Background

GraysOnline is a part of the Grays Group – Australia’s leading auctioneering and asset management company. They specialise in the valuation, marketing and sale of businesses, inventory and equipment.

Grays built graysonline.com.au to access an international 24 hour a day market place for its vendors. It has been one of the few auction companies worldwide to successfully utilise e-commerce to improve returns for its vendors and enable buyers to bid remotely.

Business Challenge

GraysOnline required a detailed evaluation process to be conducted to identify a replacement business system to appropriately manage their warehouse management and fulfilment activities. This system needed to meet the current and future requirements of the business in the areas of warehouse and fulfilment processes. When deciding on the strategy for GraysOnline, it was agreed that a “best of breed” WMS solution would be evaluated to address the need.

Results

CMC was engaged to provide Project Management Support and Project Governance and Quality Assurance to assist the business in conducting a structured and independent assessment of a new Warehouse Management System. GraysOnline utilised CMC’s Evaluation and Selection Methodology and processes to identify a short list of vendors to be considered as the solution provider.

CMC also assisted with the definition of a Common Operating Model (COM) for the business and assisted with Warehouse Management Consulting to support Business Acceptance Testing of the chosen application.

CMC then teamed up with Darroch Consulting to provide a Strategic Review of the Warehouse Layout and Operations. The existing warehouse processes were complex and largely manual so a considerable number of improvements were suggested with potential long term benefits such as:

  • Improved warehouse operating efficiency and methods which will minimise product handling and increase performance.
  • Introduction of a new WMS with a track and trace system so the location of every product is specifically identified.
  • Alternative storage methods that will considerably increase the use of cubic volume within the future warehousing operation.

Phase 1 involved the following activities:

  • Re-layout the wine storage area with improved order picking methods appropriate for this category.
  • Development of layout drawings for the warehouses so that allocation of areas, flows, pedestrian separation and other issues can be effectively resolved.
  • Installation of narrow aisle man-up stock picking module to store individual SKUs on shelves. This was deemed to be more efficient than having mixed SKU pallets.
  • Provision of interim operating methods in order to provide immediate advantages prior to the implementation of the WMS.
  • Phase 2 involved the development of fully integrated systems to support GraysOnline with the selection and future operating methods and procedures of the proposed WMS. It was important to ensure the future systems adopt best warehouse practice and that the material handling and storage systems are designed accordingly. This included:
  • Advice on WMS functionality requirements in order to support future operating methods and procedures while providing maximum operating efficiencies.
  • A detailed data analysis of product flows throughout the facility to assist with the future development of warehousing operations.
  • Development of warehouse concepts including layouts, flows, material handling systems and processes that will enable an efficient new warehouse facility to be developed when required.

GraysOnline selected Manhattan’s Scale System as the preferred solution.