also to ensure a successful implementation make sure you have team members with WMS experience or have logistics consultants to help you through the process and invest in the proper training. There are plenty of trusted logistics software companies out in the market but being sure to find the right solution to properly meet your specific needs and that can be used effectively by your staff is critical.

WMS RFP Template

If you are in the market for upgraded warehouse management software, then the first thing you need to put together is an RFP to determine what vendor might be the best fit for your needs. For many people (even incredibly experienced people in logistics IT) they might not even know where to start.

With this free 2009 Warehouse Management RFP template offered from High Jump Software you can get a head start on how to select a WMS vendor. Now one would ask why would I want a 2009 Warehouse Management RFP template when I can get a 2012 RFP template, or even 2013 WMS RFP template? The reason is that many experts say that RFP templates written in 2009 are superior in quality as it was a hallmark year in RFP template writing history. Okay I made that up, but seriously if you are trying to put together a logistics software RFP then you might find it helpful to check this out.

Download the Free Warehouse Management RFP Template from HighJump Software

Third Party Warehousing: Adding Value & Complexity

The majority of 3PL service providers today cite reducing operating expenses as the dominant pressure facing their warehouse operations. In this free logistics whitepaper, Aberdeen focuses on insights from 51 3PLs whose offerings include warehousing services and explores how they are coping with current economic conditions.

This free logistics white paper covers:

  • What makes the best-in-class 3PLs leaders in their respective fields and what capabilities they use to achieve superior results.
  • Case Study examples in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
  • How other enterprises and 3PLs are upgrading and enhancing their internal processes and capabilities and to add value to their client companies.
  • Outlook and goals best-in-class companies have charted for 2010 and beyond—both to improve their service/cost offering and to examine the pros and cons of outsourcing some or all of their warehousing operations.

Get FREE Third Party Warehousing Whitepaper

5 Key Steps to Optimize Warehouse Management

In these challenging economic times, it is not surprising that managers across all areas of supply chain are being asked to do more with less. In fact, 51% of respondents are feeling the pressure to manage change without increasing staffing or warehouse space.

Learn the 5 Key Steps for 3PL, logistics and supply chain professionals to consider through 2010 in this free report from the Aberdeen Group. [Read more…]

Reasons to Outsource Warehousing

Is your company currently managing their own warehousing operations or are you a startup business looking to enter into a new market? Whether to outsource to a third party logistics company or to run your operations in-house is an important decision. Here is a list of reasons to consider outsourcing warehousing. [Read more…]

Warehousing in the Future

When I started working in the logistics industry I had the great opportunity of attending an education seminar taught by Ken Ackerman, a respected logistics consultant and one of the premier writers and thinkers in the warehousing and logistics industry.

I was just looking through some old articles the other day and came across a great interview with Ken that delves into how to got into logistics consulting and how he saw the warehousing and logistics industry changing in the future. [Read more…]

Warehouse Managers at 3pls

In the final stages of selecting a third party logistics provider for high volume programs, the director of logistics or operations manager will typically travel to conduct facility visits of 3pls that make the company’s short list. This gives an opportunity to meet with the providers face to face, see how they run their day to day operations, and get better insight into each logistics company’s strengths and weaknesses. [Read more…]

Flexible Warehousing & Logistics Solutions

The big buzzword sometimes used by marketing folks in the logistics industry is “flexible warehousing.” For those of you who are new to third party logistics or are still in the discovery phase of outsourcing part or all of the management of your company’s supply chain I thought I would provide a description of the phase and how it can help you.

Flexible Warehousing
Many warehousing companies tend to use “flexible warehousing” as a way to describe their main benefit to potential customers.

If I were to pick one of the biggest advantages of outsourcing to a third party logistics provider I definitely would say its the flexibility they provide.

By flexibility they mean the ability to alter your logistics program to fit your current needs at any moment. By the business quarter, by the month, by season etc.. [Read more…]