Prism Logistics is a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider located in Northern California specializing in operations, warehousing, transportation, and distribution services, along with offering customizable value-added services. Today, Prism Logistics operates more than 1.2 million square feet of warehouse capacity in seven thriving locations, all of which are ISO Certified, food-grade warehouses.
To improve and streamline internal processes, Prism needed a warehouse management system (WMS), that combined best practices along with configurability to map to their often complex and highly specific needs. For example, Prism ships in excess of 300 million pounds per year for certain customers. Because the company is heavily involved in case pick and pallet work, there is a need to track a large inventory with many moving parts accurately. Prism Logistics needed a system with the features to make day-to-day life easier in the warehouses while driving accuracy, productivity, and efficiency.
Prism Logistics moved from a manual paper legacy system to a purpose-built, industry-leading warehouse management system. Upon implementation, the AFS WMS started to transform the speed and accuracy of Prism’s internal processes, including the tracking of inventory.
“We were in a paper environment before, with various item codes, lots and batch numbers. This had us in a world of hurt where we were trying to interpret the warehouse’s writings. So, is that a five or is that an S? I mean, when you are doing things in a manual system you are just prone to human error,” said President and Co-Founder Jere Van Puffelen. “So, from the standpoint of accuracy and speed, it has helped. The system now gives us real-time access to real data. There’s no question that we can receive faster, pick faster, in essence, because of inventory accuracy.”
On the outbound side Van Puffelen noted, “When you have that level of accuracy, then when a guy goes to the slot to pick, it’s there. And so now we’ve gone from quarterly inventories to not taking any physical inventories.”
Prism Logistics also uses a unique WMS count back feature that prompts the order selector to verify the remaining inventory in the pick slot before moving onto the next location to pick. This has also helped with their inventory accuracy and customer satisfaction by ensuring the correct quantity in the location. If there is a discrepancy, they immediately look at the last operator’s activity. It has helped reduce picker errors.
“So, we know the benefit of that count back because we’ve lived it,” Van Puffelen said.
Benefits Across Operation
Prism Logistics experienced an inventory accuracy improvement from approximately 95 to 99.8 percent. This improvement in inventory accuracy not only helped Prism Logistics internally but also allowed Prism Logistics to better accommodate their customers.
As Van Puffelen explained, “Now, we can provide the customer more information to be able to go back and dispute claims from their customers. So, just making the system tighter all the way around has helped us internally but has also helped our customers.”
Additional benefits Prism Logistics realized in their implementation of AFS WMS include receiving efficiency and accuracy weekly savings of 25 percent along with errors being reduced to .01 percent, real-time access to orders, receipts, and inventory, pick accuracy of 99.98 percent, and real-time recall reliability
Prism Logistics found more in AFS than just a warehouse management system.
“They are also a partner in our growth,” Van Puffelen stated. “We get great support from AFS and we can discuss key roadmap items that end up improving the system and being beneficial to both of us.”