When apparel retailer Tween Brands Inc. (New Albany, Ohio) decided to overhaul its fulfillment processes, it chose a pick-to-light solution from Dematic Corp. (Grand Rapids, Mich.), a supplier of logistics automation solutions, and supply-chain software from Manhattan Associates, Inc. (Atlanta). Tween Brands sells girls apparel and accessories at almost 700 stores, including 573 Limited Too and 154 Justice locations, and directly to consumers through its Web site and catalogs.
Tween Brands inherited Manhattan Associates' warehouse management software from when it was a division of Limited Brands. With just four months between its busiest peak seasons in which to implement the new supply chain processes, company managers chose to upgrade the software and implement a new put-to-light fulfillment system from Dematic at the same time. Since completing the project on schedule and under budget, Tween Brands Inc. has reportedly increased productivity 25% and achieved more than 99.9% accuracy in order fulfillment.
"The actual go live was a non-event," said Carol Brouillette, manager of special projects at Tween Brands. "We assigned a focused internal project team and strictly adhered to the structured upgrade methodology.
"We succeeded by first defining what we wanted to get from the implementation and then sticking to the plan," said Brouillette. "We scheduled the project at a time that would least impact business, and we stuck to the timeline. We followed Manhattan Associates' implementation methodology to the letter, and it helped ensure that we covered all important steps.”
The new supply chain processes help Tween Brands move product from receiving to stores within 1 to 4 business days, depending on where stores are located in the country. Incoming goods are either cross docked or sent into Dematic's put-to-light system; almost 60% are ready to ship out again within 24 hours.
"Using put-to-light for a put-to-store application is ideal for Tween Brands since order fulfillment is performed on a regular schedule with many of the same items sent to all or a majority of the stores,” said George Feigley, manager IT logistics for Dematic.