ECL Group Deploys 3PL Software Suite

Third-party logistics provider implements Headwater solution to manage inbound-outbound warehouse activities

Third-party logistics provider implements Headwater solution to manage inbound-outbound warehouse activities

Brampton, Ontario — July 13, 2006 — Third-party logistics provider ECL Group has gone live with a 3PL software solution from Headwater Technology Solutions at its 100,000 square foot freezer, cooler, ambient temperature warehouse in Brampton, using the software to manage all inbound-outbound warehouse activities, space and personnel allocations, administration, reporting and billing.

ECL Group entered the Brampton third-party logistics scene in December 2005, taking over a 5.1 million cubic foot multi-environment warehouse from a former provider as the first stage in a five-year plan for at least six such facilities. All are projected to be located in Canada, said company President Robert Reece, who co-founded the company last year with Senior Partner Les Williams.

Both founders are active in the day-to-day operations of the company, which operates as part of Euro-Can Logistics, a consulting firm headed by Reece that has provided services to logistics, warehousing and transportation firms in Canada and the United States.

QuickBooks Integration

ECL Group's implementation of Headwater's SmartEnterprise suite includes the Enterprise Foundation, an integration layer; WarehouseLogic logistics management software, the Active Desktop GUI-based single point access and control module; and the d'Amigo alert management and reporting tool. It is integrated with QuickBooks accounting software, which it updates as various operational activities are executed. Reece personally handles customer billing on a weekly basis using the SmartEnterprise billing module.

"Although I was already familiar with SmartEnterprise, I initially felt that it might be overkill for a small operation," Reece said. "However, it has turned out to be solid, perfect for our purposes now, and scalable enough to accommodate anything that might come along as we pursue our rather aggressive growth strategy. It was easy to install — we went live in only four weeks — and it is easy to learn and operate."

The solution is enabled for SmartEnterprise RF capabilities, which the ECL Group can activate later. The software runs on a Windows Server under Linux, with an Oracle database.

It's a Zoo out There

"We operate our entire facility with only eight people, including ourselves and our office staff," Reece said. "The SmartEnterprise solution enables us to make maximum use of our financial, physical and personnel resources so that we can perform efficiently with this small staff. Our overall cost going in was minimized by the fact that we were able to install and operate the solution with no major IT costs, as well as to make use of a low-cost computer."

Besides multi-temperature storage, ECL Group provides an array of fulfillment services designed for clients in the food, business/consumer electronics, hardware and confectionary fields, among others. Currently, it serves 54 customers, with contracts pending for at least eight more, Reece said. Among others, the roster includes the Toronto Zoo, for which ECL manages inventory and on-time fulfillment for the Zoo's animal food.

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