Good to Grape: Welch's Juices up Its Inventory Management

Improving warehouse and inventory management operations creates efficiencies across a high-velocity nationwide supply chain


  • First, an excellent project implementation team led by Pat Anderson and Prasanth Vijayan.
  • Second, quick and accurate reaction by the TAKE development team. "The close connection between TAKE's project team and development team was outstanding," notes Conkling.
  • Third, the integration with Welch's ERP project team. "TAKE became part of our larger ERP implementation," explains Conkling. "They worked effectively with our ERP consultant team to develop win-win solutions for Welch's."


There were some challenges, however. The biggest related to the implementation of shipping and warehouse functions without implementing WMS. However, the teams were able to overcome this challenge. "The enhancements and flexibility of the TAKE Gemini software allowed us to develop several transaction processes that maximized our capabilities as efficiently as possible," explains Conkling.

Controlling Data Collection

Today, TAKE Supply Chain Gemini controls inventory data collection and management across Welch's entire line of juices, spreads and fruit products. Welch's has been able to improve operational control, inventory accuracy, visibility and order fulfillment by automating its processes across three production/warehousing locations nationwide. The system captures data across all plant functional areas, including receiving, processing, packaging, warehousing, maintenance and quality.

In specific, Gemini allows Welch's to trace lots and batches within 24 hours and provides over 99 percent visibility and over 99 percent inventory accuracy rates. According to Conkling, the four biggest benefits of Gemini are scalability, flexibility, efficiency and validation. "Gemini can be used to integrate both internal and external customers in our ERP system," he says. The use of profile options and configurations allows Welch's to configure the base software to meet specific business needs. In addition, the solution allows the company to minimize data entry requirements through concatenation and auto-populating. Finally, it validates data at the time of entry, minimizing errors and issues.

In addition, CLM allows Welch's to use mobile RF scanners to automatically and accurately record key transactions — such as inbound materials, receiving, inventory movements, production control of batch operations, quality control and outbound shipping — directly from the production shop floor. CLM also enables Welch's key suppliers to barcode all shipments. According to Conkling, since CLM is scalable, it can be used to integrate internal and external partners. "It is also easy to use," he says. "Our internal resources have used CLM as a platform to develop several new labels and transaction processes to meet customer needs."

One key focus for Welch's these days involves the integration of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and co-manufacturers into its ERP system. "We are currently implementing the Gemini and CLM solutions at some of our sites," says Conkling, adding, "The initial results have been encouraging." ¦

About the Author: William Atkinson is a freelance writer based in Carterville, Ill.

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