HighJump Software (an ARC client) held its Innovation 2010 User Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this week. HighJump sells solutions in three areas: Supply Chain Execution (WMS, MES, and TMS); Direct Store Delivery; and EDI, after its recent acquisition of TrueCommerce. However, when I think of HighJump, I think of the flexible Supply Chain Execution software company. That notion was reinforced at the conference, where I heard user case studies of implementations that are not quite like any other vendor’s.
Schneider Logistics spoke on how it took HighJump’s Supplier Advantage, which I had viewed as a web portal with fulfillment information sharing capabilities, and turned it into one of the largest and most robust Supply Chain Event Management solutions I have come across. The solution enables end-to-end real time event visibility for a supply chain starting in China and extending to the distribution centers – and sometimes stores – of a very large retailer in North America (see Schneider press release from July 2010). The solution supports two user groups – the retail merchants and logisticians. According to Schneider, the solution enabled the retailer to save $15 million in two main areas: lower inventory carrying costs, which you would expect; and a willingness to take ownership of more shipments in China – which saves them money – than in the US. Schneider Logistics had previously standardized on HighJump for its warehouses.
ARRIS, a global communications technology company that provides a wide variety of products to broadband operators, spoke about how it combined the HighJump WMS and Supplier Advantage solutions to solve a complex serialization problem for its cable modem products. ARRIS needed to capture product/child serialization (the modem being the parent, the battery the child), and a MAC number (a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications). Originally, cable installers typed the MAC number on a piece of paper and brought it to houses for the installation. Not surprisingly, they sometimes had the wrong number, upsetting their customer’s customers.
The ARRIS supply chain starts in China with contract manufacturing partners. Before the HighJump implementation, the company had a complex receiving process where associates would break pallets down, scan every unit, and manually enter MAC numbers into the PeopleSoft ERP system. ARRIS now uses the Supplier Advantage product to get all the numbers it needs via EDI prior to shipment from China and for automated receiving – the company scans one label on a master pallet and it knows all the products on the pallet and their associated serial and MAC numbers. The Supplier Advantage product also allows ARRIS to automate the PO match process – if it orders 30,000 units and receives 35,000 units, the company knows it. ARRIS doesn’t have to kick off an expensive manual process to figure out what happened.
One thing that interested me is that ARRIS is using PeopleSoft for its WMS solution. The company wanted to solve quality control issues without creating a lot of culture change in the warehouse. It implemented HighJump’s WMS only for receiving; all other warehouse processes continue to run on PeopleSoft. This is an example of the relatively unique implementations you sometimes come across with HighJump.
ARRIS is now looking to use this solution for a wide variety of other products and is entertaining the idea of standardizing on the HighJump WMS product for all warehouse processes.
In conclusion, I had always thought of HighJump’s WMS as particularly flexible. I came away from the conference with a new appreciation for its Supplier Advantage product and how the combination of its WMS and visibility products can improve end-to-end visibility and streamline fulfillment processes.