Slate Rock FR Case Study

Slate Rock FR, an Ohio-based apparel company, provides flame resistant embroidered clothing to thousands of workers a year. As their company continued to scale, they went on the hunt for a shipping solution that would provide ultimate ease, efficiency, and speed on the warehouse floor. A customer of RF-SMART since 2019, they turned to their trusted WMS advisors to tackle their shipping needs.

When Warehouse Manager Kayla Hill started with Slate Rock FR in 2017, they were shipping out around $52,000 in apparel every week. Now, some five years later, they are averaging around $250,000 worth of product each week. This growth exposed some of their shipping software’s inefficiencies that impacted overall customer care. When looking to replace their previous shipping solution, they needed to address the most frequent shipping challenges, including slow processing times, high costs, and inflexible configurability options.

 

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Configurable for Customer Success

When investing in their tech stack, configurability was of the utmost importance. The Slate Rock FR team knew that the consultative approach RF-SMART employs was ideal for seamless implementation and configuration of their new shipping product.

When they started looking into a shipping solution with RF-SMART, the first step was to get a clear understanding of their current shipping processes and what a reformed solution would aim to improve. Kevin Gaul, RF-SMART Shipping Product Manager, notes, “Before we began talking about how we would implement RF-SMART Shipping for Slate Rock FR, we needed to understand the full picture by identifying different processes and configuring a solution that not only enforced but enhanced their ideal shipping process.” In doing so, the two teams took a holistic approach aimed at evaluating and correcting past shipping issues.

To address the bottlenecks uncovered in this discovery, the RF-SMART Shipping no-code Rules Engine was deployed. This feature allows warehouse teams to quickly and efficiently configure exact rules around various types of inventory, taking the guess work out of shippers’ hands. This “set and forget” model has proven to be a highly effective approach for their warehouse needs.

Slate Rock FR sells inventory through two models, closeout stock shipping directly to businesses and a full outfitter program. These two types of stock have different shipping processes and necessary verifications, which are accommodated using the Rules Engine. The team created various validation rules that would allow the shippers to simply scan the items, and then the Rules Engine would automatically choose the lowest and most efficient shipping rate based on pre-configured parameters. Today, the Rules Engine is the foundation of their shipping processes, getting orders out the door quickly and accurately.

Box by Box Savings

Aside from configurability, lowering shipping costs was a huge motivator for Kelly and her team. Before RF-SMART Shipping, Slate Rock FR charged $10 an order and labels were costing around $17 per shipment. Over time, this caused a huge loss in profit. Through the RF-SMART Shipping Rate Shopping feature, they were able to see significant returns.

This solution sorts through the three most prominent shipping carriers to find the lowest price that will meet Sales Level Agreement requirements, including date of arrival, billing terms, and other associated value criteria. Not only did this solution help them save money per shipment, but its step-by-step validation allowed the team to avoid additional surcharges and address correction fees.

Implementing RF-SMART Shipping has reduced their label costs by $4, saving around $4,000 a week on shipping alone. This means an annual saving of $208,000, which is now being funneled to hire additional help or give bonuses to existing team members.

Anyone Can Ship

At the end of the day, Kayla is most passionate about creating a shipping experience that is easy and efficient for her team. “I was determined to make shipping the easiest process in the warehouse rather than the most convoluted and time-consuming.” The RF-SMART Shipping three-scan method allows warehouse workers to completely trust the prompting of their wedge scanner, while keeping their manual interventions to a minimum.

RF-SMART Shipping is so simple that training takes less than a minute per warehouse worker. Kayla’s team has benefited greatly from this ease of use. “Scanning through the entire process is huge. You can grab anybody from the warehouse and say, ‘here, ship this,’ and they can do it,” says Kayla. This efficiency has been fundamentally transformative for the Slate Rock FR team, as warehouse workers now spend more time on tasks that need hands-on management and less time at their shipping station.

A Partnership that Lasts

After five years of active partnership, Slate Rock FR continues to collaborate with the RF-SMART team to increase efficiency in their warehouse.

“Whether it be receiving, picking, cycle counting, returns, or, in my case now, embroidery, knowing that the shipping is handled and we’re getting the best value with each shipment is one less thing I have to worry about,” Kayla said. “It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened in my warehouse.”

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“Knowing that the shipping is handled and we’re getting the best value with each shipment is one less thing I have to worry about. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened in my warehouse.”

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