A case study about how Waytek Wire implemented an innovative order-fulfillment system from FastFetch, with Waytek owner and chief operating officer Mike Larson, and FastFetch president and founder Jack Peck.
Waytek Wire, a second-generation family business founded in 1970, is a leading distributor of wiring suppliers, fasteners and connectors. The company had been experiencing dramatic sales growth, and its once-state-of-the-art conveyor system couldn’t handle the surge in volume. Rather than overhaul the existing equipment, Waytek went looking for a system that could scale with growth and could be implemented quickly, without any interruption in customer order fulfillment.
Waytek chose FastFetch, which provided a system of putwalls that could handle product of varying sizes. Instead of traditional numeric displays, the putwalls are equipped with LED lights, which are easier to install and cost nearly 80% less than conventional light modules. The LEDs feature multiple colors, so that teams of putters can work at the wall at the same time, using scanners with color dots that correspond to the locations where product should be placed.
With the installation of the putwalls, Waytek was able to remove the old conveyor and free up more room, allowing for 15% more racking in the warehouse.
The system has lived up to expectations, Larson says. It has sped up both activity at the putwall and downstream packing, more than offsetting the need for some additional labor to handle new tasks. “If we had to increase the conveyor to handle 800 to 1,200 orders, it would have been impossible,” he says.
Implementation of the system took less than two weeks. Peck says it’s highly scalable and can accommodate further growth in activity. As for the future, Larson is open to further ways of improving Waytek’s order-fulfillment operation. “I’m excited to see what the future holds,” he says.
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