Hardware, electricals and outdoors
Conquering Warehouse Challenges and Ensuring Fast Fulfillment
“You Need It, We Hop to It!” The motto of Big Frog Supply became difficult to live up to as sales grew and SKUs numbered over 100,000. Multi-warehouse inventories demanded a software solution to organize complex warehouse operations and eliminate the daily panic of order fulfilllment. When stress in the warehouse became too high and mis-ships too costly, Big Frog Supply sought relief in the Descartes Peoplevox™ warehouse management system (WMS) paired with Descartes ShipRush™ shipping software. The switch resulted in significantly improved warehouse control and visibility, happier workers, and tens of thousands of dollars in recouped costs.
Challenge: Warehouse chaos, stress, mis-ships, and loss of profit
In September 2022, before the go-live of Descartes Peoplevox, the end of each day at Big Frog Supply’s seven warehouses felt like a fire drill. Tension ran high as workers raced to dig through new orders, ensure things shipped on time, and fix yesterday’s problems. The company, which often shipped large, heavy items worth upwards of $2,000, was losing thousands of dollars in profits every month due to mis-ships and warehouse inefficiencies. The business was bleeding money to keep customers happy and fulfilll its promise of fast shipping.
“We have to be fast. We just have to. This software gives you total control of your warehouse game plan, and you have visibility into every part of the execution. Are you performing well or not? I think that’s the biggest piece: with Peoplevox, we all understand exactly what we have to do each day to succeed.”
Colin M. Kelly, Managing Director, Big Frog Supply
Founded in 2013, Big Frog Supply is a B2B ecommerce business selling items for plumbing, lighting, electrical, HVAC, irrigation, and outdoor living. The company owns 100,000+ SKUs in 7 warehouses based in Virginia and Florida, USA. Its #1 goal is fast and accurate order fulfilllment.
Solution: Greater warehouse control and visibility
After replacing its legacy WMS with Descartes Peoplevox and Descartes ShipRush and integrating the combined solution with its Cin7/DEAR ERP, Big Frog Supply immediately experienced full visibility into warehouse operations across all seven locations. Because warehouse managers could see product locations, product movement, inventory metrics, and employee performance data, they began to target the most urgent problems and tackle those first. The biggest challenge? Getting the right item to the right customer, fast.
Right away, order management improved because of Peoplevox’s ability to organize, filter, and prioritize orders. Colin Kelly explains: “At four or five o’clock, we now know exactly which orders to focus on and finish by day’s end. Previously, we’d try to double-check this in our systems to confirm, ‘What’s in? Do we have everything? Have we shipped everything we’re supposed to?’ All of a sudden, we have a single, centralized point to look at. It really saves a lot of time and headaches.” With Descartes ShipRush integration, orders were quickly labeled and out the door.
Not only did Peoplevox save Big Frog Supply headaches, but it also began to save the company money. “Mis-ships are a monster cost,” says Kelly. “If you mis-ship a $2,000, 85 lb. item, it ends up costing an average of $400. As you can imagine, that adds up quickly. Based on our Q4 trend of improving picking and shipping accuracy with Peoplevox, we expect to reduce mis-ships to less than 1% of all orders in 2023, saving an estimated $50,000.”
Further, the company already sees cost savings from efficiencies in employee training and warehouse picking strategies. They can train new employees and seasonal workers 2x faster, resulting in decreased training costs and increased productivity. In addition, Peoplevox’s filters equip warehouse workers to increase picking efficiency. “Certain workers are much faster at picking very small, intricate items, so we created a special team to pick those. We filter the orders by size and weight and assign those items to the elite team. Filters help us prioritize,” says Kelly.
“The end-of-day feeling in our warehouses has completely changed,” Kelly relates with satisfaction. “Now it’s happiness. We no longer wonder, ‘Did I do this right?’ The end goal is met every day, and everyone sees it.”
99% Picking Accuracy
The company anticipates less than 1% miss-picks in 2023 based on picking accuracy trends collected from Peoplevox reports in Q4 2022. Results reflect a significant decrease in picking and shipping errors.
88% Savings on Equipment
The company previously used Apple iOS devices in the warehouse, costing $1500-2500 per device. With the new Peoplevox Android app, they switched to Samsung devices costing $250 or less, saving $60,000.
2X Faster New Hire Training
Because Peoplevox is such a user-friendly program, Big Frog Supply can now train employees and seasonal workers in 50% of the time it previously took. This results in training cost savings and greater productivity.
$50,000 Est. Savings on Mis-Ships
Before Peoplevox, each mis-shipped order would cost the company $400 on average, with 10-12 mis-ships per month. By decreasing mis-ships to less than 1%, savings may approach ~$50,000 per year.
“We have to be fast. We just have to. This software gives you total control of your warehouse game plan, and you have visibility into every part of the execution.
Are you performing well or not? I think that’s the biggest piece: with Peoplevox, we all understand exactly what we have to do each day to succeed.”