About Eskimo Cold Storage
New warehousing facility, Eskimo Cold Storage, opened its doors for business in the spring of 2007. Located in Gainesville, GA in the triangle between I-85 and I-985, Eskimo boasts 125,000 square feet of space with the capacity to store over 16,000 pallets of frozen food products, with a focus on the poultry industry.
A year after opening their facility, Eskimo Cold Storage continues to move large amounts of products for the poultry industry in the Southeast. Currently running at about 83% capacity with over 16,000 pallets positions, the company moves an average of 10 million pounds in and out of the warehouse a week with the system handling about 6,600 transactions weekly. “Our warehouse is pretty busy, the inventory turns over very quickly, especially because our blast cell freezes the product in 24 hours,” commented Karen Reece, VP of Eskimo Cold Storage.
Eskimo Cold Storage began operations in April 2007 with an inhouse program designed to manage their inventory and provide customers high quality service. Unfortunately, the company found out very soon that their application was not providing them with accurate inventory levels. This issue began affecting the Eskimo’s reputation as well as the level of customer satisfaction offered to their customers. “The system’s biggest and worst issue was keeping the book integrity,” explained Karen.
Another substantial challenge for Eskimo was timing. With over 2 months since the opening of their facility, the company needed to quickly find a solution that would satisfy their needs and those of their clients. With many unsatisfied customers, Eskimo began to losing some of their business. A lengthy and complicated implementation was not an option as they required results immediately.
With very little time to waste, Eskimo Cold Storage decided to completely get rid of their old computer system and start fresh with a provider that was knowledgeable in the industry, a system capable of handling all of their needs, as well as a quick and painless implementation process.
Datex provided the company with real-time information of the inventory available in the warehouse, the status of each product, and it’s location at any given time. From the time the inventory is scanned during the receiving process until it is shipped confirmed, Eskimo will be able to know the exact location, quantity, Lot ID, product id, owner, etc. During the inbound and outbound process, the system will be able to capture temperatures, Lot ID, expiration date, weight, volume, and all the information needed for a business in the cold storage industry.
All of the locations and warehouse structures are configured in the system allowing the user to scan the location and know exactly where the pallets are being stored. Datex software provides system directed operations based on rules that can be easily configured in the system. The system will follow these rules, providing employees with the tasks they need to perform. In the case of putaway, the system will tell the user the best location for the product being stored based on the rules. For picking tasks, the system will create the sequence through the use of waves in order to minimize the time spent looking for products. All of the tasks within the warehouse can be accomplished on a desktop or handheld, thus eliminating paperwork and time spent going back and forth looking for instructions to the next tasks, picking sequences or preplanned locations.
Datex also provided Eskimo with the professional and technical support needed to bring all of their personnel up to speed on how to handle the system. Datex personnel worked with Eskimo remotely and on-site to provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to obtain the maxiumu return from their investment. “Implementation was great. Datex sent a very knowledgeable team member in to train us and then a second team member was here during our actual go-live. They worked both in the office and on the floor training to ensure that all our team members fully understood their role.”
As promised, Datex provided Eskimo a fast track to implementing the WMS Solution. The company went live on July 27th, 2007, taking just over 6 weeks from the beginning of the implementation. “We had the 3PL WMS up and running in approximately 45 days which is pretty fast for an implementation like this,” explained Karen. “Our priority was to provide our customers with the service that they deserved as soon as possible, so we were pretty happy with the speed of the implementation and how robust the system was. It can handle everything that we need.”
The system provides Eskimo with savings in multiple areas including:
- Amount of paperwork done
- Unproductive time spent looking for space, products and tasks
- Increase in productivity
- Increase in quality
- Improved customer service
In regard to her experience with Datex, Karen commented, “In life, all you have is your name, whether it is your personal name or your business name. My first computer system was so bad that I almost lost my good business name because of it. Luckily Datex helped me recover that and more.”