USA Gundam Store Case Study

USA Gundam Store is an online retailer for everything Gundam and anime hobbyists need, including character model kits, paints, tools, games and trading cards. As they grew, they tried various solutions but never found a sufficient WMS to keep track of their inventory. Their search for a scalable WMS led them to RF-SMART, which in turn led to NetSuite. “In our search for a WMS, RF-SMART stood out. We decided to implement NetSuite because we wanted to work with RF-SMART,” said Owner Adam Ryan.

USA Gundam Store uses RF-SMART for receiving, picking and bin management, including bin replenishment and bin transfer. Previously using paper pick slips, it would take Adam and the
team hours to locate products. “RF-SMART helps us pick, pack and ship orders faster. Total transaction time is now only a few minutes,” said Adam. What’s more, previous paper processes led to inventory inaccuracies and order fulfillment problems. “Staff would lose paper pick slips, resulting in items not being picked,” said Helvin Vega, Warehouse Associate.

Efficient Transactions

That’s all changed now. Transaction times are reduced, in part, thanks to the RF-SMART interface. The color-coding on the user interface prompts employees to the next task, confirming they have successfully completed a task or alerting them of an error. “RF-SMART tells our employees if they have picked a wrong item or if they’re picking from the wrong location,” said Helvin. This keeps employees accurate with every transaction. Transaction times are also reduced because RF-SMART does not have any glitches or issues previous solutions did. Additionally, RF-SMART is streamlined – a simple scan prompts employees to putaway or pick with no extra clicks or steps required.

RF-SMART Pick Manager lets USA Gundam Store use totes and license plates, a structure their employees were accustomed to and is reflected in their warehouse set-up. Using RF-SMART Pick
Manager, each order is picked into an individual tote, which has its own license plate. As the tote goes down the roller rack to packing, an employee scans the license plate to pull the order up on the device, then the order is packed. This allows packers to quality check against the order. Not only is this an efficient way to ensure order accuracy, but it saved Adam’s team time because they did not have to be retrained.

Accurate Inventory 

USA Gundam Store also uses RF-SMART cycle count functionality with daily, weekly and monthly cycle counts. Using directed stock counts, employees are assigned daily specific counting tasks. Weekly counting tasks count sections and monthly counts are wall-to-wall. “Before RF-SMART, we did not have
an accurate picture of our inventory. RF-SMART cycle counting helps us keep our inventory as accurate as possible,” said Adam. An accurate inventory has eliminated surplus inventory and problems forecasting inventory fulfillment orders, which in turn has improved customer satisfaction.

“With RF-SMART, all inventory transactions are live. Our counts are accurate because RF-SMART accounts for any items that have been picked and are in totes – functionality we were lacking with our previous solution,” said Adam. What was once a painful process, requiring a full-stop of all picking and packing or many inventory adjustments, can now be completed without a disruption to operations. “We can complete counts while packing and shipping orders. For ecommerce, this is a huge benefit,” Adam said.

Money-Saving Benefits

As inventory transactions are live, Helvin can view the team’s progress. “In NetSuite, I can see what transactions are occurring via RF-SMART. I can make inventory adjustments as well as inventory and bin transfers. It’s made our team more productive.”

Aside from the cost savings associated with an accurate inventory, USA Gundam Store is experiencing cost savings per package. Picking and packing errors are virtually eliminated, which saves on returns and restocking. Additionally, inventory transactions using RF-SMART are much faster than paper processes, allowing USA Gundam Store to ship more orders per day. These factors combined resulted in a net savings of over 15% per package.

Because RF-SMART has enabled the USA Gundam Store team to get more orders out per day, Adam has not needed to hire more staff to keep up with the growing number of orders. “The amount of saved labor costs is massive,” Adam said. “And customers are happier because their orders are shipped out the same day, as opposed to 2 days later.”

Not only is USA Gundam Store saving money on each order shipped but they are able to meet online retail seller criteria. “Using RF-SMART and Pick Manager, we are able to prioritize picking orders that require next-day shipping through channels like eBay and Wal-Mart. I don’t have to manually sort through pick slips anymore,” said Adam. “RF-SMART is astronomically better than our old systems, especially during our peak season.”

So Easy, A Kid Can Do It 

Implementation and training were very easy and Adam found the entire RF-SMART team easy to work with. “The RF-SMART implementation team worked within our timeframe – not theirs – to get us live. Our goal was to be live prior to our busy season and the RF-SMART team ensured we were,” said Adam. The USA Gundam Store team has found it very easy to train new users because the RF-SMART user interface is streamlined. “Even employees who have never used a WMS become accustomed to RF-SMART very quickly because it’s so easy to use. Training takes only 20-30 minutes,” said Helvin. In fact, RF-SMART is so easy to use, Adam has trained his kids!

While Adam was initially drawn to the functionality RF-SMART offered, he has realized that is the service offered by the RF-SMART teams that truly sets them apart. “Any time we have a question, the RF-SMART support team is incredibly responsive,” said Adam. “They always make sure we get just what we need and that RF-SMART functions as we need it to.”

“RF-SMART led to NetSuite and that combination has been amazing. As we grow, the solutions will grow with us,” said Adam. With the implementation of RF-SMART + NetSuite, Adam has achieved the goals he set for USA Gundam Store: Count inventory without interrupting operations, efficiently forecast and view inventory transactions in real-time.

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“RF-SMART helps us pick, pack and ship orders faster.  Transaction time has decreased from 15 minutes to 2 minutes and because of that, we are now shipping the same day.”

Read how USA Gundam brought efficiency and accuracy to picking and cycle counting with RF-SMART.

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