Layton Home Fashions manufactures and distributes pillows, bedding, and tabletop linens from its Portland, Oregon facility. Established in 1954, today it is one of the few remaining manufacturers of home textiles on the West Coast.Customers include (among many others) Sears, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Fred Meyer. In 1990, Layton purchased its first computer and AddonSoftware.
How to tag items in the warehouse and how to maintain a perpetual inventory.
AddonSoftware wrote a program to print tags with barcodes upon receipt of items. This enables every inventory item to be barcoded. Scanners are used to scan the raw materials placed in production. A program was written to interface the scanner with AddonSoftware, so the items are uploaded and removed from inventory.
The old process was to enter the items received into the system, but no items were ever committed or taken out of inventory. Employees took a physical inventory count once a year and this took almost two months to do. After obtaining the actual count, the inventory numbers in the system were adjusted. Thus, once a year, Layton knew the cost of goods sold and the remaining inventory value.
Now, cycle counts are done by one person who is an Inventory Control Specialist. This person performs mini-physicals each day on 15-20 products, so it’s much easier to track down variances on those few products versus 4,000, explained Steve Richardson, Chief Financial Officer. Also, each item is counted at least once a year and some are counted quarterly. The actual inventory values are now reflected in the monthly financial statements along with accurate cost of goods sold.
Matt Raminiak, Purchasing Manager at Layton Home Fashions, and his department maintained a massive Excel spreadsheet and manually entered all orders to determine what was on-hand and what needed to be ordered. This was a full-time job for one employee and now, by utilizing AddonSoftware, his time can be used more productively working with vendors on pricing and sourcing. Also, everyone has access to the information, not just purchasing.
“It used to take 45 minutes to reconcile one inventory item before ordering anything,” explained Matt. “We had to figure out what was in the warehouse compared to the order in process. We used to say that it wasn’t really lost until you walked around the warehouse five times!” And that was no small task with a 120,000 square foot warehouse! With cycle counts, the purchasing department can now look at the last inventory date and the last receipt date in the system and be confident quoting lead times to customers.
“We’re strong on making sure the customer has what they want, when they want it,” said Matt. “The innovations of AddonSoftware have made that possible. We need to use the system and every available resource to stay ahead of the fashion trend. We used to bend the system to follow what was done on paper. It was like having a computer and using it for a paperweight. Now we’re using the software more and more."
"The real-time information is staggering and we can make good, accurate decisions.”
Sandy Uhalde, Vice President, Operations at Layton Home Fashions, explained that they were thinking of replacing the system but are glad they decided instead to start using it! Sandy also reported that Layton’s customer service personnel are a lot happier because the system has made their lives easier by cutting down on search time. “The sales reps love it too because they can look at the system and know what’s in inventory!”
Layton is constantly adding inventory items as fashion trends change. With more fabric being imported, timely ordering is critical. And now the system tells them what’s in the factory so purchasing doesn’t purchase unnecessary items, and that saves the company money!