- Location: Austin, Texas
- Industry: Automotive
- Number of Stores: 30
- Employees: 325
- Website: www.arnoldoil.com
"With Indago software, the amount of time we spend receiving large orders has dropped from four or five days down to approximately 24 hours.The enhanced productivity we're seeing from Indago based on the available manpower translates to a cost savings of $200,000 annually."
Kenneth Hess, Operations Officer | Arnold Oil Company of Austin
Staying competitive is an everyday challenge
Arnold Oil Company of Austin is the leading independent automotive wholesale distributor in South-Central Texas. Retaining that position means ensuring that it is the most dependable, most accurate, and easiest distributor to do business with.
To turn that objective into a reality, Arnold Oil leverages cutting-edge information technology to help control costs, manage critical processes, and meet strict efficiency benchmarks such as the amount of time it takes personnel to get parts from the receiving dock to warehouse shelves. Recently, Arnold Oil deployed Indago Warehouse Management System from Epicor partner JMO Systems.
"It's an everyday challenge to compete with big chains like O'Reilly® and AutoZone®," said Kenneth Hess, operations officer at Arnold Oil Company of Austin. "The big box stores have huge operating budgets that permit them to keep larger quantities of safety stock on the shelves. Indago enables us to get merchandise to the shelves quickly and efficiently. Therefore we can keep our inventory thinner in a lean-warehouse operating model."
Hess explained that these kinds of business process improvements directly impact Arnold Oil's bottom line. "With Indago, the amount of time we spend receiving large orders has dropped from four or five days down to approximately 24 hours," said Hess. "And that's merely one example of the improvements our new system delivers. The enhanced productivity we're seeing from Indago based on the available manpower translates to a cost savings of $200,000 annually."
A natural migration
Arnold Oil has depended on Epicor Ultimate to manage and coordinate its operations since 1992. The company has used Epicor The Paperless Warehouse (TPW) in conjunction with Epicor Ultimate since 1999. Hess and other company administrators recently decided to migrate from Epicor TPW to Indago at Arnold Oil's Austin facility and to replace paperbased processes with Indago at its Houston facility.
"Epicor TPW has demonstrated year after year how warehouse management technology can improve our operations," said Hess. "We knew JMO is an Epicor partner and that Indago would integrate seamlessly with our Epicor Ultimate system. Indago offered some inventory modules and functionality that we desired. So it was a natural migration for us."
Currently Arnold Oil has 37 Indago users. New personnel can get trained and comfortable with the system in half a day. "The application is easy to understand," said Hess. "On-screen directions guide users through the system."
Inbound and outbound logistics
One of the ways Arnold Oil preserves its position of market leadership is by consistently getting accurate orders to its customers on schedule. Indago's order fulfillment application effectively manages every stage of this process. The system can color code orders based on priority. Hess' team fine-tuned it to automatically assign green, yellow, or red indicators to orders over a 30-minute interval.
During the first 20 minutes from the time an order is placed, it is presented in green by the system. From 20 to 25 minutes, it is displayed in yellow. "If it goes red, we pull all hands on deck to get the part pulled and shipped," said Hess. "That's one way Indago helps us meet our benchmark metrics - and more importantly, satisfy our customers."
In the receiving department, Indago offers a feature called Dockto-Stock that tracks the time it takes stock to go from trucks at the receiving dock to warehouse shelves and accounted for as received inventory in Epicor Ultimate.
The system provides real-time communication between workers and enterprise operational data. Warehouse personnel use mobile computers with 802.11 wireless technologies to scan barcodes on received stock. Scanned barcodes automatically update the Indago database, and data is seamlessly conveyed to Epicor Ultimate.
Reports help managers optimize business practices
Indago software provides Web-based reporting that delivers valuable business intelligence. Managers at Arnold Oil use metrics from those reports to get an overview of how efficiently the business is running and how well staff is adapting to challenges. For example, using Indago's Part History Detail Report, management can track every move a part makes through the business-including who put a part on the shelf, when he or she did it, if it was put out of place, why, who overwrote it, and what time they did so.
"Indago software enables us to get merchandise to the shelves quickly and efficiently. Therefore we keep our inventory thinner in a lean-warehouse operating model."
Kenneth Hess, Operations Officer | Arnold Oil Company of Austin
Using technology to move the business forward
Arnold Oil's future plans for Indago include utilizing its ability to perform cycle counting of inventory. With cycle counting, Arnold Oil's inventory will be counted throughout the year providing an ongoing gauge of inventory accuracy and eliminating the need to halt operations for a weekend to do an annual physical inventory count.
"We are a very pro-IT company," said Hess. "We depend on technology from Epicor and its partners to help us become ever more efficient and operate leaner than our competitors while giving our customers the best service possible. Indago is flexible and easy to use. If we ever have questions, JMO support staff is always very responsive. Overall it has been a big win for us."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.