About Ocean Cold
Ocean Cold is a frozen storage facility located in Westport, WA just minutes from the Pacific Ocean. As a member of the “Ocean” family of companies, they contribute to the 700+ jobs provided to Grays Harbor County near Seattle. As a result of their fresh look on frozen product storage and the services they provide, Ocean Cold has become a progressive and dependable logistics solution for the Washington area and beyond.
- 95,000 sq ft facility
- 1.8 Million cu ft freezer storage
- 8000+ pallet positions
- 9 truck doors
- Adjacent processing space
- Enclosed refrigerated dock
- Two temperature controlled rooms with the capability of -30º F (-34.4 ºC)
- Blast freezing capabilities of more than 400 tons per day
- State-of-the-art refrigeration control system
- On-site generator backup power for entire facility
An immediate requirement for Ocean Cold was to have a warehouse management system that was user friendly, flexible and allowed them to pursue continuous improvement initiatives without automation limitations. They sought a WMS with features and functionalities made specifically for public refrigerated warehouses that was long sighted in technological architecture, affordable, and capable of generating prompt ROI. Ross Rydman, GM for Ocean Cold commented, “Having recently built a new cold storage facility, we knew that a good WMS solution was necessary to stay competitive and offer our customers the highest level of service possible.”
The Solution- Datex FootPrint® 3PL WM
The Datex FootPrint® Warehouse Management System is equipped with advanced features developed specifically for refrigerated warehouses. Mike Armanious, president of Datex remarks, “FootPrint® records transaction activity specific to each combination of client, project and product and automatically calculates billing charges for handling, storage, renewal storage, and accessorial work. With the 3PL billing module, Ocean Cold has increased billing accuracy, reduced administration time and improved their flexibility to meet changing customer needs.”
Basic Features of FootPrint® Include:
- Cross docking
- Inventory management
- Order consolidation
- Physical/cycle counting
- Accessorial charge capturing
- Real-time revenue capturing
- System-directed operations
- Pallet tracking
- Temperature capture
- Real-time in /outbound processing
- Catch weight
- Blind / bulk receiving
- Quality control
- Automatic replenishment
- Wave building & management
- Light manufacturing / kitting
- Pick and pack processing
- EDI capable
- Alerts and notifications
- Extensive reporting capabilities
- FIFO, FEFO, FMFO, LIFO
- Deferred handling revenue tracking
- Auto-invoice generation
- Lot control
From an executive perspective, the project was viewed as having an element of risk as this type of technology had not been deployed within Ocean Cold before. “Where others wanted to just dump some program in our laps with a manual on how to configure it, Datex wanted to learn everything possible about our business and suggest the best way to make the software work to its fullest. This was huge for us because we were new to the 3PL industry, having core expertise in food processing not warehousing. Datex’s implementation team has real industry experience, many of their team had come from the warehousing industry prior to joining Datex,” explained Ross Rydman, GM at Ocean Cold.
As with any enterprise software project, the user plays a key role in determining the success of the roll-out and the Ocean Cold implementation team ensured that the new processes and methods of working were effectively managed, paying particular attention to internal training and staff orientation.
The rationale for the new warehouse management and barcode scanning system was presented to all warehouse staff to gain acceptance and commitment to the project. Because most of the warehouse operatives were already familiar with general warehouse practices, the conversion to the new system was relatively painless. Ross further commented, “While the definition of a good WMS differs between people’s exposure to different systems, we are 100% satisfied in the Datex FootPrint® WMS solution that has been delivered to us as well as the future development roadmap of the product. The combination of .NET development framework and the Microsoft SQL Server database engine means easy interfacing with our internal applications, outstanding reporting and analytical power, and an impressive adaptability to our long term plans and the changing needs of our customers. We spent months looking at over twenty different WMS solutions before landing on Datex, and looking back I couldn’t be happier with our decision. Looking forward, FootPrint® is the foundation to our IT systems plan and will become the backbone to our customer’s success as well as our own.”
The software and hardware equipment deployed on the project were able to provide coverage of all stock movements in and out of the warehouse. After the implementation the following positive conclusions were achieved:
- Achieved 99.9% inventory accuracy and customer stock declarations leading to minimal lost stock claims.
- Reduced inventory errors and improved performance against customer KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).
- Clearly identifiable return on investment (ROI) – each warehouse operative generates positive cost savings from efficiencies resulting from accuracy and speed.
- Real-time visibility into capacity utilization and flow of product through the warehouse. Trending reports and data that allow for forecasting customer’s future storage needs.
- Fast and automatic identification of product labeling errors to enable remedial action to be taken quickly.
- Demonstrated an ROI / pay back in less than 6 months.
- With the benefits of RF barcode scanning now proven, the system will be extended to provide complete coverage throughout additional warehouses for Ocean Cold’s related business entities.