Swim Different

10 companies that took an innovative approach to improving their operations.


This logistics service combines routing, tracking and planning functionality with the simplicity of Web-based service delivery. It optimizes both static and dynamic routes for maximum efficiency by taking into account geographic zones, time windows and other constraints when organizing delivery fleets. It also provides dispatchers, managers and support agents with a real-time, global view of driver movement and delivery status across an entire fleet.

By using Cube Route sequencing functionality to create engineered routes, Piller's has significantly reduced its time and miles spent on the road. The actual performance and cost of each route are compared daily against an engineered plan. Using Web-enabled cell phones, the Piller's fleet and status of each delivery is now tracked in real-time. Drivers capture data such as mileage, service time at each stop, exception handling and dock waiting times.

Getting WISE In The Warehouse
Who: The Jel Sert Co., West Chicago, IL, manufacturers of Pop-Ice, Otter Pops and Fla-Vor-Ice freezer pops; Mondo Fruit Squeezers; and Royal and My*T*Fine brands.

Why: Increases employee productivity 30 percent.


When your business is based on the timely delivery of high-quality products, the efficient management of the distribution center becomes critical. As the Jel Sert Co. was expanding its business to support new brands and new channels, it was clear its current physical and IT infrastructure could not support its increasingly complex business demands.

"Our business was expanding and our distribution requirements became too complex for a manual environment," says Andrew Rush, vice president of logistics and procurement. As a first step to expand its distribution capabilities, the company built a distribution center near its Chicago plant. The next step was to implement state-of-the-art technology to run that distribution center.

Several years earlier, Jel Sert selected financial, manufacturing, and sales management applications from Progress partner QAD to help run the business. However, the warehousing and distribution functions were based on labor-intensive manual processes. With the acquisition of the Royal and My*T*Fine brands, the increasing complexity of their distribution process, and the construction of its new DC, Jel Sert needed to automate those warehouse and distribution processes and integrate its business systems if the company wanted to maximize its growth potential.

"Our QAD ERP system provides the reliability and power we need to automate production," says Rush. "But we knew we needed to automate warehousing and distribution." The addition of new products and channels was increasing the complexity of the business. For example, Jel Sert's acquisition of the Royal brand doubled the number of SKUs to track and manage. This acquisition also increased warehousing complexity and increased case picking requirements.

Previously, most of the Jel Sert products were shipped on full pallets, but the many different flavors of the Royal products required a greater shift toward partial pallet warehousing, picking and shipping—which required increased labor for storage and case picking.

Jel Sert wanted continue to build on the reliability, low cost of ownership and ease of maintenance of its Progress database environment and development tools. To support its need for an automated system, Jel Sert selected the rules-based Warehouse Information System Expert (WISE) applications from Royal 4, a Progress partner based in Long Beach, CA. WISE provides the software infrastructure to manage inventories, pick-and-pack orders, perform value-added operations and ship customer orders according to detailed customer instructions.

Built on the flexible OpenEdge platform, WISE easily integrates with Jel Sert's existing business systems, enabling management to gain an enterprise view of production and warehousing.

Inventory is tracked from the moment it is received through every step of the warehousing process until it is shipped. All finished goods inventory is controlled at the item level, by SKU number, and by quantity, location and lot. Stocking and picking tasks are automatically generated according to flexible business rules defined in the WISE application. Jel Sert built a radio frequency (RF) wireless network to communicate with employees throughout the distribution center, and WISE allows management to run the distribution center using real-time inventory status and quantities.

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