It is a common theme in articles printed at TMC (News - Alert) to hear about how one company helped supply its product to another; it is an every-day, if not multiple-times-a-day occurrence. What is not common, however, is when you hear of two companies joining forces to provide an entirely new product for their joint client.
This was the case with enterprise mobility device provider Infinite Peripherals (IPC (News - Alert)) and mobile app development platform Webalo in their combined effort to improve the supply chain at Bell Nursery. The IPC Linea Pro enterprise mobility system combined with the Webalo (News - Alert) Supply Chain and Inventory Management has made it possible for Bell, a primary supplier of plants to 178 Home Depot stores, to decrease waste at its facilities by 50 percent and save more than $7 million since its inception.
Joe Perret, the vice president at Bell, commented on the positive effect the products have had on his business.
“This versatile software has delivered on our mission to dramatically increase business productivity,” Perret said. “The new solution has helped us save $7 million in inventory waste while significantly increasing our overall efficiency.”
Overall, Bell has about 400 to 600 stock keeping units (SKUs), or items for sale, it its inventory at any one time during the busy season—a 10-week period in the summer. Those SKUs are available at 200 inventory locations across the U.S., so of course that adds up to a lot of plants, about 100 million annuals, perennials, and poinsettias every year for Home Depot. It takes more than 1,700 employees in busy times to manage the stock, and they are all now able to use the Linea barcode scanner to keep track of items.
Furthermore, the Linea system also contains a magnetic stripe reader for iOS to help track inventory, complete point-of-sale transactions, track sales leads, manage work flows, and compute the time worked and labor completed of individual employees.
Combined with the mobile supply chain software of Webalo, the efforts here have taken Bell into a much more efficient mode of operation. It should expect its future to continue to be much brighter than its past simply for having the right tools at its disposal. Any limits of its legacy inventory tracking system should now be covered and the company may scale as a result.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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