Games Workshop Claims Victory: Uses WMS to Improve Order Fulfillment Speed and Reduce Costs

Supply chain software provider, Manhattan Associates, Inc. (Atlanta), says Games Workshop (London) has doubled its pick, pack and dispatch capacity and significantly improved order fulfillment speed by implementing Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management software for Open Systems. The software is running at Games Workshop's new distribution centre in Nottingham, Great Britian, where the company anticipates significant annual savings from improved efficiencies, quality and use of third party carriers.

Games Workshop is a GBP 140 million vertically integrated business, selling tabletop war-gaming products to customers worldwide. As well as games and miniatures, the company sells accessories such as paints, brushes and scenery. Games Workshop sells globally through more than 300 owned retail outlets, Web sales and a network of channel partners and distributors. With a constantly developing product range, the company's core 1,700 stock-keeping units (SKUs) change frequently; around 25 to 30% of sales are attributed to new products. Sales vary seasonally with peaks in September and December for the Christmas season, when throughput increases by around 50%.

Games Workshop made the decision two years ago to build a new distribution centre in Nottingham to service the European market. Games Workshop also has distribution centers in Sydney, Toronto and Memphis, Tenn. The company had previously operated a smaller warehouse in a nearby location, running on a bespoke, and largely manual, system. As Games Workshop grew, this system was unable to cope with the rising volume of orders, particularly during peak periods. It became increasingly difficult to ensure order accuracy without compromising delivery times.

The new GBP 8 million-warehouse was completed in April 2005 and shipped its first order in July. It occupies 50,000 square feet, extendable to 75,000 square feet, and is managed by Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management software. The software is integrated with a Siemens pick-to-light and conveyor system and also links into Games Workshop's ERP system from Sage as well as with trading partners and shippers UPS and TNT.

Games Workshop's European Logistics Director, Nick Unitt, explained some of the benefits of the system. "Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management solution is highly configurable, so it fits extremely well with our processes. Our capacity has increased, accuracy of picking has already improved hugely and order cycles are far shorter. This means significant cost savings for us, particularly on carriage, where avoiding air freight shipments into Europe is key, and on labor productivity."

Source: Manhattan Associates, Inc.

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