Tag Archives: competitive advantage

Customer Spotlight: Red-L Distributors

Customer Spotlight

Red-L Distributors has built its business by providing customers with quality products, great product selection, added value, and personal service. Based near Edmonton in Alberta, the company has been supplying Canada’s oilfield, agricultural, transportation, construction, mining, and forestry industries since 1961. Today the company offers a diversified range of products from hydraulic, industrial, and high pressure hoses and fittings to lubricants, bowie pumps, and diesel engine oil, all from its 12 locations in Alberta and British Columbia.

Why Latitude?

Red-L first implemented PathGuide’s Latitude WMS in 2007 for its advanced features and compatibility with their ERP system. As it rolled out Latitude WMS, the company was able to transform its warehouse into a cleaner, safer and much more efficient workplace by reorganizing its operations and taking full advantage of the enhanced layout and workflow. Following this successful deployment, in 2011 Red-L began using Latitude’s Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) functionality to help its clients efficiently maintain stock levels and independently manage replenishment orders. Red-L had found traditional forms of vendor-managed inventory replenishment problematic because they were generally slow and prone to human error, resulting in increased travel time for Red-L’s sales team and lengthy replenishment cycles.

VMI orders are processed by Latitude and imported directly into Red-L’s ERP. The process is not only very efficient, it also saves a significant amount of time and reduces the likelihood of input errors. This has given Red-L a competitive advantage, and greatly reduced the burden on Red-L’s clients. In fact, 40 of Red-L’s clients now use VMI to handle product replenishment, averaging an 80 percent improvement in turnaround times.

More Information

To learn more about Red-L, visit their website at: http://www.redl.com/. More information about Latitude WMS can be found here: http://www.pathguide.com/Solutions.aspx.

What e-Tailers Can Learn from Amazon’s Technology Investments

Our partners at Software Advice are always on lookout for ways to help companies compete and find the best tools for their business needs. One of the company’s market research assistants, Forrest Burson, recently published an interesting piece entitled: “6 Ways Amazon Is Changing Supply Chain Management in 2016,” (link). Not only did this article reinforce the view that Amazon is leading the way in terms of logistical speed and efficiency, it also shone a light on the possible future of supply chain management.

With that in mind, we reached out to Forrest for more background into what e-Tailers can learn from the trail that Amazon is helping to blaze. You’ll also find a couple of links back to their content where you can find additional information.

PathGuide: What can smaller businesses learn from Amazon that may help them compete?

Forrest: Amazon is well known for the automated robots it uses in its warehouse, which of course cost a pretty penny to implement on the scale that Amazon does things. So, I’m not sure any small company could replicate that. But, what small businesses can do is automate manual processes through warehouse management software.

PathGuide: So, if SMBs can’t compete on scale, are there any areas where they can possibly beat Amazon?

Forrest: There are some instances where SMBs can have the edge over Amazon, especially if they are a niche retailer. So, one way to keep a competitive advantage is to build up a client base that keeps coming back—offering them deals, always having a stocked inventory and providing a superior product selection.

PathGuide: Amazon is always in the news. Is it important to track what they’re doing?

Forrest: For a lot of small retailers, Amazon is both a competitor as well as a service they rely on, and a channel they might even sell through. It’s critical to keep an eye on what Amazon does because when it moves, the world tends to shake.