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Logistics company maintains early growth with new EDI, ERP systems

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Problem: Efficiency issues were slowing down eleven-year-old Westcoast Warehousing, a third-party logistics company offering “pick and pack” and direct-to-store (DTS) replenishment. Stockton, Calif.-based Westcoast serves as a warehouse for its retailer customers, which ship goods directly to Westcoast and keep inventory there until they are needed in stores. Westcoast had been growing 10% yearly but, to keep expanding, it needed a new supply chain solution—one that provided direct communication between retailers and Westcoast servers.

Solution: Three years ago, Westcoast brought in Irvine, Calif.-based Avatar Partners, a company that specializes in supply chain visibility and electronic commerce solutions, to review its needs.

“I decided to bring Avatar on board after my old systems were no capable of the volumes I was doing,” said Jay Patel, president of Westcoast Warehousing. “I also had visions of large growth in the very near future. [In] doing my research, Avatar Partners’ name was recommended over others.”

After analyzing Westcoast’s current system and providing recommendations, Avatar helped implement Inovis Inc.’s Trusted Link electronic data interchange (EDI) system and a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed by Royal 4 Systems. Avatar also trained the Westcoast staff and worked with its IT team.

Results: The new systems allowed Westcoast to use technology to increase profits directly and offer expanded direct-to-store services such as direct-ship and just-in-time delivery. Since the implementation of the new ERP and EDI systems, Westcoast has gained business from top retailers nationwide. In the three years since it began working with Avatar Partners, Westcoast’s business has increased more than 20% annually, Patel said.

“This solution proves that a behind-the-firewall EDI package that directly integrates into an ERP system can be cost-effective and put much greater control of a company’s systems into its own hands,” said Marlo Brooke, a principal at Avatar. “Within just days, Westcoast can be up and running with any major retailer or supplier—something most of their competitors cannot claim.”

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