Cooking Up A Well-Done Shipping System for Barbecue Grills Manufacturer Weber-Stephen Products Company

As a provider of a full suite of warehouse management software under the name Warehouse Brain, EVCOR Systems offers several different modules for business: receiving, inventory control, sequential directed put-away, pack verification, sequential directed picking, shipping, and full compliance labeling. EVCOR has found that many companies are entering into warehouse management by obtaining one or more modules to start, with the option of adding more modules as business grows.

One of EVCOR's customers decided to use EVCOR's shipping and picking modules to improve its business. Weber-Stephen Products Company in Palatine, IL distributes the popular line of Weber barbecue grills. Keeping up with the demand for grills and their parts was a major concern for the company, especially during the busy summer months. Weber-Stephen had been using a shipping system that was proving to be no longer sufficient for the company's needs. The company wanted to be able to ship more than the 300 to 400 boxes per day that Weber-Stephen's shipping department had been doing. Because the company ships its packages via UPS, RPS and USPS, Mike Sweeney, Vice President of Logistics, says, "Our goal was to improve the current system and to avoid having to use separate systems for different carriers."

Mike contacted EVCOR Systems, an Aurora, IL-based software company that specializes in shipping systems and warehouse management systems. Tom O'Shea, a Systems Integrator at EVCOR, suggested EVCOR/Clippership and Tracer-X software. One unique feature of EVCOR/Clippership is its ability to perform competitive rate shopping for a company's small parcel packages. After deciding that EVCOR's proposal would meet their needs, Mike Sweeney had the software installed. EVCOR/Clippership and Tracer-X software gets information from the company's AS/400, downloads it and then proceeds to print out a shipping label. The EVCOR/Tracer-X software provides a real-time interface between the company's AS/400 and the shipping software.

The Weber-Stephen Products Company later decided to use their Palatine facility for shipping parts and opened a new facility for shipping grills in Huntley, IL. Naturally, Mike Sweeney wanted the same kind of shipping ease and efficiency in the new facility, so he once again turned to Tom O'Shea at EVCOR Systems for help. Using the same software, Tom O'Shea presented a system that is used for both picking the grills and shipping them. The company electronically sends EVCOR/Clippership a file in the morning, which EVCOR/Clippership then proceeds to sort by carrier, model, and order number. EVCOR/Clippership then produces a batch of labels that contain the style, location, and product numbers of the grills. The company uses each label as a pick ticket. At the end of the day, EVCOR/Clippership electronically sends them a file containing items picked and all the shipping information.

The Weber-Stephen Products Company has been very pleased with the results of their relationship with EVCOR Systems. Mike Sweeney says, "We are pleased to announce that we have achieved our goals with a system that is very quick and user-friendly. Our Midwest distribution center has, in effect, reduced the time it takes to process paperwork by 75%. What took one hour a year ago, only takes 15 minutes today." Sweenwy adds that his company is now shipping 1,000 to 1,300 packages per day.

Kevin Korody