Sturm Foods Reduces DC Labor Costs by Half

Sturm Foods, a dry grocery manufacturer, has improved its inventory accuracy levels to 98.5% while reducing the cost of labor by more than 50%, thanks to its adoption of a warehouse management system. In addition, the company has cut damage costs by 20% and eliminated the need for a year-end physical inventory.

Sturm Foods started as a dairy farm operation in 1905, providing eggs and dairy products to friends and family in Manawa, Wis., located just outside of Green Bay. The company entered the private label distribution market in the 1970s and grew into a global dry grocery manufacturer for both the retail and foodservice industries, producing healthy drink mixes, instant cereals and a line of organic foods. With a customer base of large retail chains, each with specific order requirements, Sturm Foods implemented solutions within the Manhattan SCOPE supply chain portfolio from Manhattan Associates to optimize supply chain processes in five of its distribution centers, all located in Manawa.

"Our five distribution centers required one viewpoint that tied our inventory together," says Glen Bunnell, manager, information technology, Sturm Foods. "Before we partnered with Manhattan Associates, we couldn't really gauge our accuracy rate, which was a critical factor as we continued to grow and service some of the biggest retailers in the world."

Sturm Foods implemented Manhattan's Warehouse Management solution from the Manhattan SCOPE Distribution Management product suite and quickly realized improved inventory capabilities.

"It's like the perfect dance—you can watch the people move fluidly from task to task, and it's all forward motion. There's purpose in their actions and they are all in step," continued Bunnell. "The benefits we've gained with case picking, functionality on our warehouse floor, and system directed tasking have been vital to our manufacturing and distribution processes." According to Bunnell, the WMS paid for itself in eight months.

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