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Alliance Parts Warehouse

Alliance Parts Warehouse (APW) improves order fulfillment and accuracy with Autopart & WMS.

Vertical: Automotive

Industry: Automotive Aftermarket

Product(s): Autopart

Application(s): Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Third-Party Integration(s): Phocas, GCommerce

Alliance Parts Warehouse

About Alliance Parts Warehouse (APW)

Alliance Parts Warehouse (APW) is a 100% shareholder owned company, and its shareholders are independently owned major automotive parts distribution companies. APW is a distribution business designed to gain efficiencies for shareholders and their vendor channel partners. Based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, APW purchases in large quantities to provide efficiencies for its vendor channel partners and then provides efficiencies for its shareholders by shipping smaller, weekly orders of combined vendor’s products.

Challenge

APW was running a command driven, green screen enterprise solution in conjunction with a system for warehouse management. The system proved to be a challenge to work in as most of the commands needed to be memorized and many of the processes were cumbersome. The system also utilized batch processing, without live updating of inventory and required overnight updates which proved to be a frustrating challenge for the business. Also, taking physical inventories had to be done evenings and weekends when the picking and put-away was not in operation.

To move forward, APW needed software that was easy to implement and provided them with real-time data updates. Their primary goal was to find a solution on a modern platform that would be flexible enough to grow with the company and integrate well with other solutions.

With AutoPart, APW saw an improvement in order fulfillment and accuracy – driven by the real-time nature of the software. Cycle counting alone has saved us a large amount of expense and downtime annually, as we no longer are required to perform annual physical inventories, and our inventory accuracy is well above 99%.

Anne Coffin - Director of Information Technology at APW

Solution

In 2013, APW began the search for an enterprise software with an integrated warehouse management solution (WMS). Various providers and software solutions were vetted and in 2014, APW made the decision to implement Autopart. Not only did Autopart provide the best value, according to APW, but it also had an integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS) package and was built using current technology that many of the other solutions didn’t utilize.

Specifically designed for the automotive aftermarket, Autopart is a versatile business management solution that is designed to seamlessly integrate all sales, stock management, accounting and reporting processes into one easy to use package. The integrated WMS module for Autopart, provides extensive functionality from goods receiving and put-away to picking, packing and shipment.

Once moving to Autopart, APW was able to increase fill rates and had more visibility than with their previous system. They were now able to process orders more quickly and track purchases more efficiently using features like accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, WMS barcode receiving, scanning, inventory and sales analysis. With WMS, APW is now able to better optimize warehouse goods flow and increase traceability and accuracy.

Since adopting Autopart, APW has expanded the overall functionality by implementing alternative integration platforms from KCS and third-party suppliers. APW currently uses OpenWebs in conjunction with their own MyPlace4Parts for its e-commerce solution, Phocas for business intelligence reporting, and GCommerce for EDI integration.

We really like the features of Autopart. We like that they are incorporating industry standards, such as PIES data fields, and are growing and changing as we grow and change in our business. With solid infrastructure and an eye towards growth, we feel that Autopart is an excellent software for our business.
Anne Coffin, Director of Information Technology at APW

Benefits

One of the biggest benefits APW has seen is in regards to cycle counting. Since Autopart enables APW to do cycle counting during hours of operation, they are no longer required to do annual physical inventories, saving the company a lot of money and downtime. Their inventory accuracy is consistently over 99% now and they are able to accomplish the wall to wall inventory process per quarter, which allows multiple full counts annually. With the WMS integration into Autopart, they are able to manage their inventory better and manage multiple locations for a product with ease.

Over the years, as the KCS team has matured with us, our overall experience has been good. We enjoy a good relationship with the KCS support team, who definitely want to help improve the experience.

APW has also benefited from the dedication of the KCS support team. Our two-tiered support system ensures that APW gets answers back in a timely fashion and that their problems are dealt with by a qualified team of experts.

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