TAMPA, Fla. -- Kash N' Karry Food Stores here will track inventory and manage inbound and outbound shipments virtually instantly via computer when it completes the installation of its warehouse management control system this week.
Kash N' Karry upgraded its warehouse computer system, which originally only controlled a portion of warehouse inventory, to manage the entire distribution center.
Currently, 85% of the retailer's warehouse categories are on-line, including grocery, produce, dairy, deli and ice cream and frozen foods, according to Mark Stewart, vice president of warehouse and distribution for Kash N' Karry.
The retailer just completed a software conversion to bring its general merchandise and health and beauty care category on board as well, he added. The transition should be complete by Thursday, making the warehouse system 100% functional to track all aspects of inventory.
"The system directs the work force to manage inventory and to put products away in a logical manner, making the most efficient use of the distribution center," Stewart told SN. Productivity is on the rise with the warehouse control system. Stewart calculated at least a 10% improvement since the software's installation one year ago, not including the GM/HBC category.
He explained, for example, that time is saved by scanning the pallet label as opposed to physically counting the pallet cases. "When counting the number of cases on pallets, the figure is prone to human error," he said. "By scanning the pallet, the manual mistakes seen on paper are greatly reduced."
Based on daily cycle counts, Stewart estimates that inventory accuracy ranges from 95% to 99.9% since the warehouse control system has been running in the distribution center.
Instead of shutting down the warehouse and manually counting inventory, the system allows the operator to query inventory by slot, aisle, department, location or case amounts.
If data does not match the computer information, the system allows for a manual count and adjustment in the system. The system collects and verifies data nearly instantly, which represents a dramatic improvement over the days-long manual process.
Other phases of the system include directing products for shipment or storage, informing the user of the location of products and what is available within the warehouse, and updating product rotation and cycle count inventories.