Helping Retailers Master Their Distribution

Duff Davidson
Duff Davidson, CEO



Quote: The Made4net supply chain platform helps retailers gain inventory control, improve efficiency, and reduce operational costs.

Retail distribution is complex, and today retailers face challenges around inventory control, visibility and omnichannel distribution. Balancing demands, inventory stock levels and ensuring the goods are in the right location for distribution, for the right channel, are a constant challenge.

Today’s retailers need greater product assortments and unified commerce platforms that drive to real-time order management, real-time replenishment and customer-preference data. “The lines are blurring between channels and devices, and omnichannel fulfillment grows increasingly more complex every day. Success lies in finding innovative and cost-effective ways to distribute high-volume consumer and retail goods, manage the overflowing product pipeline and integrate people, processes, systems and data,” says Duff Davidson CEO of Made4net.

Many retailers are turning to technology to meet these supply chain demands. The Made4net Warehouse Management System (WMS) provides these key features for retailers to gain inventory control, improve efficiency, and reduce operational costs. More importantly, Made4net Warehouse Execution System (WES) is what retailers need to support not only their traditional store fulfillment, but also drive their micro-fulfillment centers that may have a mix of MHE and AMR’s (Autonomous Mobile Robots), for online orders that have been increasing dramatically in the past few years, and specifically in 2020 with COVID forcing us to be a smartphone/screen consumer.

Made4net is a leading global provider of best-in-class, cloud-based supply chain execution and warehouse management software for organizations of all sizes to improve the speed and efficiency of their supply chain. The company’s end-to-end SCExpert platform offers robust WMS software that enables real-time inventory visibility, labor management, and equipment productivity with performance analytics that drive faster, more accurate order fulfillment and improved operational efficiency. In addition to the best-of-breed WMS, the platform offers integrated yard management, dynamic route planning, proof of delivery, and warehouse automation/control software that deliver a true Warehouse Execution System (WES) and end to end supply chain convergence.

For retailers, Made4net also offers unique capabilities for merchandise allocation and special distribution handling to stores, taking into consideration availability, demand, store ranking and priorities. All while ensuring the work is driven efficiently and scheduled properly to meet outbound truck departure times for accurate and on-time arrival of orders to stores. The company has a robust Work/Task Manager that can be configured to address the dynamic, ever-changing factors that drive the movement in the warehouse, and takes into account priorities of replenishments, and interleaving of tasks within the DC to make the work more efficient.

While the store management system often handles DSD products, Made4net offers a procurement and costing module that enables buyers to create and manage their warehouse PO’s directly and seamlessly within the WMS. This gives the buyers more control on synchronizing inventory between vendors, the distribution centers and the stores, with a single point of inventory visibility, and an automated calculation of product retail cost for every order that is shipped to the store.

As labor is an ongoing challenge and an opportunity for improvement in both DCs and stores, Made4net offers as part of its single platform, LaborExpert – a workforce management tool used to calculate and support the implementation of engineered labor standards. The system dynamically calculates the time needed to perform each job and task, pushing and presenting warehouse associates with specific time goals before they start picking as well as the actual time and related performance once they complete each task.

Ensuring inventory availability depends on visibility into accurate data. Made4net WMS arms retailers with extensive and customizable reporting tools and the ability to view and track in real-time every move. The Made4net platform offers a set of extensive tools that enable a customer to configure and customize the system as well as build their personalized reporting and analytics, all without the need to write any code and ensure a seamless and straightforward upgradability path. The SCExpert Connect integration layer communicates seamlessly with e-commerce platforms, enterprise systems, carriers, POS, automation and other systems within the retailers’ supply chain network.

One retailer that started using Made4net solutions in 2011 to manage inventory and traceability for perishable products is Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., a Phoenix-based grocery chain synonymous with fresh produce and natural and organic foods. Paper-based processes proved too cumbersome to manage new growth, increased volume, and warehouse operations servicing at the retail chain. With Sprout’s next-day delivery guarantee for all orders, and planned growth there was added pressure for inventory accuracy, labor efficiency, and automated quality control. Recognizing the need to relinquish manual processes, Sprouts adopted the Made4net Warehouse Management System (WMS) and recorded a 32 percent improvement in inventory accuracy in the same six-month period over the previous year. The added visibility from Made4net’s closed-loop WarehouseExpert™ solution allowed Sprouts to control its fresh inventory throughout the entire supply chain – from optimal warehouse placement and automated quality control procedures to shipping accurate store orders.  Ten years later Sprouts uses the Made4net WMS with RF and Voice technology to run each of its 7 regional DC’s servicing its 340 stores in 23 states.

For the days to come, Made4net will continue to dominate the retail market with its innovative supply chain solutions that are configurable and scalable to meet the changing demands of retailers. Leading industry analysts recommend the solution and recognize the company for right-sizing the solutions to meet each individual customer’s needs.