"IntelliTrack lets us do an excellent job of tracking consignment inventory. We buy materials in large quantities on consignment and use a pay as you go' scheme, saving significant carrying costs per year. Lead times are now reduced to zero and our cash flow has been improved. With IntelliTrack, we are much more cost-effective."
John Hanlin, Systems Analyst Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Company, a large utility company, typically purchases millions of dollars worth of pipe and fittings. It allocates a small portion to various projects as needed. Today the utility buys materials on a consignment basis, paying for materials as it uses them.
Because Southern California Gas Company covered a vast geographic territory, it had to maintain a diverse inventory of materials at primary and secondary storage locations.
The utility required a cost-effective data-management system to track purchases and storage of the materials at all its sites. Inventory needed to be tracked as it was received, stored, and allocated, and the system had to track materials used for each job. "Because we are managing our suppliers stock, accurate and timely billing for materials was extremely important," said the company's Systems Analyst, John Hanlin.
The data-management system had to be able to grow with Southern California Gas Company's future expansions. The utility also required that the system be compatible with Microsoft® Office, it's PC standard. Utility managers needed to continue using existing Excel and Word documents and incorporate information from the data-management system. The utility also wanted a tracking system that would allow it to make modifications to existing report templates.
The IntelliTrack Solution
IntelliTrack Inventory/Shipping/Receiving modules allow pipe and fittings to be received, put away, and monitored in accurate inventory records for multiple sites. IntelliTrack reports include complete information about pipe and fittings by storage location, improving identification and tracking of inventory.
IntelliTrack Shipping not only allows staff to select portions of pipe inventory to be shipped, it also lets them include the appropriate fittings required for each job.
When the materials are shipped, IntelliTrack relays the shipping reports to the mainframe computer system so that product payments can be processed.
Because IntelliTrack's Microsoft Access 2.0 database is compatible with Microsoft applications already used by the staff at the utility, adding fields to the reports is easy.
Portable Data Collection
Warehouse staff scans pipe as it is received using the Percon PT 2000 portable data collector and a handheld laser. Putaways of materials is now much quicker. Information uploaded from the portable ensures up-to-date and complete inventory records by site.
When shipping, staff find it easy to identify the correct pipe and fittings for each order by using information downloaded from the PT 2000. As a result, pipe is not shipped by mistake
Tracking of receiving and putaways is very accurate. Detailed descriptions of materials received, stored, allocated, and shipped are recorded in the inventory record by site. From this record, numerous reports allow close monitoring of pipe usage. Correct order information eliminates costly errors. Pipe and corresponding fittings can now be correctly identified and shipped with the new, improved system from Percon.
Compatibility with Southern California Gas Company's mainframe computer helped expedite payment procedures that were already in place. Because the utility can now pay for its materials as they are used,cash flow has been improved and its total systems cost has been reduced.