A leading online farmer-to-farmer and ag tech company has been able to fast-track its expansion plans thanks to a tailored ‘Self Implementation’ programme from WMS provider, SnapFulfil, that enables customers to onboard the solution themselves.
With demand for their products and services soaring, Farmers Business Network (FBN) needed to quickly increase its warehouse capacity with the opening of 14 new DCs across the American Midwest in 2021, whilst retaining greater cost, labour and inventory efficiencies.
The ability to remotely implement and self-configure the WMS was essential to overcome the challenges of the global pandemic, decrease rollout time, and provide FBN with greater control, more independence and internal system expertise.
The first DC to be onboarded, in Newton, Iowa, and 186,000 sq ft, quickly delivered vastly improved picking efficiencies. The automated approach also eliminated the number of people manually involved and – with an eye to the future – delivered a standardised and more professional process that workers across all subsequent sites could easily follow.
FBN’s System Engineer, Darci Fluit, was initially schooled in both project control and project execution, including the likes of bespoke order transfer, stock management functionality, implementing the environment set up, rules engine configuration and all the staff training required via web conferencing.
Fluit said: “The SnapFulfil team are strong partners who provide clear instruction and advised me on how best to interview our operational staff about their specific order volume and storage requirements; then map out the intricacies of the processes needed and phased implementation from the very beginning.
“With each Go Live we saw increased speed and ease of implementation and by DC 5 we’d moved on to three simultaneous sites coming on stream, just a week apart. The robust programme we have in place makes it possible and the economies of scale implications are obvious. We’ve also been able to handle more complex integrations.”
SnapFulfil’s new Self Implementation documentation covers everything from data gathering, configuring the technical infrastructure, user preparation and verification to data migration, stock take and validation, plus go live support.
With a proven and ever improving onboarding programme now firmly entrenched in the process at FBN, the California-based company has begun expanding their fulfilment operations to Canada and Australia.