About the Client: About 5.11 Tactical With offices around the globe, 5.11 Tactical works directly with end users to create purpose-built apparel, footwear and gear designed specifically to enhance the safety, accuracy, speed, and performance of tactical professionals and enthusiasts worldwide.
Challenge: Sales Growth Causes Bottlenecks in Shipping Operations
5.11 Tactical was using several versions of carrier-provided free shipping software to process shipments every day. This approach worked when the company’s volume was lower, but as sales grew, the company began to experience serious productivity and inflexibility issues in its shipping operations.
5.11 Tactical started looking for a multi-carrier shipping solution that could support ALL their carriers as well as custom rates, could be integrated to receive order data from their ERP system, and would improve shipping efficiency and productivity, and enhance customer service.
Solution: Multi-Carrier Shipping Platform to Streamline All Shipping Workflows
The company chose CLS and its InfoShip/Vx multi-carrier shipping system in 2006. By moving all carriers onto a single carrier management platform that interfaced to their existing WMS system, they increased productivity and output, reduced training time, improved accuracy, and raised customer service responsiveness to new levels.
Shipping Operations Audit Yields Opportunities to Streamline
CLS worked closely with 5.11 Tactical to audit its shipping operations with the goal of developing a single-source solution that minimized the number of software application involved in shipping and streamlined workflow.
Within three months, the joint team authored a project functional and technical requirements document and configured, tested and deployed InfoShip/Vx into live production. This was all completed on time, as a part of another even larger project.
Productivity and Accuracy Improves Across Departments
“CLS is a great partner. They worked with us to create a new interface to meet our specific needs, proving that they really are our one single-source solution.”
Kelly Hays, Director of Distribution, 5.11 Tactical
5.11 Tactical saw an immediate improvement in several areas of operations, including:
- Improved warehouse productivity and accuracy. Errors have been drastically reduced, since shipping data is now received from the ERP, and users no longer needed to manually enter data manually. This has dramatically reduced the occurrence of “problem” shipments, as well as staff time dedicated to resolving shipping issues due to address issues, lost packages, etc.
- Flexibility in Managing Delivery Requests. Shipping methods and options can be adjusted as needed to provide customers with the delivery times that they request. On-the-fly delivery adjustments can be done while an order is being packed or in transit to the shipping station.
- Enhanced Customer Service. As a result of faster, more accurate shipping processes, the service department handles a lower volume of “where is my order” customer calls and now has more time to focus on other customer issues.
All of these improvements have helped the company build quality customer relationships that promote loyalty and encourages additional sales.
Conclusion: A Shipping System Built for Growth
5.11 Tactical was able to achieve its primary business goals of improving productivity while reducing errors and enhancing customer service with its new InfoShip/Vx system. Most importantly, the new system has also become integral to the company’s growth. InfoShip/Vx is scalable and designed to handle thousands of shipments per day without incurring additional labor costs. This capability has enabled 5.11 Tactical to expand into new markets without incurring significant shipping costs.