Fibre-Craft Tackles WMS

Implementing warehouse management system to respond better to changing customer demand

Hampton, NH  October 10, 2002  Craft specialist Fibre-Craft Materials is moving to implement a warehouse management system (WMS) from Lilly Software in a bid to better manage its inventory and to react cost-effectively to changing customer demand.

Located in Niles, Ill., Fibre-Craft markets its craft supplies, dolls, floral and decorative accessories to mass market retail outlets around the world. With worldwide sales, Fibre-Craft handles high business volumes and must turnaround orders rapidly.

Striving for continuous improvement, the company has made many strategic decisions over recent years, but it has left processes in the warehouse untouched. After designing a five year growth plan, Fibre-Craft realized its existing warehouse system was becoming harder to maintain as the company expanded. It needed a WMS.

"We decided that our warehouse operations needed a software solution that would enable us to manage growth, control costs and automate tasks, while also meeting the ever-increasing demands of the marketplace," explained Bob Reszke, director of operations at Fibre-Craft. "We are importers in the craft industry, and our customers are typically mass merchants. As we grow, we want to be able to handle customer compliance requirements in our distribution center. We were looking for a system with built-in flexibility so we can accommodate the needs of new accounts."

Fibre-Craft examined a variety of WMS providers before deciding on Lilly's VISUAL DCMS for its price and functionality.

Lilly said that VISUAL DCMS, part of its VISUAL Enterprise product line, helps companies optimize their inventory flows, plan labor and manage resources in the warehouse. It offers execution-based management tools and uses radio frequency barcode scanners for real-time data collection. It also incorporates relational database technology, which allows companies to manage inventory throughout the distribution cycle.

"Right now, we spend a lot of time controlling our inventory and checking activity on the floor," said Reszke. "With features such as the DC Window, I will be able to easily view order progress and understand what is going on in the warehouse at a glance. We're looking forward to having tools that allow us to expertly track inventory and see the big picture."

Fibre-Craft is counting on the new system to help improve order accuracy and order management. The company was set to begin implementation of VISUAL DCMS this month.