March 29, 2005, 12:00 AM

Kirkland’s speeds up distribution with web-based warehouse management

With a web-based supply chain management system, home décor products retailer Kirkland’s says it has cut the per-unit cost of processing shipments through its distribution centers by 14% and eliminated 90% of its back-up storage locations.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

With a web-based supply chain management system, home décor products retailer Kirkland’s Inc. says it has cut the per-unit cost of processing shipments through its distribution centers by 14% and eliminated 90% of its back-up storage locations.

The system helped Kirkland’s process shipments more efficiently and accurately during the 2004 holiday season, said Todd Weier, vice president of logistics. “We handled the busy holiday season well and are achieving every goal we set forth,” he said.

Kirkland’s, which operates 323 stores in 34 states, implemented the web-based Supply Chain Advantage Suite last year from HighJump Software, a unit of 3M. In addition to cutting per-unit processing costs in the fourth quarter by 14% compared to before it deployed the HighJump system, it decreased the cycle time of moving goods through distribution centers by 67% and increased throughput, or the amount of products moved, by 40%.

Prior to deploying the new system, Kirkland’s had maintained for each of its stores an off-site warehouse where it kept extra stock to make up for shipment irregularities. Now, because the web-based system helps provide for more regular, planned shipments, Kirkland’s has been able to eliminate 90% of its off-site store warehouses, the retailer says.

The Supply Chain Advantage Suite lets Kirkland’s distribution center dock workers and managers access information on a web page regarding incoming and outgoing shipments. With information on shipments entered into the system by suppliers, for example, managers can view the amount of goods due to arrive at scheduled times, then arrange for the proper number and location of employees to process inbound and outbound shipments, a HighJump spokesman says. As dock workers scan shipments, managers at the distribution center or at a remote location, such as a central or regional headquarters, can view real-time updates on the amount and speed of shipments processed, he adds.

The increased visibility and accuracy in inventory management has also helped Kirkland’s comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley law on accounting for assets. "This was the best physical inventory I`ve ever been associated with,” Weier said. “The auditors were amazed at the HighJump system`s flexibility and functionality."

Comments | 2 Responses

  • In Dec of 2005 I purchased a fiberoptic snowman family at the Kirkland Store in Gateway Mall in Prescott, Az. 2 years ago when decorating I took it out of the box and the 6 volt adaptor came out and fell on the floor and cracked. I love the snowman family and have searched everywhere to find a 6 volt adaptor. The snowman family is item number DP#066652 000591 The 6 volt adaptor was made in China. If there is some way that I can purchase one from you so that I can light up the snowman family I would greatly appreciate it. Patricia Ketchmark

  • I purchased a chocolate brown suede type material wing-back chair (it came with a small paisley accent pillow) sometime in the spring of 2011 or thereabouts. The Kirkland store where I purchased this chair in Clearwater, Florida has since closed. I have searched for nearby Kirkland"s stores and cannot find another chair like the one described. I would like another to match the one I have. As I have been told that this item could have been a promotional one and no longer in stock, I am frustrated. I cannot find any other similar style to fit the room and placement I desire. How can I locate this chair? I would like to communicate with a warehouse person to see, if by chance, there may be another one somewhere. I do not have a stock number, unfortunately, or even my receipt. Sales people that I have spoken with in nearby stores seem to remember the chair from my specific description. Please help me find another chair to match the one I have! Thank you. APR

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