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Latest Issue: Sept/Oct 17

Extreme sports retailer conquers warehouse challenges

Online action sports retailer, Freestyle Xtreme has implemented the Snapfulfil cloud warehouse management system to drive efficiencies in its global fulfilment operation.

Freestyle Xtreme sells the biggest brands in action sports and operates 20 multi-country, multi-lingual websites, regularly shipping to 60+ countries worldwide. The company's 15,000 sq ft warehouse in Bristol stocks around 30,000 SKUs and 100,000 items and typically handles in the region of 800 orders per day, a figure which can more than double in the run up to Christmas peak.

Having grown by more than 100 per cent I the last 12 months, Freestyle Xtreme found that the warehouse management module of its ERP system lacked both the functionality and flexibility it needed to manage its fast-moving and fast-growing fulfilment operation. The business therefore set out to find a best of breed WMS to provide a stable and scalable platform for continued growth and to support the approaching peak season.

Freestyle Xtreme's customer experience director, Ben Richardson says: "Our needs had grown beyond what our old system could handle and the warehouse had become a 'black hole' for inventory with little visibility of stock once it was received.

"Due to the lack of process, we also relied heavily on the experience of our people to know how to work around the limitations of the old system and it was taking a good couple of months for new people to get fully up to speed, creating a lot of room for errors."

Following a review of several WMS vendors, Freestyle Xtreme selected the Snapfulfil Cloud WMS due to its No Capex model, commitment to delivering a quality system in a rapid time frame and the immediate productivity improvements promised by the system's automated task management functionality.

Since implementing the system, Freestyle Xtreme is already seeing massive efficiency benefits. Compared to the same time last year, the operation is handling 108% more volume with only three additional people, working an eight, rather than a 12 hour shift.

Ben Richardson says: "We're picking and packing much more quickly since implementing Snapfulfil and despatching the majority of orders the same day. We're also expecting to realise further efficiencies as we utilise more of the functionality within the system.

"After years of manual counting in of stock, Snapfulfil has also given us vastly improved stock accuracy and integrity and another major benefit is the ability to use the system to conduct a rolling stock take, eliminating the need for a manual stock take and saving five people two weeks of work."

Snapfulfil will also support the further expansion of Freestyle Xtreme's warehouse which will treble capacity with the addition of multi-level pick modules.