As a wholesaler and distributor of Food products, it is vital for Epicurium to manage their daily warehouse operations as effectively as possible. Essential to this both as a legal requirement and in order to offer the best service to their fulfilment customers is retaining end-to-end traceability of every single item that they ship. Being under strict regulations, Epicurium need to ensure that they are able to pick the correct batches, check the correct batches are being put in those orders and still trace the stock once it has gone out.
With the business quickly taking off, Epicurium decided to implement OrderWise not too long after they founded in late 2009, with the aim to introduce better processes before the everyday running of operations became difficult to control. To find out how OrderWise has helped with this, we spoke to Ben McKechnie, Director of Epicurium, who took the time to tell us how OrderWise has helped the company to both effectively manage their traceability requirements and also streamline their warehouse operations.
The OrderWise Warehouse Management Solution
Thanks to the functionality available within OrderWise, Epicurium have been able to achieve a way of working that drives both accuracy and efficiency into every aspect of their fulfilment. Most importantly though, Ben explained how OrderWise has been able to implement these more enhanced stock management processes while also retaining controlled management of their batch traceability requirements.
“I honestly don’t know how we’d manage our batch traceability without OrderWise. Any other system would just leave too much margin for error but our pick notes tells us to pick that particular product, of that batch, with that expiry date. So the warehouse staff can be 99.9% certain once they’ve picked it that the right batch has gone out.”
With the stock traceability provided by OrderWise offering Epicurium the ability to know that the right products have been shipped, in-turn this has also enabled them to provide better service to their customers too. Ben explained that as they have a full audit trail of all items that they have despatched, when a customer queries their order, all they have to do is track the items they’ve had into the business and use this trail to find out when it was eventually sent.
“There has been several times where a customer has called us up and said “I’ve received my order but I’m missing this item” – we’ve been able to look back through OrderWise, see that the warehouse has checked off the correct batch, so we’re sure it’s gone out. We can then go back to the customer and say “can you just double check what you’ve received?” and sure enough, probably nine times out of ten, they’ll come back and say they’ve found it.”
However this traceability and pick accuracy isn’t just important to Epicurium from a customer service perspective. As they are offering a fulfilment service, Epicurium need to be able to accurately charge their customers based on the number of products they have despatched on their behalf in an average month. Thanks to their high pick accuracy and OrderWise’s extensive suite of over 200 standard reports, Ben said that Epicurium can always be sure that they are invoicing customers correctly.
“With OrderWise, we simply need to run off a report that says we’ve sent out X thousand items as part of X hundred orders in any one month and we can get the information we need.”
However OrderWise hasn’t just helped Epicurium with the accuracy of their despatch process but also the speed as well. By being able to set up walk routes so that pickers move through the warehouse in the most efficient manner, Ben explained that they’ve been able to get their high order volumes out the door in rapid fashion.
“With OrderWise we have pick bays set with the walk routes, which tells the warehouse staff to pick in the correct order so that they’re not going from place to place, instead they’re going in consecutive pick bins. That I would say is crucial because until we introduced that, pickers would be walking from one end of the pick bay to another – so that has really improved the pick speeds.”
Also helping to hasten Epicurium’s despatch process is the efficiency at which they can produce documentation with OrderWise. By having a fully integrated solution that is also linked to their courier providers, everything for Epicurium is kept streamlined and they no longer have to rely on rekeying data across multiple systems in order to generate all the documents they need. This is something in particular that Ben says has allowed Epicurium to save a lot of time.
“If that were a manual process, we’d have to put in all the details manually, print out the delivery notes manually and also create the courier labels manually, which would take a long, long time! I would say if our average order now takes around two and a half minutes with OrderWise, it would probably take 10 or 15 minutes if everything were a manual process – that’s a hell of a difference.”
So with OrderWise able to help Epicurium handle their traceability requirements, streamline their warehouse operations, keep costs low and increase profitability, it is clear that choosing OrderWise was indeed the right decision.
For more information on Epicurium, you can visit their website: www.epicurium.co.uk