Global Industrial Case Study

global-industrial-case-study

Quote

“When I found LoadProof, It is a giant relief, I did not have to reinvent the wheel, we save 80 labor man hours per week by using LoadProof. We started using for Outbound shipments first, from the benefits we have seen, we have started using it for Inbound as well for Returns – YOU CANNOT ARGUE WITH PICTURES” – Greg Wiltse, Senior IT Manager, Global Industrial.

Transcript

Puga – 

Greg, thank you very much for taking the time to help with this interview and this is very useful for us,  because once we use this all the time, how did it get started what was the problem that you guys were trying to solve what was the frustration,  how did that you guys were trying to  start using LoadProof.

Greg – 

So we actually like to take pictures of our outbound shipments so that our customers know how they left our facility that and if they show up and they look kind of sketchy, then we can show them a picture and say look at when it left the building, it looked like this it showed up and looks like a pain. Then we need to talk to the carrier, not us. Now we actually had been doing these pictures for about 10 or 12 years

Puga – 

Okay 

Greg – 

And the way we were doing it is, we had an application on a workstation that used an imaging scanner so an old symbol scanner, we usually scan a barcode, we would then switch the mode of the scanner to camera and then it would take a picture and print out a very dark very difficult to see black and white image

Puga  – 

yeah 

Greg – 

so that worked for a while but when it was 10 or 12 years ago and technology’s changed a little bit so instead of a 2 pixel camera we have these 16 gigabit pixel cameras in your phone so people started asking questions if there was somehow we could upgrade it so we took better pictures and make it mobile. So we poked around with the idea of actually writing our own, again as we had done the first time and the gentleman who was doing that was having difficulty, so I just got online and stumbled across you guys and said hey these guys have already solved our problem, there’s no need for us to worry about it anymore. Let’s just call. So we actually had a process for taking pictures like I said about outbound shipments. We just needed to make it way better and you guys, your product did that there for us so we just gave up all development and bought tablets and signed up with you guys.

Puga – 

Fantastic, fantastic, that’s great  the feeling that when you looking for something and then it comes  it runs into you or you run into it that’s that’s great

Greg – 

yeah it’s a giant relief when you can go full and, I do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Puga – 

no wonder, so you guys know obviously ran into LoadProof and then what did you guys do, how did you know this is what we need and we need this 

Greg – 

We sent an email, we sent an email obviously to inquire as to how it worked I don’t remember the nice gentleman’s name but he called us back almost immediately, we set up a demonstration, we went through everything and we said that solves probably 95, 98 percent of our problems so we we said let’s go ahead and do it and we did and the only thing that we got from you guys and I think you guys were already in development as it worked on like Android phones but it didn’t work on Android tablets.

Puga – 

okay 

 

Greg –

so you guys had this, you guys had to spin up a new app for the App Store for us to download the tablet version and once we did we are off and running

Puga – 

got it got it got it ,perfect and from that day on you’ve been using it ever since

Greg –

yes and using it continually, it’s actually it’s proven so useful that they now use it in the returns department to take pictures of stuff that comes back to us has, returned so when the customer says why did I only get 90 percent of the value, we can show them the picture and say well this is what you sent us you see that you’re missing in the original packaging. You’re missing the box of screws you’re missing 12 or 14 parts we can basically document any sort of question, we’ll return so that when we don’t give full credit, we have full documentation when the customer asks

Puga – 

So just do a quick step back what what exactly is the business that you guys are supporting obviously you’re supporting from IT perspective right 

Greg –

right so Global Equipment is a company that’s been around about 70 years and what it sells is warehousing supplies, so we sell  like swamp coolers or giant fans pallet jacks everything, in between gloves to keep your hands, clean gloves so you can grip stuff heaters for the winter, shrink-wrap if it gets used in a warehousing environment, the global equipment sells

Puga – 

Got it, got it and you’re supporting from an IT perspective you’re providing all the tools that the managers, the operators everybody use

Greg –

I am in charge of all of the IT software that Global uses to ship from their five US and two Canadian DC’s so the orders come to me from  wherever the salespeople got them and then I’m in charge of all the software that make sure they get picked back and shipped and sent to the customers as quickly and nicely as possible 

Puga – 

okay so I mean  this is a different note I normally I talk to the  warehouse managers those are the people, this is an interesting scenario for us because obviously you guys know from IT perspective you have to support your end-users so what are the areas where you guys found the most value typically what we see is there is an outbound scenario and inbound scenario and then all these these people right, once there’s something goes wrong there is a claim then the then there is a chargeback. We spend a lot of time figuring out within the operations team “hey how did this happen, why did this happen where to drop the ball they talk about all those things like that. What are some of the areas that you guys were the most while you were able to solve the challenges very well?

Greg – 

The single biggest area for us is our outbound shipments, probably we ship I want to say about 60% of our product via UPS the other 40% are all LTL shipments that are either in the floor loaded strapped pallets, so it’s very important to us to get pictures of those things as they’re loaded on the truck so like I said when the pallet shows up and  let’s say it was a stack of pallet jacks and the truck pulls into the receiving customer and they find pallet jacks all over the back of the truck like Legos, they’ll call us and tell us that we’re horrible because we don’t package things correctly at which point we can actually say no here’s all the pictures from where we loaded it with the carrier they chose that made the mess. 

I don’t, so that’s where it saves us.  You can’t argue with pictures, people will try but you can say look when it left the building see how nice and mean it was packaged and it was all scrapped and everything looks good so if you look like you’ve got your son’s room in the back of that truck you need to talk to the delivery driver not us.

Puga –

Great example yeah, that makes sense so that’s out bound and you also mentioned,

Greg – 

We started inbound probably six months ago I guess, they were having a lot of questions about returns coming in for customers  where a customer would ship back like I said primarily what we get back is as kits that are missing some of the parts the customer will send back 14 of 15 parts but the 15 part is the important part so we can lay it all out we can take a picture and say hey look this is what we received from you you can either send us the 15th part or we’ll have to Bill you for the missing part and give you credit for that which we receive.

Puga – 

yeah yeah so is that is that the parcel scenario or it’s both parcels and LTL scenario 

Greg –

it covers both 

Puga – 

Okay so that means you are picking, taking pictures, taking the increased volume because you’re  initiating from the outbound perspective only. You are doing only LTL right pictures

Greg – 

Correct and then we increased it by starting to take pictures of our inbound Freight also customers look at stuff

 

Puga – 

I know in the e-commerce world  that returns percentage is pretty high, it’s likely to be called e commerce a necessary evil sorry, it turns as a natural evil  

Greg –

it is, it does not produce any income therefore nobody wants to pay any attention to it 

Puga – 

Exactly exactly so just curious from your returns perspective what percent of returns you guys get and  how much you know

Greg –

I honestly don’t know what the percentage of returns, my job is focused as you just said on the outbound because that’s where the money’s made and the returns is a necessary evil so nobody’s asked me to go back and look okay I’m sure somebody in customer service or management knows exactly what the percentage is for our returns but that’s not something I’ve ever been curious about

Puga – 

So talk about the transformation rate, I mean how is it before using the LoadProof and then you guys started using LoadProof and how did your life change and what got better LoadProof 

Greg – 

Before LoadProof as I said the picture was from a 12 year old piece of technology printing out on 2 by 4 label out of a diamel printer for me and there were three fixed stations and every DC can be devoted, you could take the picture, so you have to picture of us preparing let’s say somebody ordered enough stuff that they have a full truckload of 26 pallets. 

Now you’ve got a picture somebody dragging twenty six pallets one at a time, over to the workstation technique, picture dragging that pallet back getting the second one and then repeating this whole process 26 times. 

With you guys we have it all on a tablet, so once it’s all ready to go he just walks along and takes pictures of them as they’re going on the truck, and when he’s done there’s no walking there’s no moving you can take pictures right where. The other benefit is since we are not so well we’re supplying the tablets but since we don’t have to set up more printers, more hand scanners and things of that sort we are only limited by the number of scanners. So every DC started with five and they’ve been leased with it and the volumes increased to such a degree that I believe every DC has added an additional five reasons. We went from an initial five to everybody having ten, there was no additional cost and software obviously and then there was just the cost of the tablets. Thanks to Amazon you can now get any kind of tablet you want for just about any price you’re willing to pay

Puga –

yeah okay 

Greg –

So it was very easy to expand and it streamlines the whole process and saved  hours per week in picture-taking.

Puga – 

okay okay fantastic so would you recommend, we know when somebody’s on the fence “hey should I use LoadProof what do you recommend, what are your thoughts on that?

Greg – 

If I am given the opportunity and somebody says do you have a solution for this problem I most full heartedly would recommend you guys I have no problems, no qualms about it you guys solved, like I said you’ve solved a lot of stuff and saved us a lot of time 

Puga – 

Okay and  just a ballpark how much  dollar savings  LoadProof resulted from wherever you guys where and after you switch to LoadProof

Greg – 

That’s something that I also don’t know because I don’t know the cost, what is it the there’s a term for it man hours

Puga –

I think labor cost, 

Greg – 

Labor cost something, I don’t know it’s a cost per hour per employee, so I don’t know that cost and we didn’t do a time study beforehand but  it’d be easy to say that  in every DC we’re saving probably 70 to 80 hours per week, Which is basically the equivalent of two employees  whatever two employees costs our company we save every week just with streamlining the process 

Puga –

Well that’s two employees for one warehouse I mean it’s a fully-loaded it’s at least $25 per hour that’s like a $50,000 per year

Greg –

Yep it’s a very significant savings for us for a minimal investment.

Puga –

Okay got it okay perfect perfect awesome, this is great.


Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 50 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard and video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at www.smartgladiator.com. Also follow him at www.pugasankara.com.

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