FDD, a leading supplier of health and beauty products to retailers across the UK, has chosen a warehouse management system (WMS) from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) to help grow its rapidly expanding e-commerce fulfillment operation. The system is being implemented in the summer.
The Ascot-based business, which imports goods from around the globe for distribution to the UK as well as European retailers in both traditional and e-markets, saw its turnover increase substantially from £7m in 2012 to £12m in 2013, with much of that growth stemming from contracts with web retailers.
The new Advanced WMS system will help FDD address a number of issues unique to e-commerce, such as order processing times, and allow the firm to win new business to maintain its impressive growth figures. The solution will also enable FDD to sharpen its entire warehousing operation from order to dispatch, by improving accuracy, speeding up pick times and enhancing traceability.
FDD, which counts Boots and Superdrug among its customer base, chose Advanced after a competitive tendering process involving two other IT software providers.
Dan Clark, Operations Director at FDD, said: “Since the credit crisis, a lot of retailers are holding the bare minimum of stock, ordering from us on a weekly or even a daily basis. This means we have to work faster and therefore smarter, which the new WMS will allow us to do.
“While the website side of the business has created a new and exciting element to our operation, it has also created new challenges to overcome, particularly as e-commerce retailers respond more quickly to customers than traditional retailers.
“Our aim is to improve accuracies and speed in the warehouse, to reduce time-consuming back office administration and be more productive in our general operations.”
The WMS will also include a carrier integration module, allowing the company to integrate into its parcel carriers’ systems. Automating processes such as label printing and customer address verification will help speed-up order turnaround times and will also prevent data entry errors by staff.
Clark added: “There will be a lot of change, but it will all be positive. We’ll be able to operate more efficiently and with greater accuracy, allowing us to receive orders and pick and then dispatch them faster. In the longer term, we are anticipating cost savings as a result of improved efficiencies.”