Dan Gilmore, Chief Marketing Officer
The eCommerce sector is moving at a breakneck pace and shows no signs of slowing down. Even as retailers and B2B organizations strive to meet dynamic market needs, they are up against unprecedented supply chain dynamics and pressures on fulfillment cost and cycle times. In addition, labor shortages, challenges in optimizing materials handling systems, and determining the most cost-effective way to source each order to meet the customer’s needs adds to operational pressures. At the same time, many companies see on-going difficulties in achieving high levels of profitability in eCommerce channels.
For companies to remain competitive, their supply chains must be able to satisfy customer needs while rapidly adapting to new opportunities and requirements. To get there, it is critical for businesses to have a partner who offers robust but highly flexible supply chain solutions for the short and long term.
Softeon, a supply chain and logistics software provider, well-understands these challenges and has delivered the right solutions to address them. That includes an advanced warehouse management system (WMS), an innovative warehouse execution system (WES), and a dynamic distributed order management (DOM) solution. From starting as a warehouse management system provider in 1999 to becoming a broad market leader today, Softeon has come a long way with its configurable, functionally-rich suite of WMS and supply chain execution solutions. Today, the firm delivers broad and deep capabilities to Fortune 50 companies as well as medium-sized businesses and logistics service providers, including retailers and non-retailers alike in the apparel, healthcare, CPG and 3PL sectors, among others.
The company has one of the broadest suites of solutions in the supply chain industry, including extended WMS capabilities such as labor and resource management, assembly and kitting, yard management, parcel, 3PL billing, traditional order management, direct store delivery, and reverse logistics.
Bringing Advanced Supply Chain Capabilities
Softeon’s WMS is a feature-rich, highly adaptable, and simple-to-use system for managing distribution center operations at enhanced efficiency and productivity levels. The solution allows customers to control inbound, outbound, and inventory management operations in real-time, providing an out of box or nearly out of the box solution every time.
One interesting example of this is Softeon’s WMS solution for put walls, an increasingly popular order fulfillment system that employs a physical structure to produce a series of cubby holes or slots into which products for customer orders are placed or put after they have been picked. Each slot holds products for the entirety or a part of a specific customer’s order. By using a put wall, order picking efficiencies are obtained through the use of batch picking, where picks are grouped so that all goods required for orders to be processed in a given wall module or modules are picked in one stop at each location.
Softeon uses powerful algorithms to determine which orders are best suited for the put walls and optimizing order batches to maximizing pick and put density. Softeon similarly optimizes other types of picking systems.
With its innovative WES Softeon uniquely drives value for automated, manual, or semi-automated DCs. “The notion that WES is only for automated systems is incorrect. It works great for automated systems but can also deliver a lot of value for businesses with little to modest automation,” notes Gilmore, Chief Marketing Officer of Softeon. He adds that “Softeon WES brings a new level of optimization and orchestration to order fulfillment that is not available even from advanced tier one WMS solutions.”
Adding to its broad list of offerings is Softeon’s DOM solution, which helps B2C and B2B companies determine how to optimally source an order to meet customer service commitments at the lowest total cost while considering network capacities and constraints. A robust, configurable rules engine is at the heart of the DOM, allowing businesses to easily define sourcing and fulfillment policies and logic, and flexibly change that over time.
Delivering Customer Success Every Time
Another point of Softeon differentiation is a deployment methodology that has enabled it to achieve a 100 percent record of implementation success for its WMS and other solutions–unequaled in the market. The company is also known for its high levels of customer satisfaction.
The company also offers a unique approach to implementation that it calls “Hypercare,” which is applied after system go-live and in which Softeon focuses on rapidly achieving operational success and reaching “time to value.”
Softeon also delivers high levels of agility. An example comes from Duluth Trading Company, a major omni-channel retailer that was looking for a tool that could help it improve order fulfillment decisions. With several distribution centers and now 60+ physical stores, a key process is deciding where each order should be best fulfilled. Softeon’s DOM dynamically answers that question for Duluth in terms of the optimal sourcing point, based on multiple variables for every order.
Another point of Softeon differentiation is a deployment methodology that has enabled it to achieve a 100 percent customer satisfaction rate
In fulfillment, as Duluth continues to grow in volume, it has advanced from using manual cart picking alone to the extensive use of put walls, and then mechanized pick models using conveyorized transport. Softeon later implemented “virtual put walls,” which help Duluth increase picking efficiency and reduce conveyor congestion by increasing batch sizes. “In this dynamic omni-channel world, this is one example of how a customer has been able to flexibly adapt and add new capabilities to drive continuous improvement,” Gilmore adds.
Looking ahead, with its new technology advancements, Softeon aims at improving its clients’ supply chain efficiency and customer experiences by offering innovative, flexible supply chain software that is delivered on-time and at a fair value. “Softeon intends to break new grounds in the supply chain by delivering new smart warehouse capabilities with WMS and WES,” concludes Gilmore.