For more than 70 years, The Stech Group has been a family-owned and operated company, proud of its heritage and service in the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region.
Today, the firm operates Standard Warehouse, one of Philadelphia’s largest warehouse and distribution companies with more than 25 tractors, 110 trailers, and 750,000 square feet of warehouse space with railroad siding across four facilities.
For years, The Stech Group had been managing the Standard Warehouse and MidAtlantic Distribution warehouse business on the Accuplus Warehouse Management System (WMS), a legacy solution that management knew would ultimately need to be replaced. An unexpected server crash forced a rash decision to move to a brand new WMS, but it had significant bugs and limitations. Unfortunately, this resulted in significant operational issues that could not be addressed and a crisis of confidence among Stech’s largest customers.
Logistics technology consulting group Advantage Technology Solutions was asked to assist. Of course, the first step was to try to “make things right” with the current vendor, but it soon became clear that this wasn’t viable. The new system had been implemented in a fire-fighting mode, without the proper planning, training or support required for success. Customers were angry, as was the Standard Warehouse team. No resolution plan could be agreed to with the current vendor and ultimately, there was no choice but to seek an alternative system.
ATS was asked to lead a cross-functional team of Operations, Customer Service and Finance in an aggressive process to select and implement a new WMS. Each company was invited to demonstrate their capabilities, multiple on-site meetings and demonstrations were conducted and three finalists emerged with distinct platforms (Microsoft, Oracle and IBM). Independent interviews were conducted with each vendor’s clients to learn first-hand what went well, what didn’t and things they learned and were willing to share.
The final decision was ultimately based not on which vendor was the least costly but who could be trusted to get the job done – immediately and for years to come. Each vendor’s software, support team, executive management and financials were ranked against Stech’s documented customer requirements and business priorities. The management team appreciated the background, experience and success that Zethcon had achieved with other third-party logistics providers. Key to the decision was the depth of their industry talent and the personal commitment from the CEO.
What They Say
“We couldn’t afford to make another mistake and we knew we could trust ATS. They led us every step of the way in the Warehouse Management System selection process, from documenting our requirements, vendor selection, contract negotiations and the ongoing project implementation. Our customers have seen the immediate benefits and I’m confident we made the right decision for our business, now and for years to come.”
– William Stech, President, The Stech Group
From an infrastructure perspective, the project also had to address the procurement and successful implementation of:
- Redundant HP/VMware hardware and software
- Synapse WMS software
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- RF access points, switches and network cabling
The project has been a major success, resulting in:
- All Stech Group accounts currently running on Synapse
- Dramatically increased quality and customer satisfaction
- One-hundred percent EDI compliance for the first time with a high-priority client
- Greatly improved inventory management and control through barcode scanning
- Significant improvements in warehouse administration, operations and billing
In the Age of the Customer, The Stech Group now has a solid foundation to provide the services their clients expect of them. This includes the ability to provide the inventory lot tracking and auditing that are required to meet U.S. Government Food Safety Modernization Act standards. The biggest immediate and long-term benefit will be the additional revenue and profit generated from current clients and new prospects.
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