Logisitics Management Profiles

By: Thomas Cutler

QC Software is the leading provider of Tier 1 warehouse control systems to the warehousing and distribution industries. Since 1996, QC Software, utilizing state of the art technology combined with extensive research, development, and rigorous testing, has developed the QC Enterprise suite of products. Designed to be modular in nature, easily configurable, and platform independent, this highly scalable solution satisfies the needs of any size warehouse.
The solutions provided by QC Software (www.qcsoftware.com) enables companies to streamline their warehouse operations with the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry ensuring increased corporate profitability. With a commitment to total customer satisfaction QC Software is the obvious choice for warehouse control, order management, and inventory management needs.
In the February 2007 issue of Logistics Management, journalist Maida Napolitano describes how Tommy Hilfiger fashioned a streamlined distribution center by using warehouse control systems, including QC Software. According to Napolitano, an aggressive schedule kept the team on its toes. Everything from design, vendor selection, and permit application to installation and testing had to be completed within 10 months, and construction could not be allowed to impede existing operations. "With no flexibility in the end date, weekly progress meetings were critical so that each aspect of the project stayed on track," Rudnick says. That strategy-and a lot of hard work-paid off: "Because of the dedicated efforts of the team, they were able to finish the project a month ahead of schedule," he adds.
The new DC design is expected to provide many benefits. C1's carton-sortation equipment should cut labor costs by as much as 30 percent, says Paul Grodeck, project manager for equipment provider S&S Systems. SDI's Haskell says the unit sorter could boost picking productivity by up to 300 percent.

More developments are in the works. Although Retail and Wholesale operations are now located in one facility, they are still systemically separate. Wholesale, for example, cannot use Retail's unit sorter, nor can Retail use Wholesale's multilevel pick modules. Silverman says this will soon change.

"We're in the midst of a worldwide SAP rollout," he says. "This will provide a single system that interfaces all of the orders to the various WCS (warehouse control systems) and enable us to leverage all the warehouse technology for any product, be it Wholesale or Retail. With one system, we will also be able to cross dock more effectively, increase throughput, and reduce the cost per unit."

C1's considerable clear height, moreover, allowed SDI Industries to design another sortation level that could be added in the future. "This vertical expansion essentially would double the number of stores the system can sort to," notes Silverman.

For now, though, plans are to stand down. "We want to digest what we just completed," says Gotthardt. But given the changeable nature of the fashion industry, chances are this duo won't be laying low for long. Gotthardt promises: "We must remain aggressive to stay ahead of the curve."

When choosing a Warehouse Control Systems (WCS) it is important to understand warehouse needs and benefits of having an integrated Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) before starting the selection process. The goal may be to automate warehouse operations or upgrade to a more robust system.

WCS are a key part of the supply chain and provide directed stock rotation, intelligent picking directives, automatic consolidation and cross-docking to maximize the use of valuable warehouse space. The systems also direct and optimizes stock put-away based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization.

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