Automated manifesting system & software by solves warehouse operations problems and improves shipping efficiency for Miyako USA

April 1, 2008
This case history about Miyako USA comes courtesy of ScanScale. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

This case history about Miyako USA comes courtesy of ScanScale. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

ScanScale entered the scene for the warehouse operations of Miyako USA with solutions to overcome challenges with label consistency, software communications and data management programs to improve customer and carrier relationships.

Getting To Know You:
Efrain Zabala, consultant and owner of EZ Management Consulting Incorporated, has been in the operations side of the material handling business for many years.

“When I was asked by a small family owned business, Miyako USA, to set up a production line, I was familiar with their goals. My biggest challenge was to acquire all the components to accomplish this new process,” says Zabala.

Miyako USA is a distribution center specializing in the shipment of computer and electronic components from China to the Caribbean and Latin America. Zabala set out to improve their labor-intensive manifesting operations by implementing some automation and streamlining the required process of weighing and measuring the boxes. “Packing lists were generated manually and subject to human error and the calligraphy skills of various warehouse staff,” says Zabala about how this circumstance created a negative impact by leading to difficulties with freight forwarders and customers.

A No Brainer – Automate the Process:
“Creating a repeatable packing list that was consistent and professional with reliable information that included weight and size would have several benefits. For one, it would improve their carrier relationships,” Zabala stresses the importance of how this information needs to be accurate. Often times, inaccurate size input would create problems with the carriers. As another benefit, enabling the client to charge shipping costs appropriately would help recover lost revenue caused by guessing estimations that typically had to be absorbed by the client. In addition, money saved from not having to compensate the customer in good faith when errors were made would put more money back into their bottom line.

Partnering with System Vendors:
Making major changes can be challenging and the source of many headaches. Finding the right people with the right equipment is quite a process, and a time consuming one. Zabala knew right where to start his search. On previous jobs, Zabala had worked with the quality Mettler- Toledo, Inc. for checkweighing systems. “I made an inquiry with Mettler- Toledo, Inc. and since they provided only one piece of the process, they passed me on to their partners who could assist with not only an automated conveyor scale, but also the input devices, barcode scanning, label printers and the software needed to bring it all together.” Once the contact was made with ScanScale, it didn’t take long for Zabala to realize he found his integrator. “I looked into a scale and dimensioning. When they asked what my overall needs were, the ball started rolling. An RFP was sent and an attractive proposal was received from ScanScale for the entire implementat on.”

Software Support: Before, During, and After:
"We have been very pleased with Jeff Davies, the ScanScale software engineer on the project,” says Zabala. “When first discussing the project overview, Davies showed initiative.” Zabala goes on to say, “He was interested and offered his point of view, which was respected.” Zabala explains his satisfaction with how this process aided in helping to create the perfect workflow. After the installation, support was another important factor as well. “Making modifications to accommodate day to day scenarios as they arose was a necessary provision,” Zabala chuckles as he makes reference to a change being made remotely by Davies at the very moment. Owner and creator of ScanScale, Dan Ross says, "Part of the success of ScanScale is the ability to create simple shipping software solutions quickly - solutions that fit into customers existing ERP systems. The goal from the start was to be flexible and modular - this enables ScanScale to help a variety of clients, large and small."

Show Me the Benefits:
Overall, this project will produce many sources of payback, like higher level of customer satisfaction, less errors, professionalism, repeatability, labor savings, more profit increases, and enhanced productivity. Additionally, Miyako USA was in the process of upgrading to Sage Pro ERP and wanted to make the greatest use of it. ScanScale successfully interfaced the packing solution to otherwise unused Pro modules, also helping to achieve another Miyako USA objective to fully utilize the program.

“More than higher throughput, although this will increase as our proficiency increases, we are focusing on quality and we feel we’ve accomplished that with ScanScale. Everything else like improved throughput will be a bonus,” Zabala says.

Knowledgeable & Personable:
Zabala found the team at ScanScale easy to work with as he says, “Something I find unique in this industry is coming across qualified people that are personable and professional.” Zabala ads, “The ScanScale people are still very responsive as we continue to make improvements to our processes. We will be looking to work with them once again when we improve some of our operations on the inbound side.” welcomes relevant, exclusive case histories that explain in specific detail the business benefits that new software and material-handling equipment has provided to specific users. Send submissions to Clyde Witt([email protected]), MHM Editor-in-Cheif. All submissions will be edited for clarity, content and style.