Strikeforce Case Study

KR Strikeforce, a bowling products manufacturer headquartered in Melrose Park, Illinois, is one of the only bowling companies assembling their goods from start to finish in the United States. As the most trusted name in bowling, Strikeforce needed a warehouse management solution and shipping software to meet their global demand. 

Since 1968, Strikeforce has stayed committed to their mission of quality, service, and ‘being easy to do business with.’ They realized that to continue this mission, they needed the help of technology. After evaluating their operations, Strikeforce knew that they needed a solution that could simplify and speed up their processes while staying cost-effective.

In 2017, Strikeforce transitioned to NetSuite as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provider. Before selecting RF-SMART as their WMS, Strikeforce evaluated other WMS providers and ultimately moved forward with a different solution. However, they quickly realized it wasn’t going to work out for them. They needed a cloud-based scanning solution, support for more users, and more all-in-one functions that their selected solution just couldn’t deliver on. After a stellar recommendation by another RF-SMART customer, Strikeforce realized RF-SMART had all the features they needed and more.


From Manual to Mobile

“We went from no scanning to some kind of scanning [with the solution we selected before RF-SMART]. So, it was better than nothing, but looking back, it was painful to say the least, which is why we started evaluating RF-SMART,” said Brian Nendza, VP of Operations. 

Strikeforce needed a solution that was both user-friendly and had advanced functionality to support their expanding business. Their previous solution checked some of their boxes but made their transition to NetSuite more difficult than necessary. “Our old system was very antiquated; it was just very clunky and difficult to pick up and train people on,” said Brian. RF-SMART granted them the ability to use and scan barcodes at every step of the process, while remaining flexible for exception-based orders.

After engaging with RF-SMART’s resources, such as the Knowledge Base, free monthly support training, and meeting with the RF-SMART team at SuiteWorld, the Strikeforce team uncovered opportunities to enhance their RF-SMART experience through additional features and functionalities. Before RF-SMART, Strikeforce didn’t perform regular stock counting – which unknowingly led to otherwise avoidable labor and resources costs. With RF-SMART’s Stock Counting function, Strikeforce implemented a weekly blind stock count procedure that helped them achieve a 30% decrease in labor costs and resulted in real-time visibility and accuracy of their warehouse inventory levels. Over time, Strikeforce has expanded their usage to include other RF-SMART features, such as RF-SMART Shipping.

Fast Shipping Solution

Before implementing RF-SMART Shipping, Strikeforce employees dreaded using their previous shipping provider. They experienced huge delays, often wasting minutes of productivity waiting for data to transfer from the old shipping software to NetSuite. Each year, Black Friday became a week-long effort, often requiring Strikeforce employees to work over the holiday weekend to catch up on the hundreds of orders. As their busy season ramped up, Strikeforce couldn’t afford to be bottlenecked by their software any longer. Maximizing efficiency in their shipping process meant they needed a solution that would simplify and speed up their shipping fulfillment processes.

The Strikeforce team elected to have RF-SMART on-site in their Chicago facility for their RF-SMART Shipping go-live. After the RF-SMART team visited their warehouse, Strikeforce quickly went live. Throughout this experience, the RF-SMART team was able to see first-hand how the warehouse operates and provide guidance on what functionality would be best suited for their business. “It was well worth the investment for our team to have an on-site implementation experience, it gave us the best opportunity to succeed,” said Brian.

Now with RF-SMART Shipping, Strikeforce can afford to take time off the Thursday through Sunday after Thanksgiving without falling behind. All the weekend orders are now processed on the following Monday, saving them a full day of labor. “We just scan, scan, ship and the labels print without clogging up fulfillment,” said Collin Smith, Operations Manager. Their historically clunky and lengthy processes were reduced, removing complicated decisions that otherwise caused unnecessary delays in their supply chain. “It’s night and day. It’s fast,” said Sue Roulo, Sales Administrator. “We reduced our shipping time by almost 70% with RF-SMART.”

Eliminating Decision Making

Not only did Strikeforce speed up their processes by removing software delays, but they also eliminated extra clicks that interrupted their working rhythm. In the past, Strikeforce employees were required to make decisions between each scan, including which shipping fulfillment provider to use. RF-SMART Shipping allows them to predetermine their shipping decisions with smart rules. “For our made-to-order shipments, we can simply scan the order and RF-SMART’s Shipping Rules Engine validates the details in the background for us. It’s all automated, no additional clicks or scans necessary,” said Brian. 

RF-SMART granted their employees the ability to use multiple carriers without additional user intervention or effort. It chooses the lowest-cost shipping provider with a simple scan of the item, saving Strikeforce time and resources without sacrificing a low cost. They’ve noticed a better Return on Investment, and it has made the warehouse staff’s jobs easier. “RF-SMART takes the guesswork out and the reduces decisions made by the shipping clerk. It’s tremendous,” said Sue.

Training Simplified

Before RF-SMART, Strikeforce employee onboarding required days of hands-on training with 3 supervisors. Management continuously prepared and updated several training documents to explain how to use the different software they had across the business, manual processes and exceptions, and how they work alongside Strikeforce operations.

“RF-SMART’s WMS is self-explanatory, especially the way the mobile scanner walks you through the warehouse. We’ve been able to put rules in place to overcome the complexity of exception-based orders,” said Collin. The system is so easy to use, even their most novice team members and seasonal employees can figure it out. Recently, a new employee was empowered by the simplicity of RF-SMART functionality from receiving to shipping. “She learned how to process an order within minutes,” said Brian.

“We’ve been happy ever since selecting RF-SMART. We’ve been able to streamline our warehouse operations, and our continued partnership with RF-SMART has led to greater overall success in our supply chain,” said Brian. The ease-of-use and hands-on implementation freed up time and resources for Strikeforce, relieved them of training pain-points, and created a better work environment for people on the floor overall.

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“RF-SMART Shipping takes the guesswork out and reduces decisions made by the shipping clerk. It’s tremendous.”

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