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Oak Furniture Land updates warehouse IT

By Retail Technology | Tuesday April 15 2014

Multichannel solid hardwood furniture retailer drives new efficiencies with cloud-based warehouse management technology

Oak Furniture Land recently revealed it has experienced a 10% improvement in its warehouse management productivity, since introducing a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) based system across the business.

The introduction of a new SaaS warehouse management system (WMS) from provider Snapfulfil has also more than halved handling damage, as the warehouse can now make consolidated picks, which means that product types can be grouped as they are loaded onto a lorry going to a depot.

Rapid growth in sales in the last two years means that the main warehouse at head office in Swindon now holds 61,000 square metres of stock at any one time. 

Outgoing manually intensive processes

Oak Furniture Land was outgrowing its old paper-based system, so introduced the new system to help to streamline processes and efficiencies. As a result, picking turnaround times have reduced significantly and stock is leaving headquarters for delivery at a faster rate. 

The electronic WMS system uses radio frequency (RF) scanners, which means that staff can now track where an order is anywhere in the picking process. For the customer, this means that warehouse staff can also make any changes to their order more easily, which also reduces the amount of orders that are delayed.

Ross Lawson, IT director at Oak Furniture Land, stated: “Just as we spend a lot of time developing other parts of the business, such as our logistics, sales and customer service, it is vital that we do the same for the management of our warehouse processes. We needed a system that was future proof and able to flex as we continue to grow at pace.

Extending benefits to customers

“Implementing the new system has had a dramatic impact on the way we run the warehouse and also for our warehouse staff and their working day. We are now looking ahead to phase two, where we are planning to extend the system so that customers can track their order to delivery.”

One of the additional main benefits of the system includes resource planning, as it is possible to track operatives collectively as they manage orders. It is then easier for the retailer to identify particular areas where there may be common problems, so that changes can be made to working processes to help them work more efficiently. 
In May last year, Oak Furniture Land moved to a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Swindon, which includes a 300,000 square feet distribution centre (DC), equal in size to four football pitches. 

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