TransTech Consulting serves a client base in widely divergent industries. Learn more about work that we’ve done in these areas:

  • Publishing
  • Music Entertainment
  • Returns Processing
  • Retail Products and Supply
  • Tire Distribution

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BOOK PUBLISHING AND DISTRIBUTION

The Background:

  • A large publishing company’s current distribution network was costly and inadequate
  • Existing facilities were not able to sustain future growth nor able to accommodate potential acquisitions

The Challenge:

  • Complete a feasibility study and comprehensive five year strategic plan for warehousing and distribution operations, complete with conceptual design alternatives, labor/space/equipment requirements, cost analysis, financial impact
  • Provide services for facility specification and layout, material handling equipment & WMS specification/selection/vendor management, responsibility for overall project management, and start-up/implementation services

The Results:

  • A new distribution center, more than 800,000 square feet with more than 100,000 storage locations, was designed and
    implemented
  • Piece picking area with nearly 70,000 available locations
  • WMS implementation resulted in increased efficiencies in the areas of order planning, production tracking, cycle counting and transportation management, as well as RF full case picking, putaway and replenishment
  • Automated sortation system consisted of over 6 miles of conveyor, a shoe sorter with a peak rate of 140 cartons a minute and two swing arm sorters

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IMPLEMENTING A PHASE-IN APPROACH-RETURNS PROCESSING

The Background:

  • A large publishing and book distribution company had outgrown its current Returns system with no additional room for expansion
  • Existing Returns processes were inadequate to sustain future growth and volumes with additional acquisitions

The Challenge:

  • TransTech was contracted to analyze the current Returns process, develop conceptual design alternatives, and provide overall project management/implementations services. The new design included:

– Optimization of existing systems capabilities
– Identification of effective and efficient alternative means for storing, processing, and cartonizing returned product
– Recommendation of alternative technologies and concepts

  • Implementation of the new layout and processes was to occur within the same footprint as the existing Returns system

The Results:

  • Utilized a Phase-In implementation plan and careful coordination to complete the project on schedule, under budget, and with zero disruption to operating capabilities
  • Increased Returns capacity for new client acquisition by 80%
  • Doubled the number of Returns storage locations within thesame operational footprint
  • Decreased Back to Stock product handling by 20%
  • Reduced annual staffing costs by 12% through process optimization and improvements.
  • Expanded Returns System overall future capacity by 300%

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MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT AND RETAIL DISTRIBUTING

The Background:

This retailer sells audio and theatrical products in over 1,000 stores across the United States with annual sales above 80 million units. Approximately 50% of the units are distributed in the fourth quarter.
The primary distribution center in the Midwest employed over 300 people and a smaller “hits” center employed over 80 people on the East Coast. These distribution centers performed all the typical logistical functions including: purchasing, retail inventory management, distribution, product pricing, stock balancing, and returns processing.

The Problem:

Management had developed an aggressive growth plan that would increase the number of retail stores to over 1,300 stores within four years. The Midwest distribution center was at capacity in storage, picking and shipping. Management had achieved significant productivity improvements over the past several years, but were still realizing poor inventory accuracy and fill rates. They believed further operational improvements to the current system would not increase capacity to meet the growth projections and the fourth quarter requirements. Therefore, they chose to investigate fresh ideas from industry experts and began a nationwide search for a consulting firm.

The Solution:

After narrowing the prospects to 14 firms, TransTech was selected to assist in the design of a world class distribution system. During the feasibility study, corporate distribution objectives were established, a conceptual plan was developed, capacity and staffing requirements
were computed, and costs and savings were determined for the next five years. The conceptual design included new material flow patterns, improved storage and picking equipment, picking and shipping conveyor, computer controlled sortation system and a gainsharing incentive system.

Results:

The entire distribution system, including the receiving, replenishment, picking, shipping and returns operations was redesigned and a new computer software system was implemented to control the operations. With the implementation of the software system, equipment design and incentive system, the distribution center realized a 40% productivity improvement and has effectively handled the fourth quarter requirements. The increased capacity and the improved productivity in the Midwest center have provided them with the ability to close the East Coast facility. Also, inventory accuracy has been improved significantly and fill rates are above 99.5%.

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RETAIL PRODUCTS & SUPPLIES DISTRIBUTION

The Background:

  • A multibillion dollar company and the world’s largest owner, operator, franchisor and acquirer of retail locations of its kind with more than 9,000 locations in 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico & Europe
  • Store growth, SKU proliferation, and unit growth required improved warehousing and order fulfillment practices in order to meet company service level, productivity and operating cost objectives
  • Client exhibited consistent growth of 20% per year and had a two facility distribution network and the capacity of the existing facilities was being approached

The Challenge:

  • TransTech was contracted to complete a feasibility study and five year comprehensive plan for the project management and implementation of alternative distribution operations. The design included:

– Potential distribution facility networks, facility location and size
– Space, equipment, systems, and manpower requirements

The Results:

  • A new world class, automated distribution center was designed and implemented to accommodate company growth
  • Implementation of a WMS, storage, pick-to-light equipment, automated carton sortation, and an incentive system

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TIRE RETAIL & WHOLESALE

The Background:

  • The client is a $300 million dollar retailer and wholesaler of automotive tires and related products
  • Client exhibited consistent growth of 20% per year and had a four facility distribution network
  • The capacity of the Midwest facility was being breached and new 500,000 sq. ft. DC was already under construction
  • None of the operations had been formally designed or were operating with an appropriate WMS

The Challenge:

TransTech’s primary objective was to analyze, design and implement the new Midwest operations and a WMS in five months

  • Determine cost effective alternatives for the operational design
  • Determine WMS requirements to select software that supports the design
  • Implement and fine-tune through peak season

The Results:

  • Distribution Center operations and WMS were started up as scheduled for peak shipping season
  • Inventory accuracy was increased from 70% to 99.5%
  • Productivity improvements allow the DC to handle 30% more business than the previous peak season with no increase in labor