The Charles C. Parks Co., a regional distributor of product to convenience stores in the southern U.S., is upgrading the software systems at its warehouse in Gallatin, Tenn. Higher service standards dictated the need for new warehouse technology, according to chief financial officer Tom Cripps. The company chose three applications from Retalix Ltd., a seller of software for retailers and distributors. Retalix PowerWarehouse is the vendor's warehouse-management system (WMS). It is designed specifically for route-based, multi-stop food distributors. The system uses barcode scanning and wireless radio-frequency technologies to automate such processes as receiving, returns processing, order selection, shipping and inventory control. Retalix Power Voice uses the Vocollect Voice software from Vocollect Inc. to move data from PowerWarehouse into a wireless Vocollect Talkman mobile computer and headset. The technology, which transmits real-time inventory updates, allows for hands-free picking. The third module, Retalix Power Productivity, monitors and measures labor productivity based on standards set by the company for various warehouse tasks. The software also provides reports that can be used to forecast workloads and schedules. The Parks Co. distributes to convenience stores in nine southern states. It claims an order-fill rate at the Gallatin warehouse of better than 99 percent.
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