Atlas Industries, a commercial cabinetry contractor, contacted us in search of local delivery services because their current provider was doing a poor job.  They were in the business of installing kitchens & bathrooms in high-rise condominium buildings.  They were only looking for a trucking company to transport their job materials from a receiving warehouse to the jobsite, but as we talked though their logistics process we pinpointed a major inefficiency and offered a better solution.

 

For each condominium project that they won, Atlas placed a bulk order with their manufacturer.  They imported the cabinetry from China and it sailed to Denver in 40’ ocean containers.  Larger projects required as many as 12 floor-loaded containers full of knocked-down cabinetry.  The containers were delivered to a local warehouse where they were devanned and the cabinets were palletized.  They were then delivered to the jobsite one truckload at a time.

 

As we asked questions about the lifecycle of the project, we learned that the cabinet parts and pieces were delivered to a general holding area, disorganized and frequently in the wrong quantities.  Atlas’ highly paid professional carpenters and installers spent substantial amounts of time sorting through heavy palletized freight trying to find the parts they needed, and then hauling that freight by hand to the rooms they were working on.  This was costing Atlas significantly more installation labor expense than budgeted and slowing the projects down to the point that they were missing deadlines.  After analyzing the situation we architected a solution that changed the course of the projects.  Our process included applying a traditional fulfillment process to their inventory, but customizing it to account for the unique nuances of a construction site.

 

First we took over the receiving of their ocean containers, but rather than cross docking the freight we sorted and received it into our inventory management system.  Next, we took copies of each unique building plan for each room type within a project and we created a bill of materials/pick slip by room type.  We instructed Atlas to place material orders by room number and room type.  When the orders came in we picked all the items required to build a particular room type and palletized each room individually.  We built custom sized pallets that would fit through the narrow doorways of each room.  We delivered the pallets to the job site on our truck and wheeled each pallet right into the room it was intended for.  This meant that the installer could arrive on the jobsite, walk into a room, open a pallet and get right to work because everything he needed was neatly packaged and instantly available. 

 

Our fulfillment program dramatically increased installation efficiency for Atlas and reduced the associated expenses.  As industry experts, we find great satisfaction in analyzing a company’s supply chain process and suggesting innovative ways to improve it.

Case Study

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