NewAir is housed in a large warehouse facility that has over 100+ SKU’s. NewAir not only drop ships product directly from orders placed via eCommerce sales platforms, but also drives B2B transactions with appliance wholesalers, and processes sales orders directly via their own website.
NewAir is a thriving business that manufactures, repairs, and distributes a large range of small household appliances. From beer and wine fridges to humidors and portable cooling and heating products, NewAir products are carried by the largest retailers in North America such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes.
WMS Solutions Blowing Hot and Cold Air at NewAir
In 2018, NewAir decided to review their homegrown system and focus on gaining better inventory visibility, as well as the departmental visibility. NetSuite was chosen as their ERP, and NewAir went live in February 2019.
As part of the project, several SuiteApp solutions were evaluated to provide a warehouse barcoding solution to make inventory more accurate. The warehouse staff relied heavily on tribal knowledge and had a dependence on excel spreadsheets. NewAir selected a WMS, but soon after go-live, found out the solution wasn't going to work for their business.
“When we went live, we found out that whatever we bought was not what they showed us in the sales process,” said Janneth Guevara, NetSuite Administrator. “We would have needed to go to a different tier and pay more money for that customization. We tried to make the functionality we purchased work to our needs, but it was not good.”
The WMS functionality frustrated the warehouse staff because the orders were slow to get out the door. Additionally, NewAir felt they were not receiving the support they needed.
“When we were sold this solution, we were told it works with NetSuite. But no one from their team could tell us how their solution interacts with NetSuite. We were left to figure it out ourselves,” Janneth said. “This highlights the main problem we had. The main issue was that every time that we needed more information, they would tell us we would need more training which would be costly.”
Hitting the Reset Button
The project progressed for three more months but due to cost issues, inconsistent communication and much frustration, NewAir decided they would revisit their SuiteApp options to get their inventory and warehouse processes better integrated with NetSuite.
Since inventory control affects every department from procurement, finance, shipping and management reporting, all departments were asked to provide feedback on requirements for a mobile inventory solution. NewAir also looked for recommendations and received two positive reviews from other RF-SMART customers. NewAir chose RF-SMART to replace the incumbent solution.
Better Choice the Second Time
The difference between the two solutions was immediately evident when the RF-SMART project manager came onsite to walk through the warehouse to fully understand the processes currently in place.
“Based on the issues we had with our previous solution, we wanted a more hands-on approach to help us with the whole process.” Janneth adds that even when small adjustments to settings needed to be made, she was invited to view how to do this for herself and was sent instructions, so she could make the changes in the future. This approach empowered Janneth with knowledge and confidence that after implementation, she would be confident to manage the system herself. “I never felt like we were left behind.”
When it came to training, NewAir management and warehouse staff found RF-SMART very easy to use and administrate. “I think it’s very user friendly. Training has been easy, and it’s also easy to find information we need,” said Janneth. Warehouse staff embraced the change from a complicated and slow solution to RF-SMART and quickly adapted to the change. Management has open access to each module of RF-SMART and can request further functionality.
Benefits of the Right WMS Solution
“We are able to track any issues within a shipment or location and know if any product is in the wrong location,” Janneth said. “RF-SMART helps us keep track of inventory in a more efficient manner. It is also keeping everything in order and organized in the warehouse. The warehouse no longer has product all over the place. Everything has a location.”
Prior to implementing RF-SMART, NewAir completed annual physical inventories, which resulted in large adjustments to inventory. Today, they have one person completing daily cycle counts, which alerts the NewAir team of any inaccuracies within a bin or location quickly. This has been a big benefit to NewAir. “With RF-SMART, we have visibility into our inventory we didn’t have before,” Janneth said. “We can easily settle any discrepancies.”
Even the auditors noticed that there was a vast improvement with the inventory management from the previous year. “Using RF-SMART, they were able to find the product in the bins and know how many units were in each location, which was amazing. The audit was really smooth this year because of RF-SMART.”
Because of the different product lines and change of seasons, NewAir also wants to ensure their ABC categorization of products is accurate. This will help with procurement knowing what products perform better and when there are spikes in demand to ensure there are no inventory shortages. “Overall, using RF-SMART, we have a better understanding of our inventory and control of it. We have more inventory visibility, which helps with decision making,” Janneth said.
Looking to the Future
NewAir is looking forward to adding more RF-SMART functionality to their warehouse. “There are more things that I think we can accomplish together,” said Janneth. “I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with RF-SMART.”