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School Supplies

WMS Managed Services Case Study: School Specialty

School Specialty provides over 110,000 educational products from the most trusted brands nationwide, including Crayola, 3M, Elmer’s and their own proprietary brands such as Childcraft, Sax, EPS, Califone, and Frey, among others.

They provide innovative products and programs to the Educational Marketplace, servicing the needs of teachers and schools to ensure students of all ages receive the scholastic support they need to advance their learning and reach their full potential. Supporting the shipment of inventory
that varies so greatly in size, weight and volume is complex, and when 75% of your annual volume has to be shipped in the 13-1/2 weeks between June 1st and Labor Day, delays are costly.

In early 2015, School Specialty selected Bridge Solutions Group to manage their production support, and not just for their Warehouse Management System (WMS). While Bridge Solutions Group had provided consulting services to School Specialty for the previous 5 years on projects that included system configurations, and adding and combining warehouses, they also had expertise in troubleshooting support issues with related products and vendors.

This includes material handling equipment, pick to light solutions, printers, and third party packing system.
Outsourced support enables School Specialty to better manage the huge shift in volume between their off-season and peak season. How big?

In the off-season it only takes 275 distribution center workers to manage School Specialty’s fulfillment. Their support ticket volume for their Sterling WMS (which runs in 3 of the 4 DCs) is low. But as summer approaches, the number of DC workers explodes to 1600 or more, and ticket volume rises dramatically.

During peak season, the DCs on Sterling WMS ship up to 125,000 lines per day. Delays are not an option. But with so many temporary workers, mistakes happen. The key is to identify errors and ticket patterns early, so the cause can be addressed and the issue resolved quickly. In one instance, a user made an error when configuring a new account which restricted shipments from being released and processed.

During Bridge Solutions Group’s weekly ticket analysis, a process specifically designed to identify ticket trends and deduce the root cause of any issues, Bridge Solutions Group determined that all shipment waves getting stuck included a common customer.


Business Process Incident Analysis

WMS Managed Services Report

Further investigation revealed a configuration issue with that customer. Once the core problem was identified, it was fixed within minutes.

By outsourcing support, School Specialty is able to scale their support costs to match their volume, and identify the root cause of issues so that repeat incidents can be avoided. It also frees up their in-house development resources to work on other projects and enhancements.

“Since Bridge Solutions Group took over our WMS support, we’ve reduce our ticket resolution time significantly, especially on severity one tickets. Their response time is great.” said Scot Moats, Director of Client Services, School Specialty.

For more information on managed services and extended support for IBM Sterling WMS or Yantra WMS, please contact us.

Since Bridge Solutions Group took over our WMS support, we’ve reduce our ticket resolution time significantly, especially on severity one tickets. Their response time is great.

– Scot Moats, Director of Client Services, School Specialty