Putting Manual Warehouse Management On Ice

Arctic Cold Storage selects third-party logistics software to meet expansion, customer needs

Arctic Cold Storage selects third-party logistics software to meet expansion, customer needs

St. Cloud, MN — October 19, 2005 — Arctic Cold Storage, a family-owned refrigerated warehouse company, has purchased Headwater Technology Solutions Inc.'s Delfour SmartEnterprise 2 third-party logistics (3PL) software and expects to convert its operations to the new solution in mid-November, it was announced today by General Manager Jay Condon and Headwater Senior Vice President Joe E. Couto.

SmartEnterprise 2 is set to replace a limited warehouse management solution that relies on manual activities, a local area network and data in the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

Artic Cold Storage originated some 50 years ago as a food distribution company, converting to an exclusively cold storage operation with the sale of its distribution arm in 1990. The company serves approximately a dozen clients located in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including such well-known firms as Jennie-O Turkey Store, Gold N Plump Poultry, and Kraft Foods, distributing product nationwide.

Currently, the company operates approximately 3,000,000 cubic feet of controlled temperature warehouse space, with another 2,400,000 cubic feet under construction. Its staff of 15 warehouse workers will expand to about 35 once the addition is completed, Condon said.

Our expansion and the needs of our customers encouraged us to explore more advanced software solutions. Several of our customers and even some competitors recommended SmartEnterprise 2, he said. Headwater demonstrated powerful command of the industry's requirements as well as the ability to accommodate our needs well and quickly.

In Arctic's implementation, SmartEnterprise 2 will run in the Linux environment under the Oracle database.

The software suite includes the Enterprise Foundation integration layer, Headwater's RF Foundation, the WarehouseLogic logistics management software, the Active Desktop GUI-based single point access and control module, the d'Amigo alert management and reporting tool, the e-Vista Web-based visibility tool, and the EZConnect EDI-XML (electronic data interchange/extensible markup language) data translation and connectivity solution, which it will implement immediately for two of its largest trading partners. Headwater will provide the professional services for mapping the various EDI documents required.

According to Condon, the ability to handle catch weights was one of the key requirements and one that will dramatically increase efficiency, automating what has been a tedious and time-consuming process. It involved breaking pallet loads, recording the appropriate number of weights and taking the handwritten notes to the office for manual input into Microsoft Excel, after which the weights were subtracted from customer inventory records. In the Headwater solution, the weights will enter the SmartEnterprise 2 applications automatically as they are read by the RF device, with customer inventory adjusted automatically.

This is the kind of power and functionality that we need to support our growth and our customers' increasing needs, Condon said. Other key benefits include alerts, which are critical for perishable food storage, trackability of product, time stamping and accountability. We will also be able to automate report distributions through use of electronic document templates that are customized for each client. Currently, reports are issued manually every Monday morning, a laborious and time-intensive process.

Condon added: Our customers are excited about the availability of the browser-based e-Vista, which gives them 24/7 visibility of their inventory status via the Web.

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