Adaptability and striving to better existing processes are two key signs of a great business. One of the main reasons for this is because these companies constantly adjust to internal changes and ever-changing consumer demands.
As a result, they become well versed in growing and expanding their divisions all year round.
In December 2017, we were able to show just how versatile Express really is, by transitioning from a paper-based warehouse management system to all-digital programmes called Xpress and FastTrack.
These two apps are powered by the American company, Lightspeed Automation, which creates innovative technology to improve business processes.
So, what did this new Lightspeed solution mean for Express? Let’s find out…
How it all works
Before changing to Lightspeed Automation’s Xpress app, the warehouse team would load deliveries with a randomised selection of products to replenish customers’ vending machines at a time most convenient for the client.
With the help of Lightspeed technology, this has all changed.
Now, our team receives cranial information about the products each vending machine requires through a telemetry unit, installed within each machine.
When a product is below capacity, we immediately receive a notification in the warehouse, which prompts us to refill an order, which gets processed overnight.
This enables us to respond to consumer demand in a quicker, more efficient manner and our team now only takes the exact products when they are needed. This reduces the mileage of each product which in turn improves freshness and availability.
Less stock may be leaving the warehouse daily, but more is being delivered overall. Products are being delivered little and often, but now it’s the right stock being delivered at the right time.
Knowing the right amount of stock to deliver isn’t the only benefit.
We can also use the granular data we receive from Lightspeed Automation’s programmes to analyse and react to what isn’t selling as well.
Our team can identify less popular products or ones which only spike in popularity during certain periods. This enables us to reduce the number of potential waste products in the warehouse and to adjust our product offerings by seasonal demand.
Through Lightspeed technology, we also tailor our customer service and product recommendations to existing and new customers as we don’t believe in set planograms. The data we receive through Xpress shows the type of products being sold against the type of business (i.e.: PR agencies, law firms and banking), enabling us to offer bespoke packages to every customer.
We pride ourselves on being able to supply unique product offerings, which also enable us to diversify product lines further.
Speed and efficiency
Using Lightspeed Automation’s Xpress and FastTrack programmes has made our warehouse operations faster and more efficient. We are well on the way to becoming a paperless company and now processing orders four times faster too.
Rather than working from hundreds of pieces of paper a day, the warehouse team uses an iPad to pick orders. Xpress allows 5 members of staff to simultaneously process individual orders through its app, which is programmed to recognise the zone and specific warehouse section where a product is stored.
It also suggests real-time product substitutions for when an item isn’t available and the best physical route to take when picking an order.
The Xpress then works in conjunction with FastTrack, to provide a pick-to-light system which directs a member of staff to the exact location of a product.
Here’s to the future
Changing from a purely paper-based system to Lightspeed Automation has helped us to completely overhaul and improve how we run day-to-day warehouse management, due to the benefits of enhanced digital processes and the integration between both platforms.
This is a huge investment in the company and one that will futureproof and enhance our business operations for years to come.