Maurices Boosts Facility Flow-through for Complex, High-volume Operations

Fashion retailer sees productivity boosts following implementation of supply chain execution apps from HighJump

Fashion retailer sees productivity boosts following implementation of supply chain execution apps from HighJump

Eden Prairie, MN  March 16, 2005  Fashion retailer Maurices has seen productivity improvements in its complex, high-volume operations following the implementation of a supply chain execution solution from HighJump Software, the solution provider announced this week.

Started in 1931 as a small women's fashion shop in Duluth, Minn., Maurices has grown into more than 400 stores across the country, catering to the fashion needs of both women and men. Maurices is owned by Dress Barn.

The company implemented HighJump's solutions at its facility in Johnson, Iowa, where Maurices is leveraging the applications for warehouse management, wave planning and management visibility to gain operational efficiencies and increase flow-through in its high-volume, complex fulfillment and distribution facility.

Maurices uses the HighJump system to manage the seasonal peaks and valleys associated with its approximately 40,000 frequently changing stock-keeping units (SKUs). These items travel through the facility on conveyors before being packaged and shipped to 450 stores nationwide. HighJump said its system enables Maurices to optimize different types of inbound scenarios for these items. While some items are quickly cross-docked through the facility, others are broken down by piece.

The retailer also uses HighJump's reporting functionality to anticipate bottlenecks at various points in the facility. This allows management to reallocate staff in a way that keeps operations on schedule. HighJump's wave planning capabilities generate additional improvements by allowing Maurices to group picking orders by common item size, shipping destination or other aspects, the solution provider said.

The implementation project went smoothly, according to HighJump, and users quickly became proficient with the system's functionality in time for the company's holiday season. "We didn't miss a beat when the system was turned on," said Tim McGrath, distribution center manager at Maurices. "The HighJump consultants we worked with on the project were extremely professional and knowledgeable."

Maurices has taken advantage of the HighJump system to configure business processes in-house, something it was unable to do in the past. This ease of configuration and the resulting ability to achieve low total cost of ownership over time was a key reason for Maurices' initial selection of HighJump's solutions, according to Mike Machones, vice president of information technology and logistics at Maurices.

"The system helps us streamline major business functions. The adaptability and flexibility are tremendous," said Machones. "If someone has an idea for a productivity enhancement, we can implement it with internal resources. This helps us respond to changes in our business as they occur."

HighJump Software is a 3M company.

Additional Articles of Interest

The focus in the retail sector has shifted from managing the movement of goods to managing the information about goods. Read more in "Ramping Up the Retail Supply Chain," in the February/March 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.