A DLOC+ Success Story



Haywin Textile Products needed warehouse management help, and they needed it quickly. Haywin had recently begun doing business with the nation's largest retailer, and their current warehouse operations could not keep up with the increased volume of work. Haywin chose DLOC+, a moderately priced, state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System (WMS) offered by Donachie, Fenton & Associates, Inc. (DFA) to help manage their briskly growing business.

Haywin Textile Products is a major player in the home furnishings industry, manufacturing and distributing sheets, bedspreads, comforters and bed-in-a-bag products. The joining of forces with the mammoth retailer provided a way of even further increasing Haywin's market share. Through the rapid implementation of the DLOC+ system, in conjunction with other business system improvements, Haywin has seen their warehouse operations improve dramatically. The efficiencies achieved in the warehouse have helped contribute greatly to Haywin's business growth.

The Challenge
Haywin had a classic warehouse management challenge. They were running their warehouse in Laredo, Texas on a strictly manual, paper based system. This approach was adequate for a low volume operation, but partnering with the colossal retailer brought new challenges, which needed to be addressed immediately.

The existing warehouse in Laredo was filling up rapidly, and space utilization needed to improve. More trucks were arriving daily at the receiving yard, so yard management became an issue. If trucks were not offloaded at receiving, and returned to their point of origin in a timely manner, the trucking company could level charge backs against Haywin. Larger orders, with more order lines, were being placed which necessitated the ability to cross dock large receipts to existing sales orders.

Haywin was using the MAS90 system for their host processing (and were in the process of upgrading to MAS200), but lacked the ability to look real time at their warehouse inventory balances. This information was not available until the picking and receiving paperwork was updated into MAS90.

The handling of a higher volume of SKUs brought its own challenges to the warehouse workforce. Much of the product mix looks identical, and was not bar coded. The increased business caused much more picking and receiving paperwork to be produced. A much simpler system was needed to maximize worker productivity.

Many Haywin customers required specific compliance labels, and new customers with their own label requirements were coming on board frequently.

Although Haywin was delighted with the new relationship with the enormous retailer, they needed to address the challenges it brought. "We welcomed the increased business, and knew we needed to upgrade our operations and technology in our warehouse, to service our customers" says Robert Brownstein, CFO of Haywin Textile Products. The stage was set for DLOC+.

The Solution
Haywin considered several Warehouse Management Systems and vendors, and chose DLOC+, authored by Donachie, Fenton & Associates, Inc. (DFA). Right from the start, there were reassuring points to the selection. Haywin needed basic warehousing expertise, which DFA brought to the table. "The principals of DFA had nearly 30 years experience in warehousing systems, which we felt we could leverage off", noted Brownstein. Haywin also needed a rapid implementation plan, which DFA provided. From the initial kick-off meeting to the DLOC+ go live took less than 5 months. In addition, Haywin was upgrading their host system from MAS90 to MAS200, which runs on an SQL Server, Windows NT backbone, as does DLOC+. Having all their technology systems on the same platform makes Haywin's internal support easier.

With the installation of DLOC+, Haywin's entire receiving process improved dramatically. Since purchase orders can span multiple trucks, the ability of DLOC+ to receive by truck or by purchase order improved the work flow. Once receiving trucks enter the yard, DLOC+ takes that product into account when planning the days picking work. The cross dock functionality in DLOC+ allows entire truck loads of product to be moved in just a few steps directly to the shipping door for a sales order.

The picking process also improved tremendously. The workers now use Symbol PDT6840 scanners, connected to a wireless local area network (LAN) to perform all warehouse operations. The DLOC+ screens are easy to use, and feature bar code scanning wherever possible. In fact, Haywin's use of bar codes on 1) product 2) license plates for received and picked product 3) rack and bulk locations 4) receiving and shipping stages and 5) shipping trucks has virtually eliminated the keying of operator data, thus doing away with most keying errors.

Inventory accuracy is now right on. Cycle counting on DLOC+ is being used, and Haywin is looking forward to the elimination of costly physical inventories. "We just completed what we hope to be one of our last physical inventories. Due to the inventory accuracy that DLOC+ provides, we were delighted to see that we were over 99% accurate!" noted Brownstein.

As often happens, the new business with the giant retailer helped spawn other new opportunities. Haywin quickly had a need to develop new compliance labels for more and more customers. DLOC+ has a built-in compliance labeling module, which Haywin uses to produce labels for Walmart, Kmart, JCPenneys, Mervyns, Fingerhut and Linens & Things.

Haywin has effectively used DLOC+ to manage the increased volume of warehouse work they now face, without increasing head count or taking on additional warehouse space. A win for Haywin all around!.

The Result
Haywin has not only seen their warehouse operations improve dramatically, but are already realizing a measureable return on investment. Space utilization in the warehouse is maximized. The nearly perfect inventory accuracy has helped eliminate any inventory loss. The combination of picking and shipping accuracy provided by DLOC+, along with all customer compliance labeling requirements being met, has led to an extremely satisfied customer base.

Browstein notes: "DLOC+ has provided Haywin with the warehouse management tools and technology we need to compete on a level playing field, at a significantly reduced cost than other systems we considered. DLOC+ has truly provided us with the most bang for the buck!".