shipping carton if it was going to slice shipping costs, and felt they had the answer.
Admittedly, the first solution they came
up with was less than ideal as shipping
costs actually increased. SGI, IES and
Transmodal decided that since this was a
new venture with no prior history, the best
approach was to do as much of the process
manually to find the shortcomings.
IES helped Transmodal by creating a picking document by store. This allowed workers
to pick all goods going to that store and then
bring them back to a packing station where
they would be consolidated into one or multiple cartons by store. Transmodal would use
the IES system to scan the individual cartons
into the master carton and when completed
they would close the carton, print the labels
and load the carton onto the container.
Three serious issues resulted: workers’
productivity slowed tremendously as they
tried to figure the best way to pack cartons
together into the master carton; they packed
merchandise into cartons if only two cartons fit into a box; and boxes were not cut
down before being shipped overseas. Cartons on average were 60 percent full. “
Altogether too much air was being shipped,”
said Tom Zinner, director of supply chain
development at IES.
The system had to be able to identify all
cartons going to a single location; analyze
the cartons to determine the best way to
pack and achieve higher volume utilization
at a better shipping cost; and communicate
the packing solution to packers in a way
that put some zip into the packing process.