The holidays are a busy time of year. For the spirits industry, the holidays mean a boost in sales. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States estimates that the $49 billion distilled spirits industry makes more than 25 percent of its profits from Thanksgiving to the New Year.
That results in busy warehouses for wine and spirits wholesalers across the country. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) sees a 35-percent increase in sales, marking the wholesaler’s busiest time of year. With more than 5 million square feet of distribution center space and 1,100 delivery vehicles in its fleet, RNDC has implemented Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Intelligence solutions to forecast demand while optimizing space to get the right products to the right stores on time.
“Our volumes, both inbound and outbound, gets spiked for the holidays and our distribution centers get rather filled with inventory making it more difficult to operate as our warehouse storage locations are filled,” says RNDC’s Stefan Kirshenbaum, VP director of distribution and logistics. “The WMS provides greater space utilization in the warehouse, it maintains organization, and it also allows for greater inventory control, especially in these difficult operational times.”
Kirshenbaum says that RNDC began installing Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Intelligence solutions about three years ago. To date, WMS has been implemented in eight distribution centers, the most recent one being in Maryland—the company’s largest facility with 425,000 square feet of space and volume of just over 4 million cases, including wine, beer and spirits.
With only one month of using WMS, Kirshenbaum says that results are already being realized. “As a result of our recent implementation of WMS, their shipping accuracy has improved, their productivity is increasing in the several KPI’s (key performance indicators); in addition, the warehouse management system provides more efficient replenishment of product into the pick modules, and greater inventory control with greater accuracy—all metrics that we measure for our distribution operations. WMS has shown itself to be quite advantageous to obtain levels of efficiency and performance,” he says.
Highlights of Manhattan Associates’ WMS software include automated picking, packing and shipping that minimizes the number of moves per order, improved order accuracy and a reduction in safety stock, the ability to consolidate orders to reduce transportation and shipping costs, the ability to plan and balance workload and monitor activities with labor management integration, an improved warehouse layout for faster fulfillment and overhead reduction and a minimized need for warehouse space with cross-docking and flow-through capabilities.
The company plans on doing about three installations a year in an additional eight or more distribution centers around the country.