Mannatech, Inc. is an international manufacturer of nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Coppell, Texas where its US distribution center is located, the company has expanded into Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan. Mannatech markets its products through a network of 220,000 active associates, which translates into many packages of nutritional supplements that its distribution center must deliver in a timely fashion. To do so, the company has had to consistently test services to determine which would help them ship their products most efficiently.
Mannatech chose Kewills Clippership software system to assist in its shipping operations. Clippership is a Windows-based shipping application that automates shipment processing for many carriers including U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx Express and Ground, Airborne Express, DHL, BAX Global and LTLS. Since Mannatech began using Clippership in 1996, it has doubled the amount of packages it ships per hour per person and reduced its distribution centers staff from 45 full-time employees to 18 full-time and four part-time employees. The companys shipping volume grew to 3,650 packages a day from less than a thousand a day before Clippership was implemented.
Always eager to adopt new USPS shipping technologies, Mannatechs director of Distribution, Jason Mallett, joined the beta test program for a new Delivery Confirmation service the USPS developed in April of 1998. The Clippership system processed the packages during the test period and contributed to the success of the project. In March 1999, the USPS went live with its Delivery Confirmation System, and Mannatech was the first company in the Dallas-Fort Worth region to use it.
One of the reasons Mannatech chose Clippership was because it could interact with Mannatechs customer database. This integration allows the company to extract shipping information from the customer database and then write an orders shipping date, tracking number and package weight back to that database within just a few seconds of when the package was shipped. Mannatech also wanted to be able to code an order to a specific shipping carrier at the time an associate places the order and to switch between carriers automatically.
We switched from the standard UPS system to the Clippership system in 1996 and went from having to scan several different barcodes and processing orders by hand to scanning one barcode and letting the system automatically process the order for us in two to three seconds. That was a huge change, Mallett explains.
Shippers scan in the order number from the barcode on the package. The system does the routing, weighing and address label printing for the appropriate carrier in a matter of seconds. This speed allows Mannatech to turn orders around within 24 hours, using just one eight-hour shift. Mannatech can also provide next day air service on any order placed by 3 PM each day.
Mallett also likes the flexibility Clippership gives him with the various shipping carriers. I can use the system to see which parcel carrier has the best price for second day air packages or go with a specific parcel carrier, says Mallett. Grouping my shipments by service allows me to negotiate volume discounts with all of the different parcel carriers. In 2000, this negotiating capability helped Mallett save more than $500,000 in freight and shipping supply costs.
The impact the Clippership system has had at Mannatech is evident at its distribution center. Four Clippership stations were used when the system was first implemented. Today, two of these stations run all the time, the third is used periodically and the fourth remains idle. As the level of efficiency with Clippership has increased, the number of shipping staff members needed to process packages with the system has decreased. And, although there is a higher volume of packages being processed, the department has seen its accuracy rate rise to 99.76% since the inception of Clippership.
Weve stayed on the cutting edge of the different services USPS is developing and are willing to try them out, Mallett comments. Mannatech is a very open-minded company. Were always looking for ways to provide better service. Our goals are to provide the highest quality product and service to our customers. By trying the different shipping services and negotiating rates with parcel carriers, we have continually improved customer service as well as our warehouses efficiency. That brings profits to the bottom line and helps customers in the long run.
Jennifer Bentley is director of Marketing for Kewill Systems. She can be reached at 877-872-2379. For more information, please visit www.kewill.com.