The Integrated Warehouse
Since connecting its expansive warehousing to a single platform, JAS Worldwide has discovered immense gains in productivity and operational efficiency across the globe.
With 34 years of experience in both domestic and international distribution and forwarding, Matt Ross is more than qualified to determine the best way to upgrade JAS Worldwide’s global warehouse operations. “I’ve been with JAS for thirteen years,” he says. “At one point, I was on a team dedicated to finding a single platform for our Forwarding and Accounting, but we found a need for a WMS as well. Since I was the team’s warehouse logistics guy, they asked me to take on the WMS role, then go and get all our sites integrated.’”
So far, Ross has done just that for eight of JAS Worldwide’s subsidiaries, and the company’s warehouse operations continue to reach across the globe. Ross played a leading role in bringing the company’s sites onto an integrated platform in the US, Canada, Korea, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and Switzerland.
But his job was not easy. “We had several software packages globally, and we changed software so many times when these projects began,” Ross says. “We even had problems with our home-grown software. Some of our subsidiaries had one standalone system, some had none at all, some used Excel. Even if they ran the same software, they were on different versions of it that couldn’t connect.
“We managed information in one warehouse on one system, and we managed forwarding in another system, and the two could never integrate. We needed one platform.”
When Ross took the lead in finding JAS’s WMS solution, he looked for software that could manage worldwide operations as efficiently as possible. “I did an item-by-item comparison of what each WMS offered. WiseTech Global’s product was head-and-shoulders above everything everyone else had. Standard forwarding, small pick and pack operations, everything. The platform fit perfectly.”
Just like that, Ross says, JAS’s warehouse operations found the solution that could connect seamlessly with the other areas of their global business. “We got the system that could go ‘from womb to tomb,’” he says. “From PO management, to warehouse management, then onto the forwarding side for destination and delivery, and then back to another warehouse. Having the direct integration to forwarding in a single system - which no one else has - was the biggest draw of CargoWise One.”
Having the right system enabled the company to fully deliver the kind of visibility their customers demanded. Ross recalls that “up until that point we had no way to give our customers complete visibility. Not even through our own proprietary tracking system. With CargoWise One, we could provide our customers with the information they needed.”
Ross compares warehouse logistics to an enclosed network of pipelines. He explains that software can create windows into those pipelines for customer visibility, but only the very best integrated solution can allow customers to decide where those windows are and when they want to look through them.
“With CargoWise One’s Web Tracker, anybody that’s connected to JAS can see their freight anywhere in the pipeline at any time. The customer’s ability to log in and manage their own inventory is huge for us,” Ross adds. “Our customers don’t have to call us and ask ‘what’s my inventory, where’s my inventory, what’s this, what’s that?’ They can find everything for themselves.”
JAS has found additional benefit in WiseTech Global’s LDaaS (Logistics Device as a Service) program, increasing the efficiency and productivity of its warehouse operators and bringing the company significant cost-savings. “We don’t want to go out and spend two thousand dollars or more for a single device, or five thousand for two devices, when we can just get all we need in the whole warehouse for two years with LDaaS for that same price.
“And since LDaaS comes already configured,” Ross adds, “you can just give your operators the device and the usage is so straightforward. Anybody can easily learn to receive, put away, and create orders.”
The productivity that JAS Worldwide has gained for the past decade shows no signs of declining as the company heads into the future, says Ross. “Right now, for example, we have a client based in Germany who wants to expand their global footprint. Because of the system’s ability for EDI transmission, we can connect all their satellite distribution centers together with their main center at the flip of a switch.
“In terms of JAS’s WMS,” Ross adds, “our footprint is large enough to support global entities in online purchasing and commerce pretty much anywhere in the world. We could never have done that when were operating on different platforms. With all our warehouses on the same system, on one platform, we can operate more efficiently and give total visibility to our customers.”
The company finds that it is attracting more potential customers based on the confidence they have in JAS Worldwide’s integrated system. “JAS chose CargoWise One for the ability it gives us to attract more customers and more business,” Ross concludes. “And it’s helped us do just that.”