Artos Case Study

Artos, a provider of luxury bathroom accessories, offers high-quality plumbing fixtures to dealers across the nation. Now expanding into ecommerce, their partnership with RF-SMART is vital in helping their company scale to meet their ever-changing supply chain challenges.

Created in 2005, Artos has grown from a small family business to a widely successful creator and distributor of hand-assembled fixtures inspired by Italy, designed in America. As their business continued to scale, they transitioned their internal operations to NetSuite in 2013, which helped them find data visibility from accounting through production. Backed by the structure of NetSuite, they began to search for a warehouse management system (WMS) that would provide supply chain efficiency. After spending months on another WMS, they realized the need for a more scalable solution. They implemented RF-SMART and have been growing with our team since. Now, they utilize a full range of RF-SMART products, from inventory management to custom label printing


Timing Is Key

Tom Hill, Chief Operating Officer at Artos, was first introduced to RF-SMART years before they were ready to make the WMS investment. During those initial conversations, they saw RF-SMART’s consultative approach to WMS implementations, which set the tone for the partnership to come. “We just had a few basic questions at first, and the RF-SMART sales executive gave us some tips and tricks. We carried on for about two years before we reached out again and signed on with RF-SMART,” said Tom.  

In the time between their initial communication with our team and their choice to implement RF-SMART, they decided to implement a different WMS solution, but it didn’t have the scalable functionality they needed. “Our business experienced significant growth and our previous WMS system wasn’t keeping up,” said Tom. “Order sizes were increasing from our customers, but we could never nail the supply chain process.” Because of this, Artos was having a hard time getting the return on investment they had expected. These challenges ultimately pushed them to reconsider their options and take another look at the value they saw in RF-SMART years prior.

User-Friendly Picking

With their previous WMS solution, Artos’ major pain point was getting products picked and distributed to the right order with efficiency and minimal user frustration. “We would start picking an order and it would get to a certain point, freeze, and then the whole thing would drop out,” said Tom. This was having a significant effect on the employee experience. “It was a nightmare for the warehouse staff to pick orders,” said Tom. “They would have a picking cart full of inventory and oftentimes you wouldn’t know which lot number it was from to rescan. I was worried that we were going to lose employees over it.”  

RF-SMART was able to alleviate this challenge and offer a more seamless warehouse user experience. “I have individuals who are watching the handheld for orders. They go pick, process, validate the quality, and then make any adjustments as needed,” said Brandon Naujoks, Operations Manager at Artos. This simple user-guided approach has allowed their team to make strides in elevating their efficiency and decreasing staff frustration. “RF-SMART is very user-friendly,” said Tom.

Robust Counting Accuracy  

The Artos team was also looking for a better way to navigate their inventory movements throughout the warehouse. A pivotal part of this was their counting process. With RF-SMART’s flexible counting options, they were able to find the inventory visibility they wanted. “RF-SMART has a robust counting system. You have multiple paths to choose from and different approaches when it comes to inventory control,” said Brandon.

The switch to RF-SMART has allowed Artos to allocate inventory for orders and still maintain a high level of accuracy in their stock. This change has made a significant impact on not only their supply chain accuracy, but their overall bottom line. Their team was able to decrease their written off inventory by 78% in one year due to the increased accuracy and visibility brought by RF-SMART.

Customizable Labels

The Artos team also needed to strategize around their warehouse label printing. Implementing SummitIT, an RF-SMART Printing Solution, was the start of that process. Artos needed a label printing software that would allow them to add a customized barcode attached to products depending on the vendor. After doing some research, they were confident SummitIT by RF-SMART would fit the bill. Now that they’ve added this process, it is standard practice in their warehouse, improving their overall visibility and documentation.  

They can also use their labeling capabilities to verify their inventory during order fulfillments. “Once the fulfillment has been created, the labels are printed. It’s a double-check system for us,” said Tom. Similarly, RF-SMART’s team helped them navigate varying regulations by order destination state. For instance, when they ship to California, the software automatically prints a label that aligns with the California labeling regulations. “Everything is done from saved searches, so anything you can dream up you can pull in. SummitIT is super customizable,” said Tom.

Scaling Forward 

One of the major benefits of the Artos and RF-SMART partnership is the ability to scale forward with their changing business needs. RF-SMART’s end-to-end solutions, from inventory management to label printing, address the new challenges their warehouse is facing. “We’re targeting a whole different market. With RF-SMART, our labels now show only the appropriate information and it’s a lot cleaner,” said Tom.

Going forward, the RF-SMART team is continuing to support Artos’ growing supply chain requirements, including navigating greater order quantities with fewer line items, a common ecommerce challenge. They are currently strategizing with the RF-SMART software and warehousing experts to create the best process to streamline their kitting, picking, and packing. This and the other RF-SMART optimizations in their warehouse have prepared Artos for lasting supply chain efficiency and will continue to underpin their inventory success as they grow.

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“RF-SMART allows us to paint a picture of our supply chain and know where to look and how to connect any missing dots. It takes a very accessible approach at multiple levels.”

Read how RF-SMART was able to offer a full suite of supply chain solutions to improve Artos' supply chain.

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