Kenco Information Technology Solutions Overview
Kenco’s technology solutions bring agility and flexibility to our customer base. We offer highly tailored technology implementations that bring virtually unlimited solution sets and options for each customer. With customers spanning many verticals, our breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in supply chain technologies brings a unique ability to deliver continuous improvement year after year. Our solutions have brought innovative changes to logistics operations for many of our clients in all phases of growth in their market space. It is our tightly integrated partnership approach that enables successful execution of complex supply chains within our customer base.
We offer a combination of several powerful tools that can help you manage your information, workforce, inventory, space, and time. We have experienced IT project managers on staff to guide you through the implementation for any of our solutions. Our capabilities span the supply chain encompassing order management, warehouse management, labor management, yard management, and transportation management.
Warehouse Management Systems
Kenco’s WES™ platform has been in operation for many of our largest customers since 1989, constantly growing and evolving to meet their ever changing needs. The primary value that our proprietary system solutions offer our customers is the ability to implement immediate enhancements that directly affect their bottom line. We implement custom solutions on an as-needed basis so you do not have to wait for the next scheduled software release. Our IT team is dedicated to continual improvement of our software and work in partnership with our operations to service our customers in the highest quality and most timely fashion possible. We provide a completely unique solution for many of our customers based on their needs - systems that are architected and built as a stand-alone software application. Also, we serve in essence as a contract application development staff to supplement their own internal IT resources and offer the following value propositions:
- Speed of enhancement development
- Productivity Improvements
- Cost Savings
- Continual Improvement
WES Dedicated Facility Efficiency Algorithms:
- Inbound Efficiencies
- Outbound Efficiencies
- RF Manpower Optimization
- Velocity Slotting
- Space Management
Kenco’s CWIC system has many of the same basic functionalities as WES but is primarily customized for multi-client facilities. CWIC is designed to operate with multiple customers in the same facility or across multiple shared-space facilities. We build enhancements into the CWIC system on an as-needed basis and all customers benefit from the new changes immediately. Specific features that CWIC has to offer are:
- Inventory Control
- Packaging Solution
- Greater Flexibility
- Allows for multiple clients in same facility
- Faster Implementation
Tier 1 Solutions
Kenco is recognized as a Supply Chain Leader by Manhattan Associates. Manhattan is a strategic IT partner with Kenco providing supply chain optimization software solutions that helps us streamline our clients’ operations to achieve lower costs, higher profits, and happier customers. Since 1990, Manhattan Associates has helped customers use technology to identify the weak links in their supply chains, reconfigure their processes and optimize their performance. They can help you increase productivity, reduce costs and raise efficiency throughout your supply chain.
Kenco IT has a strategic alliance with RedPrairie to make our customers’ businesses more productive. RedPrairie delivers productivity solutions to help companies in three categories—inventory, transportation and workforce. They provide these solutions to manufacturers, distributors and retailers around the world looking to support business strategies for increasing revenue, reducing costs and creating competitive advantage. Kenco offers this tier 1 solution for many of our customers to enable them to better manage their logistics operations.
Innovation is a term that we hear every day, but when you ask someone to define what it means to them, you rarely get the same response. Kenco feels that our innovative initiatives listed below speak for themselves as they have saved our customers over $4M.
- Wearable Scanners Implementation
- Voice Picking
- Layer Picking
- Customized YMS Development
- Custom Development Specialized Business Application
In addition to offering a system functionality that meets the changing needs and business requirements of our customers, it is also important to be able to support their growing business volumes. The Kenco IT solution provides the scalability to meet the growth objectives of our customers. Kenco operates a state-of-the art data center, connecting to the users via dedicated line or secure Internet VPN connection. The WES™ system is a thin client system, and with WAN connectivity, we are able to meet the demanding system response times required by our facilities and customers. Where economies of scale are needed in large operations, locating processors on-site at the facility is also an option. We operate facilities as small as 10,000 square feet and as large as 1.5 million square feet on this robust system.
Kenco’s proprietary systems can be interfaced with essentially any host ERP or legacy system, including SAP. Interfaces can be accomplished through EDI, XML, Flat Files, and custom file formats via AS/2, FTP, Secure FTP or any other means needed. We have developed Certified SAP Interfaces utilized middleware solutions such asWebMethods and Biztalk. We can work with a customer’s VAN if needed and have integrated directly with many legacy proprietary customer systems. Our integration team has a combined experience of over 20 years with seamlessly integrating with our customers, vendors, and internal systems.
Structured Implementation Process
4 D's (Discovery, Design, Development, Deployment)
Kenco has a very structured implementation process that works hand-in-hand with our engineering project management and transition teams. We work with customer representatives to define the functional requirements specific to the business model of our customer during the discovery phase. During the initial design phases, we develop a comprehensive statement of work outlining these functional specifications that all parties sign their approval before any work begins. After the SOW is finalized, the IT Project Manager engages the EDI team, the network operations team, and the development team to begin the three development phases of the project. The EDI group works with the customer team to map and develop custom interfaces with the customer host system. The development team works with the project manager to create the timeline, budget management tool, and status update format for the project. The development team designs and develops the code necessary to meet the customer’s functional requirements and turns the applications over to the testing team. The testing team will perform three levels of testing: functional, unit/volume, and user acceptance testing. During UAT, the implementation team will develop training modules for users. The network team will ensure connectivity is established and all necessary equipment is ordered, configured and delivered, ready for usage. The project manager will participate in weekly status update calls with the entire project team and ensure that the IT transition is on task and on budget. The project manager will ensure that training is designed and delivered for the on-site team at the facility. The project team will then deploy the full solution for the customer. On-site teams will implement the network, telecomm, and software and train users on the solution. They will remain on-site during the initial startup of the facility to provide quick and responsive support. After go-live, Kenco’s 24/7 support structure will engage with online trouble ticketing system to keep the systems solution in steady state.
Business Intelligence Tools
Kenco provides a full spectrum of data integration and business intelligence capabilities that fit easily into any IT infrastructure. The tools we use are low-cost easy to deploy, easy to maintain and easy to use. They include:
- Data Integration – create complex data merges and connections to power rich transformational data libraries with true data warehouse capabilities
- Visual data modeling and graphical workflow management of data
- Reporting – visual report designer and easy wizard for creating ad hoc reporting delivered via a web portal and exportable in many popular formats
- Analysis – web-based tool with advanced sorting, filtering and drill through capabilities for exploring multi-dimensional data
- Dashboards – rich, interactive, self-service customized graphical displays of business metrics and reports
- Data Mining – Discover hidden patterns and indicators of future performance inside of your organizational data
Additional Technology Capabilities
In addition to our Warehouse Management Systems offerings, Kenco IT also offers solutions for yard management, order management, labor management, and transportation management.
Transportation Management System
Kenco utilizes MercuryGate as our TMS solution for our clients. The MercuryGate TMS allows us to support multiple business models and varying processes within a single solution. The system enables Kenco to leverage transportation across all of our customers reducing costs and maximizing profits. Our customers demand that their outsourced service provider deliver flawlessly not only with operational, execution excellence, but also, with real-time, event-oriented information management. With MercuryGate TMS, Kenco can provide the visibility and online information availability that allow our customers to succeed. The key functionality includes:
- Carrier Contract management for all modes of transportation
- Bid development and management
- Load optimization and carrier selection optimization
- Inbound freight management
- Outbound freight management with in-transit adjustments
- Global documentation and currency management
- Visibility and intelligence for tracking loads
- Operational and historical analytical reporting
- Flexibility of implementation and data exchange
Kenco utilizes TMW Systems as one of our TMS solutions for our clients. The TMW Suite of transportation management solutions acts as the hub of your operations from order entry and dispatch through logistics management and settlement. TMW makes your company leaner and smarter by:
- Controlling assets effectively
- Improving freight mixes
- Minimizing operating costs
- Improving fleet utilization
- Reducing fuel purchasing costs
- Recovering productive drive time
- Reducing out-of-route miles
- Balancing tolls with fuel costs
- Improving cost recovery
- Improving visibility and integration
- Streamlining order management and auditing
Yard Management System
Kenco’s proprietary yard management solution creates real-time visibility of trailers on the yard, door statuses, and carrier opportunities. The system includes a customer and carrier portal delivered via the internet. Via automated integration with the WMS, the system automatically assigns doors based on order profile and carrier selection. The system utilizes wireless technology to dispatch spotters for trailer moves, inspections, and inventory management. For hot rush orders, the system provides gate-to-door technology to enable the highest customer service levels. The system has multi-layer security to prevent unauthorized users and blocking of trailers from coming in or leaving the yard as configured by the business rules. The system has the capability to integrate with any WMS or TMS using standard protocols and formats. It maximizes yard efficiency, drives improved productivity, visibility, and eliminates bottlenecks within the yard. With a graphical view of the yard, the system is easy to use and allows for quick identification of problem carriers and trailers.
Order Management System
Kenco utilizes Manhattan’s Distributed Order Management solution for order lifecycle management. In order to drive customer satisfaction, it is imperative to meet the customer demand in a timely manner. Achieving this goal requires a global view of your inventory. The DOMsystem simplifies your fulfillment process by providing the following:
- Aggregating and prioritizing orders
- Provide call center support for capturing orders and track store inventory
- Sourcing your orders from across your supply chain by factoring all costs into the decision
- Scheduling and shipping
- Managing exceptions and substitutions and generate alerts to customers
- Monitor available-to-promise requirements
- Deploying Inventory including merging in-transit fulfillment for single delivery and re-routing inventory when needed
- Graphical work flow management for multiple order process flows
- Reporting and global visibility for orders and inventory
Labor Management Systems
Optimizing the warehouse workforce with a labor management tool that forecasts labor requirements, tracks employee time, calculates task estimates, and reports against employee performance will improve cost management for your organization. The Manhattan Labor Management comprehensive solution enables you to:
- Define performance standards for all tasks
- Forecast requirements and monitor work in process
- Project hours needed to complete planned work and balance workforce
- Export pay data for your payroll system
- Leverage extensive reporting capabilities
- Improve morale and productivity
- Reduce turnover and overtime costs
Driving increased productivity across the enterprise is a must in today’s competitive marketplace and RedPrairie’s Enterprise Workforce Management solution can enable your organization to effectively manage your labor pool. This consistent set of performance management tools includes:
- Time and Attendance tracking, scheduling, and reporting
- Development of labor standards for each task
- Performance measurement and feedback reporting
- Online training and learning management
- Optimization of tasks
- Workload planning
KKMS Proprietary Solution
Kenco’s proprietary solution for managing the labor within your distribution operations provides visibility into what drives the cost structure within your supply chain. It includes:
- Labor Management through development of engineered standards
- Tracking and feedback mechanism of each employees’ performance against standard
- Indexing and profiling of products, business changes, and work activity
- Benchmarking of historical data to trend future workload planning
- Activity based costing
- Robust dashboards and reporting functionality
- In depth analysis of changing marketplace factors and their impact on your supply chain
Systems Analysis and Custom Development Capabilities
Kenco has a unique mix of seasoned IT developers who are experts in their related field and a group of warehouse supervisors and staff that have made the cross-over to the IT field. This brings a particular set of abilities to our team that enable us to perform system optimization studies for our customers for any system they are using – whether it is our proprietary solution, an off-the-shelf option, or a legacy system. Their perspective of operations brings the expertise to marry the system with the processes that can improve the facility management.
With our group of highly-trained developers that are experienced in legacy coding, integration technologies, web-based systems, user interface improvement, reporting, dashboards, labeling, form creation, and many other technologies that span many verticals outside of merely supply chain expertise, we can offer custom solutions for your logistics needs inside the four walls and throughout your supply chain.
Kenco Systems Disaster Recovery Overview
We understand that the availability of the WMS, and the integrity of the data within it, is critical to maintaining uninterrupted facility operation. Therefore we have developed an extensive disaster recovery plan to address any potential lapse in our system availability, ensuring ongoing data security.
- Level 1 of our plan is the physical data center design of our primary data center in Chattanooga. Our data center is a secure facility in a gated campus with 24/7 monitored two-stage security access. With redundant power, Internet carrier access via fiber, and cooling units, it is Tier 1 Compliant. The data center has FM200 fire suppression system installed and no water lines in the facility to ensure safe operation of the systems in the event of a fire. Each of the mechanical systems – environmental controls, fire suppression, and electrical operation – are monitored 24/7 by our Mechanical Controls vendor.
- Level 2 of our plan is a hosted Tier 1 data center serving as a redundant server farm for Kenco in a managed environment 100 miles off-site. This facility has a higher class of the same services as our primary center and houses our redundant servers with high availability software configured with an auto-synchronization technology to ensure less than four hours outage time for our critical systems. We test our failover strategy twice annually with this facility.
- Level 3 of our plan is a daily and weekly tape backup of the server data. A detailed procedure specifying the frequency, rotation and secure storage of backup tapes is provided to all sites by the Kenco IT department. The WMS development and support staff is responsible for following the documented backup procedures and for conducting periodic audits to insure the integrity of the data.
- Level 4 of our plan is redundancy in the circuit availability at the facility level to gain access to the WMS. Each of our facilities is connected to our primary data center via an Internet T-1 provided by Verizon Business. In the event of a line cut or outage on this primary circuit, Kenco can provide either a wireless or satellite connection back to our data center, which is non-reliant on last mile connectivity by the local telecommunications provider.
In addition to the data and server redundancy, Kenco can offer our customers a managed facility power generator backup solution to ensure that the facility never experiences downtime due to a power outage.