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REPL Deliver Dynamic Distribution Centre Solution
REPL were appointed by a leading global publishing group to implement
a warehouse management solution at their green-field world-leading
A new 240,000+ sq ft building in Oxfordshire is replacing two existing warehouses where books are received from publishers and sent out to both trade and personal customers across the globe.
With a warehouse to build, design and execute that needed transformative WMS technology, they turned to the supply chain experts at REPL.
The company oversees the distribution of over 60 million books each year for 45 publishers and supply one out of every four books to the UK trade.
Historically, the publishing group have operated from two distribution centres. These were joined by new the cutting-edge distribution centre in August 2018.
As one of the most advanced distribution centres in Europe, it boasts leading-edge automation and systems to ensure world-class service to customers and publisher clients.
To meet client and customer expectations and future-proof the business, the publishing group needed a best-in-class WMS system. This had to run and be delivered in parallel with the installation of an automated material
handling equipment at the distribution centre and a new order-to-cash (SAP) system.
When combined, these three bespoke elements met numerous objectives in a competitive marketplace:
▶ Enhanced service offering: reduce order lead times, improve pick accuracy, handle specialist requirements, increase connectivity, provide real-time information, support current and future markets
▶ Increased efficiency: eliminate manual processes, streamline supply chain, reduce duplication
▶ Reduced business risk: ensure reliability and continuity, set up a WMS disaster recovery plan, introduce a comprehensive support service
▶ Supported growth: retain existing clients and attract new ones with best-in-class systems, improve stock management to create space, reduce distribution charges and compete in a cut-throat market.
After selecting Blue Yonder (Formally JDA) as their WMS software vendor, the publishing group needed a partner to deliver the solution.
They turned to REPL
REPL began working with the publishing group in 2016, appointing a dedicated team to lead the Blue Yonder (Formally JDA) WMS Implementation and support the overall WMS workstream. Working to a hybrid waterfall and agile methodology, our experts had the implementation knowledge and experience they needed to roll out Blue Yonder WMS (9.1). With access to a broad range of skills, REPL also provided support and expertise across systems integration, digital and
development services, and all phases of the test programme.
To ensure a bespoke solution, REPL added flexibility, and therefore value, to the system by developing additional capabilities to meet the publishing group’s unique needs.
James Gammon, Supply Chain Alliance Director at REPL, said: “Our end-to-end offering enabled us to offer a wide range of skills and the continuity that the publishing group requested. They had assurance throughout the project that we could resolve any challenges and the confidence that we could support them beyond the programme.
“They saw us as a safe pair of hands based on our previous successful WMS projects. That substantial experience, along with our proven expertise as a Blue Yonder Gold Partner, allowed us to develop and deliver an exceptional solution that added significant value.”
The project was implemented at short notice during the training and process execution challenges in the early stages of roll-out. REPL were quickly able to provide guidance and resources to support and resolve the issues efficiently and effectively.
The result is an intuitive, transparent WMS system achieved through
collaboration, integration and innovation.
The staged roll-out saw a major non-fiction publisher move their stock into the distribution centre first. Initially operating at 5% volume after a successful golive in September 2018 capacity was quickly increased to 30% before Xmas 2018, the centre is operating at 5% volume with the next publisher to join due to increase that figure to 30%. The remaining 70% of volume was successfully rolled out in 2019. The publishing groups investment in the future of the book industry is now attracting more and more publishers to use their world-leading distribution facilities REPL provided the right expertise and experience having delivered multiple WMS project in the past.
THE REPL DIFFERENCE
The team quickly, smoothly and competitively achieved change with
minimal disruption to the client’s day-to-day business. Success was thanks to their experience of implementing WMS solutions for major companies around the world combined with a commitment to go the extra mile, a passion for innovation and a collaborative, agile approach. REPL continued to deliver throughout the project, providing additional support and guidance, often at short notice, with the ability to flex resources accordingly. The partnership was extended by a three-year support contract once the solution went live.