Challenges That Led To A New System
Multiple products with similar names and packaging in addition to manual entry of data and shipping errors.
“The barcode scanner knows instantaneously if the item scanned matches the item on the purchase order. If it doesn’t, it’s going right back to our vendor.”
IT MANAGER FOR PARMAN ENERGY GROUP
Parman Energy Group has one of the United States’ most comprehensive inventories of Chevron and other brand bulk lubricants and oils for virtually any application. Parman works with large-scale manufacturing plants and any other company that has machinery that must be maintained with lubrication. Customers purchasing lubricants from Parman also get the benefit of their engineers’ expertise. Parman engineers complete a survey of their customer’s operations and recommend a planned maintenance schedule so that machines never experience unexpected downtime and operations maintain a smooth flow.
Parman distributes many products with similar names and packaging, resulting in frequent warehouse miss-picks. Parman sought out alternatives to their manual systems and discovered the open architecture they were seeking with Sage 100, Scanco Warehouse, and DM2 Software.
DM2’s philosophy is to develop applications tailored to meet the specific core petroleum distribution needs of its customers and to partner with best in class solution providers in order to offer fully integrated, end-to-end solutions. Parman chose DM2 in March of 2006 because of this philosophy. About a year later, Parman looked to expand their system to encompass their warehouse operations, so DM2 introduced them to Scanco. Scanco and DM2 have been working closely over the years to develop a complete management system to help petroleum marketers automate and streamline their warehouse operations.
When looking for a solution, guaranteed shipping accuracy was a must. Parman needed to ensure the correct product was sent every time so customers would not use the wrong product in their machinery. Product misapplication could have serious consequences and major costs to repair. Scanco’s Radio Frequency Solution now verifies each item as it is packed. “We needed to catch errors before they happen and RF has helped us to accomplish that,” said Adam Covington, IT Manager of Parman Lubricants. Shipping errors have been virtually eliminated at Parman Energy since the installation of RF.
Inventory moves quickly through Parman Energy’s warehouses and monthly physical counts help them to maintain an accurate view of inventory levels. Their manual system was comprised of 4 teams of people in each location. The RF solution has helped them to use half the staff to complete the same task. “RF quickly IDs the product, so it eliminates us having to figure out what’s what,” says Covington. “I didn’t realize how much more time the manual system was taking us.”
Parman’s vendors would sometimes ship products that were not on the original purchase order and it was important to Parman to catch those items before they entered inventory so they could notify the vendor and do an immediate return. “The RF scanner knows instantaneously if the item scanned matches the item on the purchase order,” says Covington. “If it doesn’t, it’s going right back to our vendor.” The Scanco system ensures that Parman only receives the items they order.
Covington and other executives at Parman Energy were concerned about employees embracing the handheld technology. They worried the warehouse staff would feel as if “big brother” was watching but instead, he found the staff was increasingly enthusiastic. “I think they were excited that we trusted them with new technology,” surmised Covington. “The staff appreciates being given a tool that helps them to do their job quickly and more efficiently. Parman is very happy with our Scanco Warehouse and DM2 software solution, and often recommend it to others.”
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