A leading manufacturer & supplier of hygienic paper products has successfully made the transition from pen-and-paper driven warehousing to next-level digital technology after investing in an advanced cloud-based WMS.
The Northwood Companies operate across the hygienic sector in the UK and Europe. Northwood is the leading supplier of parent reels into the paper hygiene market and has grown to become one of today’s leading UK converters in the tissue market with brands including Rhino Kitchen Towel, Hush, Freedom, Raphael, North Shore and Whisper.
This fast-growing business is in the mid stages of a three-year SaaS deal with SnapFulfil for an initial three UK sites, progressing to between 40-45 users as implementations are phased in.
Its 400,000 sq ft Oldham operation was onboarded as a proof of concept with system training and go-live testing handled remotely (due to Covid-19 social distancing and travel restrictions) thanks to SnapFulfil’s ease of integration and solutions-based approach.
Northwood’s Oldham Site Manager, Steve Roche, says: “I’m very pleased with the SnapFulfil system with significantly improved visibility of exactly where we are with the finished goods area of the site. Stock accuracy is now excellent and I am also using the system to manage part pallets which has always been a difficult part of the operation.”
Phase 2 of the project was Northwood’s 350,000 sq ft consumer production plant in Birmingham – which handles kitchen and toilet roll lines for the UK retail market – in order to ramp up and pivot to meet the volatile retail demands brought on during the pandemic. Speedy integration and implementation were even more crucial, while part automating the pallet process and full RF output also facilitated little-to-no disruptions.
Northwood IT Director, Steve Whitehouse, explains: “SnapFulfil works seamlessly with our existing SAP and production recording systems and its configurability and flexibility brings a high tech, yet simple to use and develop platform. Stock location and picking speed for goods out are noticeably better controlled.
“Most recently we have implemented Snapfulfil WMS in our new, state-of-the-art and considerably larger Telford distribution centre at 500,000 sq ft, which will see us utilising more of the SnapFulfil algorithmic functionality for optimising inventory and stock management.
“The platform allows us to progressively phase in the solution to improve workflows and manage productivity. That’s the beauty of the cloud model – the heavy lifting has already been done and we know in advance what’s coming and how best to handle it.”