Process Improvements, Minimize Damages, Deliver Time-Critical Reliability

Customer: Wholesale supplier of burial caskets

WSI Services: Warehousing / Distribution, Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Transportation 

Challenge: Provide faster and more reliable order fulfillment to a wider georgraphic area

Solution: The last thing a bereaved family needs is a casket that's late to the funeral. And while the distributor's unique fulfillment model offered significant savings to their customers, reliance on a single distribution point limited their order turnaround times and geographic area. Damages in transit also posed a problem, as the caskets were shipped via common carrier with many other products.  

The first step WSI took was to evaluate the customer's current process. Where the distributor was custom-building individual pallets, WSI proposed using stock pallets of higher quality and a larger size, with multi-directional strapping to better secure and protect the casket. Where the customer was shipping all orders out of a single location, WSI proposed bulk shipping to four of their regional distribution centers to fill customer orders more efficiently and economically.

The product also presented unique handling challenges. Because they are shipped and stored upright, the caskets must be moved by hand and can't be stacked, thus requiring significant storage space. An atypical product identification system ­– hand-labeled by style name, rather than item number or barcode – required personal handling and attention to detail.

WSI's flexibility and problem-solving helped the casket distributor improve order turnaround, expand their next-day delivery reach, plus reduce damages and transportation costs. "It was an effective collaboration between sales, operations and the customer on-site. We brainstormed ways to minimize their workload and costs, and take the burden off them," observed WSI sales representative Roy Jones.

Where are the opportunities for solutions and savings in your supply chain? To learn more, give us a call at 920.831.3700 or email us.

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