Case Study: Linking Shipping Container Data to Purchase Orders

“The warehouse staff are absolutely stoked about the efficiencies they are seeing.”
Justin Slater, Senior Director of Operations
K&K Interiors, Inc.

The Company

K&K Interiors, Inc., established in 1996 and based in northern Ohio, is a leading wholesale supplier of home decor, offering retailers a vast range of everyday and seasonal items.

The Challenge

K&K imports huge volumes of products from their suppliers. Purchase Orders will often contain dozens of line items to be fulfilled in multiple shipments. To facilitate receipt at the warehouse, an alphanumeric string identifying a specific shipping container needs to be captured against each Purchase Order line item, via an Optional Field in the ERP system, and fed into an external Warehouse Management System.

Container details are not known at the time Purchase Orders are entered, and they can change right up to the shipment date. Updating dozens of line items to assign lengthy Container IDs was a laborious, repetitive and error-prone task, made worse by the Optional Field data entry being several clicks away from the main Order Entry screen.

The Solution

Together, we used a combination of Orchid’s Extender and Notes products and worked with developers at Orchid to create a customization with our customer. The customization included:

  • Introducing an “Add Container” button to allow new container details to be entered against Purchase Orders.
  • Allowing one of the known Container IDs for the Purchase Order to be easily associated with each line item, and automatically written back to the appropriate Optional Field.
  • Running scripts to identify all Container IDs associated with the Purchase Orders, and any line items that had not yet had a container assigned.
  • Using Info Manager Notes to display the results of the scripts to the end users.

Purchase Order Forklift

The Result

Justin Slater, Senior Director of Operations for K&K, was delighted with the outcome, and reported that the warehouse staff were equally enthusiastic. What had been tedious and time consuming work could now be accomplished with a few key strokes, and the integrity checking and prominent warnings built into the solution also meant far fewer data entry errors.