It took less than three months for A-H Distributors to implement the Mincron warehouse management solution at their new 150,000-square-foot Distribution Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Project Manager Rene Jones described the process as “very simple” and added that the staff became confident using it during preliminary training.
The location is near major roadways that provide access to the DC’s five shipping bays for inbound and outbound trucks. Currently A-H Distributors holds about 7,000 SKUs of plumbing, heating, electrical, PVF, drainage and specialty products in its inventory.
Jones has 20 years of experience improving warehouse operations as the founder and President of Total Logistics Solutions.
“Part of my expertise is process flow,” Jones noted. “The Mincron automated system will be very advantageous to A-H Distributors. Everything in that environment revolves around efficiency and accuracy, and this will help them maximize both.”
The Mincron StockSmart Warehouse Management System allows distributors to maintain a 99.9 percent inventory accuracy level while increasing the speed with which staff can receive, pick and ship product.
“This system allowed A-H to install higher shelving, which gives them a greater capacity for inventory,” said Mincron Director of Operations Jonathan Lindle. “And it works hand-in-hand with their turret material handling machines, which allows staff to dramatically increase their efficiency.”
“A wire guidance system in the floor that is tied into the A-H warehouse management solution runs the turret at the new DC. Product is scanned as it is received, and then the system does the rest until it is in their customers’ hands,” Jones said. “When the driver locks an order into the system, a wire literally guides the equipment to the exact location. As it gets closer, the lift starts rising so it is in the perfect position to automatically and accurately handle the product.”
Because the DC is new, A-H Distributors has no baseline with which to measure its ROI, but Jones is confident that the Mincron system will pay for itself quickly.
“It generates reports that calculate productivity levels for every warehouse activity,” Jones said. “Being able to analyze that data and make any necessary adjustments is an incredibly valuable tool. And the system won’t let the driver pick the wrong item or amount needed. That type of accuracy saves distributors significant time and money in the warehouse.”