Cross Docks Australia is a specialist provider of logistics services, tailoring inventory management solutions to the specific needs of its clients who include homewares, footwear, apparel, toys and furniture retailers and wholesalers.
Founded in 2004, and beginning with just 10,000 sqm of warehouse space, the 3PL has since grown to manage 41,000 sqm of warehouse space across two primary sites in Melbourne, for more than 25 clients.
Cross Docks’ storage and fulfilment service has grown and evolved as e-Commerce and omni-channel continues to boom, and the expectations of consumers for expedited shipping of their orders increases exponentially.
In 2008, Cross Docks was expanding into a new facility in Laverton and needed a multi-user, multi-client and multi-site warehouse management system (WMS) that could integrate effectively with its clients’ ERPs, increase productivity and efficiency in its two warehouses, and minimise order processing errors.
Cross Docks was struggling to respond flexibly to the requirements of its clients – essential for a 3PL – and to easily add and remove clients from its system.
Another challenge was Cross Docks’ reliance on manual processes in the warehouse and on Excel spreadsheets to track orders and inventory. With so many clients, this was an immense challenge.
In addition, file-based integration processes with client sites was becoming outdated and Cross Docks felt a major imperative to institute Application Programming Interface (API) file transfers.
In late 2008, Cross Docks implemented the Microlistics 3PL WMS, giving it complete control of inventory for all its clients, in real-time across both its sites, and giving its clients a high level of visibility.
Microlistics’ industry-leading WMS allows 3PLs to manage their operation with flexibility, tailor it to specific client requirements, and receive a precise breakdown of warehousing costs by client, to better manage billing.
Soon after installing the Microlistics WMS, Cross Docks deployed a Kardex Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS). The system was integrated into the WMS, allowing the Company to evolve to meet demand from the market.
And it wasn’t just Cross Docks that would benefit from the Microlistics WMS – its clients would have access to real-time information on stock and orders wherever they happened to be, giving them unparalleled visibility, flexibility and efficiency.
Cross Docks now efficiently and accurately manages, moves and delivers over 2,000 orders per day on behalf of its more than 25 clients, across its two warehouses.
Proof of this came on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail sales days that followed the Microlistics WMS implementation, where order volumes doubled and Cross Docks processed over 2,000 orders, with every order going out the same day.
The WMS implementation had the immediate benefit of streamlining communication with clients, increasing productivity through the elimination of manual data entry, and increasing accuracy through a reduction in paper picking slips.
Using scanning technology together with system-driven receipting and despatching, Cross Docks has eliminated the paper trail and manual handling of data. The result is a dramatic reduction in errors and a marked increase in efficiency and speed getting goods to the shop floor or to consumers.
At major client Birkenstock’s head office in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, an LCD screen with a live interface to Cross Docks’ WMS shows the shoe retailer where Cross Docks is up to in picking its orders. Birkenstock now has an impressive loadout accuracy on despatch of 99.99%.
Cross Docks is impressed with the functionality of the Microlistics WMS which offers immense flexibility including an array of different picking methodologies. It has configured a variety of these methods and the system selects the best one to suit the type of order being fulfilled.
The Microlistics 3PL WMS has allowed Cross Docks to offer efficient and accurate services to its clients, including a complete and specialised unit pick and pack service that allows quicker movement and improved services for its clients.
Stocktake is made easier too. The WMS’ perpetual cycle counting method allows the picker to cycle count whilst picking. Instead of counting stock every month, the entire warehouse is accounted for daily, as the picker counts every single day. This has removed the need for Cross Docks’ clients to have an annual stocktake.
It also empowers the pickers, because when they return to a picking location at a future time, the stock is counted and the inventory is accurate.
Cross Docks has 25 client software interfaces providing real-time access to clients through online portals, and data feeds that deliver full transparency of stock levels and distribution information, 24 hours a day.
The Microlistics WMS has allowed the flexibility to adjust stock levels to reflect order information uploaded to the Cross Docks system. The client then has access to new stock levels and despatch information, such as consignment numbers and freight costs.
As the business grows, Cross Docks can also easily manage the WMS to add or remove clients, speeding up its onboarding process.
Since Cross Docks implemented the Microlistics 3PL WMS, its inventory management volumes have skyrocketed. The Company continues its strong relationship with Microlistics, a partnership that drives continuous improvements in the warehouse, both in terms of processes and technological advancements. As Cross Docks continues to grow and gain new clients, it will work with Microlistics to expand the tools it utilises through the WMS.