Case Study A New Era Of Growth Purity Soft Drinks Update Their Warehouse Management System.

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As a leading manufacturer of juices and soft drinks, Purity Soft Drinks know what it takes to squeeze out every single drop of resource.

One of the oldest companies in the UK, Purity started life supplying soft drinks by horse drawn dray in the heart of the Black Country. Fast forward to today, Purity boasts over 20,000 stockists in the UK and employs nearly 100 people.

A favourite amongst locals, the 125-year history of Purity is one of growth and success and is a real testament to great British manufacturing. Purity needed software that was smart, scalable and that matched the companies thirst for growth. So, when they came to us having already had a disappointing WMS user-journey with another provider, we were only too happy to offer a fresh set of eyes…

A New Era Of Growth
Purity had been struggling for some time with a system that simply wasn’t cutting the mustard. The company felt they had outgrown the previous system and that it didn’t match their ambitious growth plans anymore. There was a worry that the system wouldn’t cope with more functionality as and when the business might need it, any kind of expansion might cause pressure on their overall supply chain. 2 Purity wanted more goods to move through the warehouse, and for the warehouse capacity to increase without expanding their actual warehouse square footage.

Based on prior experience, Purity’s Logistic Manager Martin Hipkiss, knew an improvement had to be possible. “I researched the market and invited a few companies to pitch for the business. Proteus software from Sanderson stood out as not only offering the right kind of solution for the size and scale of the business, but also able to cope with our plans for expansion. The Proteus solution also seemed to be user-friendly, and a good fit with the existing team, whose main prerequisite for any change is ease of use and a simple transition period.”

Purity had already earmarked efficiency gains as the main reason for wanting an effective WMS; the business wanted to be able to increase their warehouse capacity and increase the efficiency of their staff. Within six months of implementing the solution, Purity was already experiencing significant efficiency gains, with the expectation of more to come.

“Previously, warehouse staff were desperate for space, even though only 60% of the racking was being effectively used. Thanks to the new system, they are using more like of the 85% available space. Now they can easily see where more stock could be stored.” Martin Hipkiss, Logistics Manager

The reason for this is quite simple. Proteus WMS really has got under the skin of the business and the dramatic upturn is down to the way the WMS allows the warehouse to be laid out. Previously, stock was laid out determined by flavour and pallets would be bulked together by flavour on the racks:

“The way the bottles were bulked together was really restrictive – empty racks were everywhere and although logical, the system just didn’t work to maximise the space available. Now, the team doesn’t bulk things together. Anything can go anywhere. As soon as a pallet is removed, the system knows that the space is available regardless of flavour. ”

Purity are impressed with how much of an effect Proteus WMS has had on growth; there’s now a huge increase in confidence that the system can handle further growth plans. One of their biggest targets was to stop using 3rd party distributors and to bring everything back in-house. This is now well underway.

The WMS has also allowed the company to demonstrate noticeable financial gain from more effective stock rotation. Martin explains:

“Prior to the new system, stock was being allocated at the point of sale by office staff. So, we had numerous errors in stock control and rotation, with older stock being left in favour of the newest stock being shipped first. The new system has taken the stock choice away from the sales team. Proteus automatically takes the oldest stock and allocates it to orders and completely negates any previous issues.“

A New Era Of Growth
Wastage figures have reduced enormously from £20,000 to less than £5,000, over a 6-month period. Cost savings have been significant, with staff, waste and outside warehousing costs reducing by the day.

“For me it has been a huge change. It’s not only the way we do things, but it’s also influencing the culture in the warehouse and the job satisfaction of the team. Our warehouse is now much more professional – everything is based on facts and data and not just on gut feeling and intuition. Everyone is more confident, and it’s a much more positive environment. People know exactly what to do and can plan in terms of labour, productivity and capacity. The warehouse staff know that what they are doing is exactly right. It’s made a huge difference.”

Overall, Purity are happy with where they’re at right now. With projects this size there’s bound to be teething problems at the beginning of the journey, but we’ve put them in a good place. The Purity warehouse is thriving, and so is its growth plans.

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