As one of the nation’s leading e-commerce and wholesale auto parts companies, Buy Auto Parts understands the need to bring order to its warehouse, so it can keep up with customers’ ever-increasing delivery demands.
With aggressive offers like free shipping on orders of more than $99 and matching competitor prices, the San Diego, Calif.-based auto parts supplier and distributor has little room for error. It knows the importance of shipping the right part quickly—the first time, on time.
That’s why Buy Auto Parts invested in a Cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) to optimize inventory, space and resources within its fulfillment center. And the ROI has been well worth it. In fact, efficiency-driving picks per hour have increased more than 50% since its implementation.
“One of the biggest areas it helped improve is our pick, pack and ship operational efficiencies and the ability to wave orders,” says John Salvatore, vice president of operations. “Being able to wave an order by its due-out date is a huge advantage if, for example, I want to wave my next-day air, international, urgent orders or Amazon orders. I can prioritize them any way I want.”
Unlike traditional retailers, Buy Auto Parts has an unusual peak season: the summer. Because most people wait as long as possible to replace car parts (such as air conditioning), summer months are anything but a vacation for the company. With a Cloud-based WMS, Buy Auto Parts can better manage this non-traditional peak season by maintaining deeper visibility into inventory levels and process efficiencies.
Because Buy Auto Parts carries bulkier inventory, such as radiators, air conditioning compressors and wheel hub assemblies, it doesn’t store large amounts of stock for certain parts. And when the same item is housed in different areas of the warehouse, the WMS picks from the lowest inventory level to the highest, so managers can better monitor inventory levels. For example, it knows to pick a carburetor from a stock of one, rather than a carburetor from a stock of 10, thereby maximizing available space.
Buy Auto Parts plans to improve its reverse logistics operations using the WMS. Some of the company’s products have several components, and it wants to be able to shorten the time that items are restocked so customer refunds can be issued in a timely manner.
Additionally, the company is working with its WMS provider to create an enhanced inventory cycle count program so that it can enhance inventory accuracy and, in turn, better serve its growing customer base.
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Supply Chain 24/7.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll keep you up-to-date.