Date: March 20, 2019
In 2010, Steve Oakley (pictured below) was hired by Javelin Logistics to manage a large facility for a new major customer. The customer wanted to move away from Javelin’s previous provider’s service of pallet in / pallet out - storing and shipping entire pallets and crates - to pick and pack - requiring item-level picking and inventory management. This was a workflow that Javelin’s legacy Warehouse Management System (WMS) at the time could handle, but was labor-intensive for his staff.
Javelin Logistics By The Numbers
"When we switched from our legacy WMS to 3PL Warehouse Manager, our costs were cut by nearly 50%"
As the market for outsourced logistics evolved, so did Javelin’s technology. It took a new customer’s Request for Proposal (RFP) to transform Javelin from the inside out. This new ecommerce customer was shipping up to 1000 orders directly to their customers daily, and was looking for a 3PL partner to handle the logistics. Javelin submitted an initial proposal based on their legacy WMS, which required 18 warehouse workers to support this prospect’s workflow. Javelin made it to the final round, but with a highly labor-dependent and cost-intensive proposal, Steve knew that Javelin needed to shift from their legacy WMS to a more efficient solution.
Javelin began a search for a WMS to provide enhanced capabilities and reduce the manual work that their staff was doing. 3PL Central offered the solution. Javelin resubmitted their bid with 3PL Warehouse Manager WMS in place, and the customer ultimately chose Javelin as their 3PL partner. Built around the comprehensive WMS, Javelin’s proposed costs were cut by nearly 50%.
"Today, I'm not afraid to tell prospects that we have a goal of 99% accuracy with their inventory"
Implementing 3PL Warehouse Manager and 3PL Central’s small parcel solution, SmartPack™ and SmartParcel™, allowed Javelin to expand their services into ecommerce fulfillment and DTC (Direct to Consumer) parcel shipping, moving Javelin into Omnichannel Fulfillment. It would have taken a lot of manual entry and pieces of paper to ship an order using their legacy WMS that was focused on just one type of workflow. With a comprehensive WMS in place, Javelin met all their SLA’s and even outperformed projections. The core issue was resolved: Javelin no longer relied on manual labor.
Going from a labor-based to a technology-driven 3PL not only gave Javelin a competitive advantage to win the business, but were able to do so without hiring more workers - saving them added labor costs in the long run. Now armed with a more robust WMS, Javelin transformed their business by eliminating guesswork and manual data capture for their staff, reducing their reliance on paper and gaining more trust from their customers.
Steve says that implementing 3PL Warehouse Manager “transformed the company” by allowing them to keep up with where the market was going. Back then, pallet in / pallet out was their facility’s core offering, but today’s customers want more options. “Now we can sell a much differentiated product with many different services”.
Javelin’s leadership team recognized Steve’s success and promoted him to manage all six of their facilities in the Northwest. Before Steve joined, Javelin’s trucking side of the business accounted for 40% of total sales. Today, that top spot is owned by their 3PL warehousing services with Steve at the helm.
"Our goal is to make our customers successful – across the company, we really mean that"
When asked for Steve’s recipe for success, he lists two main factors: transparency and service performance. When it comes to transparency, Steve is upfront with customers about Javelin’s pricing methodology. All costs needed to support the account are transparent up-front. “We really try to understand what the customer is doing, and we price based off of that.” Customers value Javelin’s honesty and flexibility, and are always happy to pay their fair pricing.
For service performance, Steve has made it Javelin’s goal to “constantly wow the customer”. This positive influence comes from the top, from their President and CEO, Malcolm Winspear, and permeates through the company to their customers. “Our goal is to make our customers successful – across the company, we really mean that”, Steve says. “We treat each customer as a partner we collaborate with to make us better”.
This strategy worked. Just after six months of Steve managing six of Javelin’s facilities, each warehouse was full – all through word of mouth from happy customers.
About Javelin Logistics
After specializing in air freight forwarding from 1996 to 2003, Javelin Logistics developed along with California’s developing high tech companies to provide comprehensive third-party logistics and transportation solutions.
We’re proud to now offer our clients warehousing and distribution, transportation and other supply chain capabilities, with an emphasis on service sensitive logistics and attentive customer service. To learn more, please visit www.javelinlogistics.com.
3PL Central provides cloud-based WMS solutions for 3PLs so they can transform paper-based, error-prone businesses into service leaders focused on customer satisfaction, efficient operations, and growth.