Golden Valley Farm Supply transformed their farm distribution operation with a new warehouse management system (WMS) to save thousands per month in operating costs. By implementing RF-SMART, they were able to cut down overtime by 60+ hours per week and increased inventory accuracy to 99.98%.
Golden Valley Farm Supply is a farm and orchard supply seller that operates in B2B and B2C channels. With two sites housing both warehouses and retail stores, Golden Valley Farm Supply carries over 17,000 SKUs of items that farmers and labor contractors need – everything from hardware to paint to paper goods.
Aiming to grow their operations, the team at Golden Valley Farm Supply looked to move off a server-based solution in favor of one that is cloud-based. They chose NetSuite for its scalability. RF-SMART was chosen to complement NetSuite and provide essential mobile inventory functionality.
Legacy System Pain Points
Golden Valley Farm Supply had several challenges that were driving factors in the decision to implement RF-SMART alongside NetSuite. Their previous solution did not support bin locations, which forced warehouse staff to rely on tacit knowledge of the warehouse layout and item locations.
They did not have the ability to see inventory adjustments, inventory transfers and other inventory movement; they lacked any reporting. All processes were paper-based, which were inefficient and inaccurate. The warehouse team was unable to generate barcodes for their products without utilizing a laborious and antiquated system.
Problem-solving Functionality for Inventory Management
Implementing bins was the first step to solving their inventory challenges. Bins allows the team at Golden Valley Farm Supply to separate inventory based on what’s in the retail stores and in the warehouses. “Implementing bins has given us a huge advantage that we didn’t have before,” said Juan Cano, Director of Operations. No longer relying on tacit knowledge of item locations, the staff at Golden Valley Farm Supply follow prompts via RF-SMART to find items in the warehouse.
Serialization Adds Unexpected New Functionality
Another huge advantage is the serialization functionality available with RF-SMART. As Golden Valley Farm Supply stocks large, expensive items, the ability to track those items via their serial numbers is important. Additionally, tracking serial numbers using RF-SMART is helpful in keeping track of warranty information.
“We didn’t dream of having this kind of functionality before RF-SMART; it’s been a huge benefit to us,” said Juan.
Handheld Devices for Inventory Scanning Transform Warehouse Operations
Golden Valley Farm Supply uses RF-SMART for all receiving, putaway, picking and transfer order transactions, which they complete on handheld devices, eliminating paper processes. During receipt, RF-SMART verifies the accuracy of products at the point of entry. Any errors with deliveries can be reconciled before the inventory is put away.
“Using RF-SMART for transfer orders is much less confusing than our previous paper processes,” Juan said. “My team can pick transfer orders using the prompts on the handheld device. This ensures they pick the correct products and amounts.” Using RF-SMART has solved the challenge they faced with transfer orders.
Daily Stock Counts & Mobile Barcode Printing Further Revolutionize Operations
Golden Valley Farm Supply also uses RF-SMART for cycle counting, functionality they did not have previously. They are currently using daily stock counts to count a section of inventory at a time. Once all ghost inventory is reconciled, Juan plans to move to an ABC method of counting. This will bring efficiency to operations and accuracy to their inventory.
RF-SMART also solved the challenge of on-the-spot barcode printing. Using wireless printers, Juan’s employees are able to print out barcodes as needed. “This has improved the identification of our products throughout the organization,” said Juan.
Efficiency and Accuracy in Inventory and Operations
Juan uses the reports available through RF-SMART to view personnel metrics. He is able to see how long it takes employees to fulfill orders and where orders are on the shop floor. “Having this data is awesome. I’m able to provide feedback to my warehouse managers,” said Juan. This was data previously not available.
Additional data Juan relies on is inventory accuracy. Using RF-SMART, Golden Valley Farm Supply is now up to 99.98% picking accuracy. Item Look Up functionality provides product pictures, further ensuring accuracy during transactions. Matching items to an image on the handheld device is also more efficient than the paper-based processes the Golden Valley Farm Supply team was using.
Juan knows they are more efficient all-around thanks to RF-SMART because they are able to operate with fewer staff and still save on labor costs. “We are saving about 60 hours of overtime week to week,” said Juan.
A Reliable Solution
Juan found that RF-SMART was very easy to implement and train users. “RF-SMART is so flexible and easy to use, it’s reduced the learning curve when we’ve brought on new employees,” said Juan. In fact, Juan is able to train new employees within a day. Because RF-SMART is intuitive, users can easily follow the prompts on the handheld’s screen as RF-SMART directs them where to go to pick orders or putaway products.
Golden Valley Farm Supply needed a reliable solution and they found that with RF-SMART. Because RF-SMART is built in NetSuite, it is very reliable. When a support issue does arise, Juan has been very pleased with the quick response from the RF-SMART Support Team. “RF-SMART provides a variety of resources. The team members are helpful with ideas and solutions. Plus, there is resource material that I can use to answer my questions,” Juan said.
“Golden Valley Farm Supply is in a transformational phase,” said Juan.
RF-SMART came alongside as a partner through their plans for a quick go-live. “RF-SMART team members are very supportive,” Juan said. Golden Valley Farm Supply plans to further the partnership with RF-SMART as they look at bringing RF-SMART functionality to their manufacturing operations.
“We want to streamline our manufacturing processes. If we create assembly builds using RF-SMART, supervisors will get a better picture of the timing of each step,” said Juan.
This will help them identify efficiencies and inefficiencies as they continue to transform their business using RF-SMART.