Carolina Biological Case Study

Carolina Biological Supply Company is the expert in science and math supplies for educators and was looking for a solution to bring accuracy and efficiency across their operations. 

Carolina Biological began their barcoding initiative in 2003 by first implementing JD Edwards. In the middle of implementing their first RF solution, “RF-SMART came to the rescue, after the original solution would not work with JD Edwards,” said Gerald Brendle, Director of Project Services at Carolina Biological.

Initially, Carolina Biological used RF-SMART as a standard pick and pack solution, but after quickly realizing the benefits RF-SMART brought to their central fulfillment facility, they rolled RF-SMART out to all eight locations and began using an extensive range of RF-SMART functionality.

For Carolina Biological, there were 3 main keys to advanced barcoding in JDE: 

Science Supplies | Carolina Biological | JD Edwards | RF-SMART1. Automation is Essential

Create Transfer Order is one of the advanced functionalities that has brought tremendous value to the Carolina team. “Everyone loves Create Transfer Order,” said Gerald. “With CTO, everything is automated. We’re able to create the order, and RF-SMART automatically creates the transfer order so that it’s ready to be put away in the receiving branch when it arrives. This was a big win for us because it saves us a tremendous amount of time.” 

Before Create Transfer Order, Carolina Biological was using inventory transfers and adjustments, but as JDE Advanced Warehousing does not support these, the Carolina team was forced to manually enter those transactions into JDE. 

“Many of our locations are using JDE Advanced Warehousing to feed central fulfillment,” Gerald said. “Previously, they were doing lots of extra work and steps, but with Create Transfer Order, everything is now automated and we are benefitting from eliminating the superfluous tasks.”

After seeing the success with automating transfer orders, Carolina Biological was ready to eliminate their annual physical counts. Historically, annual counts would shut Carolina down for days because the entire inventory was one location in JDE. “Inventory took days to do. It was a black hole of data, and we felt it was impossible,” Gerald said. But with RF-SMART Cycle Count, Carolina Biological no longer needs to perform an annual wall-to-wall physical inventory, and can instead complete a count in hours instead of days. “Like Create Transfer Order, everyone loves the real-time cycle counts because it saves us so much time. We walk up to the bin, we scan and we’re done.” 

2. Centralize Label Printing

An often forgotten component of successful inventory control is efficient label printing. Prior to implementing RF-SMART Print Suite Bridge, Carolina Biological was using an access database solution to get label information. For a company printing thousands of labels each day on 20+ printers, this posed a challenge. It required someone to manage the data and manually update the same information in both systems any time any information changed. Not only was it time consuming and error-prone, but it was very costly for Carolina Biological to maintain this work-around solution for label printing. 

“Our inventory was accurate and efficient, but we were using too much labor to get things printed,” said Fevzi Yalin, Carolina Lead Project Manager. “We needed to centrally manage our label printing, and with Print Suite Bridge, we have standardized labels across all facilities. It works as a network-based printing solution. We now get label data directly from JDE, set up the format and route it through Print Suite. Employees are no longer keying in data, so we are saving time and reducing errors.” 

For items that have different packaging needs, Carolina Biological is able to select specific formats for different scenarios and print different sizes of labels easily and consistently across all locations. But the biggest benefit of Print Suite Bridge? “Business doesn’t have to stop just because a printer is down,” Fevzi said. “We can go to any printer in the facility and route the print job through anywhere, whether on a scanner or a PC. If a printer is down, we just route it to another printer. It really is that easy.” 

3. Superior Support and Services

“When your company is competing in the marketplace, one of the big benefits of RF-SMART is its self-sufficiency. I like that I’m not reliant on the vendor. RF-SMART is logical and just works,” said Gerald. “As a long-time RF-SMART customer, we’ve had very little support issues, but when I have called, the responsiveness and personalized support we’ve received from the RF-SMART Support team has been very valuable.”

Beyond the superior support of RF-SMART are the people behind the product. “You have to have good people on your team. The way the folks at RF-SMART understand JDE and barcoding as well as they do is mandatory,” said Gerald.

"Before RF-SMART Inventory counts took days to do. It was a black hole of data, and we felt it was impossible, but with Cycle Count, we can complete a count in hours. Everyone loves the real-time cycle counts because it saves us so much time. We walk up to the bin, we scan and we’re done."

Learn how Carolina Biological utilizes RF-SMART at their eight locations and benefits from RF-SMART Automation and Label Printing.

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