Blockbuster Implements Warehouse Management and Optimization Software

Video rental company taps Provia solutions in effort to take its supply chain to the next level

Video rental company taps Provia solutions in effort to take its supply chain to the next level

Grand Rapids, MI — September 14, 2005 — Video store chain Blockbuster Inc. has signed up to use a supply chain execution solution from Provia as part of an effort to improve its business processes and realize crucial supply chain improvements.

Blockbuster services more than 4,700 company-operated stores in the United States out of its national distribution center in McKinney, Texas.Due to the complex nature of Blockbuster's supply chain, which includes both light assembly and distribution, the company is utilizing Provia's warehouse management system (WMS), ViaWare, in conjunction with the provider's ViaOptimize optimization tools, in order to more effectively manage its labor and automation in a deadline-focused, competitive industry.

ViaWare WMS provides warehousing management functionality, while ViaOptimize delivers a production and assembly scheduling process that is designed to enable Blockbuster to maximize production and decrease the time it takes to produce and distribute various products to its stores.

With assistance from Provia's solutions, Blockbuster will be looking to customize its distribution labor usage through the constraint-based optimization functionality within Provia's finite scheduling application. The provider said that this functionality will provide Blockbuster with the ability to rapidly respond to increases and decreases of production needs in the warehouse, allowing the company to stay one step ahead of its labor and production needs at a lower cost.

"Our distribution center also supports light manufacturing, so we needed a solution that addresses our distribution requirements, as well as production planning," said Bill Wissing, vice president of distribution for Blockbuster. "Provia was able to address both areas with an integrated solution for automating and optimizing our distribution process."

The company is using a phased implementation approach of the Provia solutions. Initially, Blockbuster is utilizing Provia for the point-of-purchase materials such as positioning signs, advertising, games, game equipment and plush materials, in addition to packaging, sorting and distributing rental and retail DVD products. Later phases envision the entertainment leader using the Provia solution to process the returns from rental and retail merchandise (DVDs, videos, games). This would allow Blockbuster to further optimize its operations while improving efficiency.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Freight capacity and transportation budget pressures continue to hound transportation managers. But savvy companies have discovered how to fight back. Read more in The Analyst Corner column in the August/September 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Eugene McCabe, architect of Sun Microsystems' Customer Fulfillment in Transit process, discusses the challenges and rewards of taking links out of the company's supply chain in "Anatomy of the 'Zero Touch' Supply Chain," in the August/September 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Think your distribution operations have been put to the test? A closer look at the U.S. Army's multi-million-square-foot distribution center that was established in Kuwait two years ago to support Operation Iraqi Freedom provides some insight for companies looking improve distribution operations under harsh conditions. Read more in "Lessons from the Operation Iraqi Freedom Theater Distribution Center to Improve Your Supply Chain Operations," an exclusive.