Standardizing Inventory Visibility at Banta

Printing and digital imaging leader taps DigiTerra for supply chain initiative

Printing and digital imaging leader taps DigiTerra for supply chain initiative

Indianapolis  September 26, 2003  Enterprise application integrator DigiTerra Inc. announced this week it has implemented an advanced warehouse management solution for Banta Corp., a market leader in printing and digital imaging, at two of the company's distribution centers. The two implementations expand DigiTerra's support of Banta's goals of continued growth and consistent inventory visibility.

"DigiTerra has worked with us on a number of projects," said Frank Saaranen, vice president of Information Systems for Banta Corp. "The new advanced warehouse management solution has standardized operational practices and software across all three facilities and helped us move towards global visibility."

The new system simplifies the current tasks of warehouse operations while creating an environment that allows for an increase in throughput, Saaranen said. For example, the warehouse management solution interfaces to hand-held and radio frequency screens mounted on forklift trucks that allow pending warehouse transactions to be automatically displayed to warehouse workers. This eliminates the need for paper labels or worksheets to initiate a transaction. Workers can then manage all transactions and product flow within an area or zone of the warehouse, including pending picks, putaways and cycle count transactions, without ever leaving their area of the distribution facility.

The first implementation took place at Banta Packaging and Fulfillment's Lake Park, Wisc., 210,000 square-foot facility, where DigiTerra provided strategy and implementation services. The Lake Park distribution center currently ships for one publisher, Workman, one of the largest distributors of calendars. Banta wanted the system to not only meet Workman's requirements, but also have the flexibility to add other third-party publishers in the future.

DigiTerra also helped Banta identify operational improvements across its supply chain and provided a full-time, project manager resource, which eliminated the need to hire someone to fulfill that role during the project.

Since the implementation, Banta said it has been able to ship more than 1 million units per week, and its staff, which includes head count and hours worked, is down 30 percent from this time last year. The new system also has enabled Banta to increase customer service levels through special handling, stickering and packaging options for their publishers' customers.

The second implementation took place in Lancaster, Pa. where the system supports two publishers. Banta is using the system as a building block for anticipated future growth at the facility.

Currently, DigiTerra is working with Banta on developing a supply chain information portal tool to support demand planning. The tool will allow Banta to provide visibility of their open orders, shipment order status and inventory positions to their third party publishers.

"Having worked on a variety of projects for Banta, we understood their supply chain structure and organizational goals. DigiTerra could prepare the distribution facility for the operational improvements and ensure the optimal operational process flow for the correct supply chain execution," said Mike Mayoras, president of DigiTerra. "The end result is a supply chain system that meets Banta's needs."