A Just-in-Time Inventory Process Requires a File Transfer Solution that Can Keep Up with Demand
A manufacturer of semiconductors, automobile lighting and other electronic lighting devices, this company sells over 500 various products across North and Latin America. With an overarching goal of optimizing storage, inventory space and working capital, the client-company relies on a just-in-time order management process to efficiently deliver the products that its customers need.
The Situation: A just-in-time order management process relies on accurate and speedy data transfer
With over 500 products in its catalogue and limited warehouse space, this company holds stocked items in its warehouse for only two weeks. All inventory management is supported by the combination of a warehouse management system and an operations system that was built based on Microsoft Dynamics GP. The warehouse management system controls warehousing, shipping, and inventory status, while the operations system controls all receiving and shipping as well as any associated data processing and accounting. The two systems are designed to send notifications back and forth and order files are transferred in batches. Then, depending on product availability, orders are created and shipped accordingly.
On any given day, the company will process over 100 orders from the warehousing and shipping departments and, considering the nature of the just- in-time inventory process, speed and accuracy of data processing and transfer is imperative for order accuracy and timely fulfillment.
The Challenge: Remote locations and poor connectivity presents order processing challenges
The client primarily relied on file transfer protocol (FTP) for internal file transfers of its order and inventory information. If the warehouse was stocked with a certain item, a notification was sent from the warehouse management system to the operations system, that information was consolidated and order issued indicating whether it is a warehouse or storage fulfillment. Everything from delivery destination to customer information as well as shipping and warehousing information is exchanged between the systems using the batch file transfer format. However, when the transfer overlapped with the wait time of polling current inventory, one transfer process could take up to 30 minutes
“HULFT Transfer is a tool with a track record of being the de facto standard for file transfer. The risk is lower than building your own file transfer program. The time savings is also critical — HULFT Transfer allows us to safely shorten the syncing interval.”
In addition, warehousing and shipping orders could not be placed during this time because stocking information was not yet updated in the operations system. Given the lag between stocking time and the information populating in the operations system and the data transmission errors, the entire process led to inventory discrepancies. Not only did this put strain on its order fulfillment process, data was often lost, resulting in costly and time-consuming recovery efforts.
The Solution: Creating a seamless information sharing infrastructure with HULFT
To move beyond batch file transfer and create digital process that would support its just-in-time inventory management, the company selected HULFT Transfer to automate its file transfer processes. With HULFT Transfer’s ability to integrate with various operational applications, installation time was minimal. In the event of a data transmission error, HULFT Transfer automatically suspends further processing, preventing errors from compounding with future transfers. Users can quickly check the error log to understand the source of the issue and HULFT Transfer automatically resends the file once the problem is fixed.
Thanks to HULFT’s quick syncing feature, batch file transferring was eliminated in favor of smaller volume file transfers. Now, file transfers take around three minutes and warehouse stocking information is immediately reflected in the Operation System, preventing costly inventory errors. Inventory is up-to-date and accurate, allowing employees to process orders much more efficiently than before. Overall, HULFT has allowed the company to achieve true operational efficiency.