- WHY RFGEN?
Myers Tire Supply is the largest wholesale distributor of tools, supplies and auto shop equipment for the tire, wheel and under-vehicle service industry. As a just-in-time resupplier, Myers Tire Supply offers over 10,000 items. Delivering top-notch customer service, the company guarantees same-day order processing.
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Stocking supplies and tools for every type of vehicle requires a lot of inventory. Myers Tire Supply managed inventory using Oracle’s JD Edwards World, but that required manual processes. Manager of Distribution Operations, Paul Nonno, wanted to adopt automated data collection using mobile devices and barcode scanning to increase efficiency.
“Our primary objective for pursuing mobile data collection for JD Edwards was really to drive improved inventory management within the distribution centers,” recalled Paul Nonno, “Our secondary objective was to drive cost reductions and efficiency improvements. I was looking to add automation at point of receipt, and to be able to transact easily as material moved within the four walls, throughout order fulfillment and on to ship confirm before passing to a carrier.”
Nonno reached out to Oracle, who pointed him to three companies. After a lengthy review, Nonno selected RFgen Mobile Foundations for Oracle’s JD Edwards. He said, “While all three solutions had much of the core functionality we needed, RFgen really stood apart with its additional features. One example is license plating; not every solution could do that. I also called customer references for RFgen, and I put a lot of weight into those conversations.”
RFgen Mobile Foundations for Oracle’s JD Edwards is a suite of pre-written, pre-tested Oracle- validated data collection solutions that enables Myers Tire Supply to deliver on-demand mobile capabilities to employees using barcode scanners and tablets—both inside and outside the four walls of the distribution center.
RFgen enables companies to run mobile apps both online and offline regardless of the operating system or mobile device type. Businesses can use industrial or consumer-grade mobile devices, with support for offline workforce activities like remote or consignment inventory management, direct store delivery (DSD) or field sales/service applications.
RFgen has delivered end-to-end automation throughout Myers Tire Supply’s four distribution centers—and beyond. Using RFgen has enabled Myers Tire Supply to:
Mobile Sales Order Entry
Currently in testing, a custom sales order app developed by RFgen empowers the sales team to place orders more easily from the field. The RFgen mobile sales app enables sales people to look up items including descriptions and photographs, see cross referenced items for promotions, decide whether or not an order will be charged freight, show online invoices to customers and capture their signatures, as well as review 12 months of order and Accounts Receivable history—all from mobile tablets. Soon, that app will be in the hands of all 150 Myers Tire Supply sales professionals.
“Our sales people were batching orders at the end of the day. You can see the impact that had on my operations. If a customer places an order by 5:00 p.m., we pledge to ship it that same day. The big opportunity with the sales app is to make placing orders easy. The sooner I can get that order, the better I can meet customer commitments,” said Nonno.
Intelligent Small Parcel Batch Picking
Myers Tire Supply’s customers place frequent, small orders. Nonno needed RFgen to support batch picking to improve the speed of order fulfillment and ensure same-day shipping. He also wanted to improve the accuracy of shipments.
RFgen Warehouse Director combines orders into batches using RFgen License Plating. RFgen intelligently batches order picks by order type, weight, and carrier and creates each batch to be a manageable size of what can fit on a single picker’s cart. Warehouse Director routes pickers through the warehouse using paths optimized for efficiency. Traversing the warehouse in a serpentine fashion, pickers never have to backtrack.
“With Warehouse Director, we gained real efficiency through directed travel and the ability to pick multiple orders at once,” said Nonno.
Tighter Inventory Control
RFgen made an immediate impact on Myers Tire Supply’s inventory management. Information was available more quickly in JD Edwards, so both sales and operational teams knew more about inventory status. Using mobile devices and barcodes made it much easier for warehouse personnel to receive and putaway new inventory, as well as transfer inventory between locations.
“One of the places RFgen was the biggest game changer was on our receiving dock. JD Edwards receiving is a manual, paper-driven and quite lengthy process. It would take up to four days from when something hit our dock until it was actually available in JD Edwards. If it’s not in the system, it can’t be ordered. So reducing that time by 50% with RFgen is a huge leap forward for us.”
Nonno added, “Before RFgen, inventory came in one door, and it didn’t transact within JD Edwards again until it went out the other door. Now, with RFgen, I have tracking and traceability within my distribution centers to provide not only better inventory visibility, but also to drive improved order accuracy.”
On-Demand Mobile App for Direct Store Delivery
RFgen had automated everything from the initial sales order through order fulfillment and ship confirm, but at the Southern California distribution center, Nonno wanted to take the automation one step further. In this location, some orders are delivered directly to customers, and Nonno asked RFgen to develop a custom mobile app for the Direct Store Delivery (DSD) drivers.
For DSD, orders are picked, packed and staged on pallets, then loaded onto a company truck for delivery. The driver has the RFgen DSD mobile app on a semi-ruggedized tablet as he makes deliveries. In front of the customer, the driver can change item quantities, cancel lines on the order, capture signatures for proof of delivery and release the inventory from JD Edwards at the time of sale. In the event of an item being cancelled, an email is automatically sent to the warehouse so they know to expect that item’s return. With the newest release of RFgen, Myers Tire Supply will also be able to do truck routing thanks to new mobile GPS features.
End-to-End Efficiency Gains
From improving the sales order process to automating direct store delivery, RFgen has provided end-to-end automation and driven efficiency gains throughout Myers Tire Supply. To sum up the improvement, Nonno said, “At the end of the day, it comes down to this: JD Edwards World is a menu-driven, green-screen application, and most organizations have made a leap forward to get more nimble applications. We took that leap with RFgen, and it really drove automation in every corner of our organization. It is a night and day difference.”