From Shenzhen to Stores in the U.S.

How Bakers Footwear increased volume and saved time

The first containers are being off-loaded in the United States following a major rollout of IES technology in Shenzhen. This launch has resulted in a 63 percent increase in volume and 50 percent time savings versus the same period in the previous year. The Bakers Footwear fall lineup is scheduled to be in stores ahead of their competitors’ fall season debut.

“The Bakers fall line premieres in the first week of August,” explains Charlie Kantz, Vice President of Logistics/Warehousing at St. Louis-based Bakers Footwear Group. “In order to have the products in the stores on schedule, we had an enormous challenge to reduce lead times in China from a week and a half to just one week. We were clearly up against a major deadline crunch. After close examination of existing processes, it was established that the most viable way to achieve our goals was to move goods through our Shenzhen facility at a faster rate.

“The expertise of technology provider, IES, Ltd., has been phenomenal. After collaborating with IES, we found that in order to meet our goals, we had to cut down the number of ‘steps’ in Shenzhen. Previously the cartons would have to be double-scanned– once upon receipt of the cargo into the warehouse and again after placing the shipping label on the carton. Now with the IES process in place, once the factory bar code is scanned, a shipping label is immediately generated and applied to the carton.

“By having the shipping label printed and applied in the Shenzhen warehouse, goods can be immediately routed straight to the delivering carrier’s central hubs in the USA. In addition, the IES system has the added functionality of multi-language / multi-character support for use in our overseas facilities.

“With each bit of time shaved off the final cycle time, we are looking at a 50 percent time savings. In regard to volume, there were 9,362 cartons shipped during the same time period in the previous year. As a result of the time savings, they were able to handle 15,319 in the same weekly cycle– a 63 percent increase in volume.

“The goods are next scheduled be routed from the port to central hubs in Carson, Calif.; St. Louis; Philadelphia and Atlanta. I should have the products in our retail locations ahead of the Baker’s Aug. 1 fall season.”

The inaugural shipment includes the Bakers fall line-up that features the buckle-accent Luca style and the platform Elegance style shoe. Customers are currently pre-ordering products on the company’s website pending the arrival of this shipment and subsequent shipments to Bakers retail locations.