Cost or Customer Service? Alpine Makes it so You Don’t Have to Choose

Cost or Customer Service? Alpine Makes it so You Don’t Have to Choose

To choose cost or customer service can be difficult. Alpine makes it so you don’t have to! Alpine Managing Principal, Michael Wohlwend, is featured in the current issue of Inbound Logistics in the “Good Question” section. When posed the question, “When choosing a logistics provider, what’s more important: cost or customer service?” Alpine makes it so you don’t have to choose. 
Michael responded “Why must you choose one?  Why not have both?”  Customer Service is vital in a partnership to ensure the right product gets to the right place, at the right time, and on value!  Today with the volatility of the order profile changing, and the new metric of next-day delivery, it is extremely important that you and your selected logistics provider perform a detailed design session to align on the key metrics of success, and on how when volumes go up, so does the price.”
More About Michael:

Managing Principal, Michael Wohlwend spent six years with SAP running the Mid-West Services business, where he was the executive sponsor on 3 SAP EWM installs. Michael also spent seven years with Manhattan Associates where he was involved in over 30+ installs. In addition, his responsibilities included RFID in a BOX. Prior to that as a member of consulting and software firms, he provided supply chain solutions for more than 30 top companies including Technicolor, Warner Brothers/Elektra/Atlantic, Sargento Foods, Johnsonville, IKON Office Solutions, Depuy, Schwarz Pharma, Long’s Drugs, Ross Stores, QVC, eLuxury, Alliance Beverage and Churchill Distributors.

In his 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry, Wohlwend has authored numerous articles for trade publications and has presented more than 70 seminars and speeches at key industry events. These events include National Conference of Operations & Fulfillment (NCOF), Warehouse Education Research Council (WERC), Council of Logistics Management (CLM), ScanTech, Distribution Computer Expo and ID Expo. He has been a board member of WERC since 2008 and Past President in 2014.

Press release: Alpine Supply Chain Solutions Optimizes e-Commerce for AMS Fulfillment

Press release: Alpine Supply Chain Solutions Optimizes e-Commerce for AMS Fulfillment

We are pleased to announce the successful completion of a distribution optimization project for AMS Fulfillment, a third-party logistics service provider specializing in e-commerce and business-to-business fulfillment.
For AMS Fulfillment, Alpine helped to:
  • Improve the use of their space, equipment and labor
  • Increase throughput
  • Decrease replenishment costs
  • Increase Units Per Hour, Lines Per Hour, and overall slotting optimization.
AMS Fulfillment’s Vice President of Operations Marco Pelaez said, “Alpine worked side by side with our team and helped us make incredible gains in productivity.”
More About AMS Fulfillment:

Advantage Media Services, Inc. (AMS) is a full-service order fulfillment company operating as a third-party resource for Order Management, Warehouse Management and Fulfillment Services.

AMS Fulfillment sets itself apart from others in the Fulfillment Industry with Pro-Active Support that strives to make our clients successful and years of Experience to guide our decisions. We support a variety of businesses and program types, with a core service of providing both Business-to-Consumer (B-2-C) and Business-to-Business (B-2-B) fulfillment for an array of branded consumer products.

The AMS team is a cohesive group of professionals with many decades of order fulfillment experience in both B-2-B and direct-to-consumer operations. We rely upon an advanced Technology Platform and proven operating methodologies to function as a proficient partner for the clients we serve. Our formula is simple – give the client your thought, energy and effort as if it were your own business, because when the client succeeds, we succeed!

Our unique philosophy has led us to seek and gain certification as a B-Corporation. 1) We are centered on understanding the administrative and operating nuances of each client, 2) We work proactively with the client to ensure they receive tremendous service at the lowest cost impact, 3) We uphold the social goals of our community by hiring the underserved and educating and training employees and and the community, and 4) We uphold the environmental goals of our community.

It’s a philosophy that has served us all quite well as we continue to develop long-term, friendly and successful business, employee and community relationships.


Alpine Featured in Inbound Logistics on 3PL Innovations

Alpine Featured in Inbound Logistics on 3PL Innovations

In the current issue of Inbound Logistics, Alpine’s Michael Wohlwend shares his thoughts on technology innovations and process insights for enhancing the value that 3PLs bring to shippers.
Many 3PLs continually invest in warehouse, transportation, and labor management systems. “Those are real-time execution systems to help plan labor and equipment and maximize space,” says Wohlwend. “Slotting optimization is also popular to support a 3PL customer’s lifecycle.” In addition, many 3PLs are looking for e-commerce capabilities.
Read the full article here: 3PLs Add Value
Short excerpts from the Inbound Logistics article:
Indeed, many 3PLs continually invest in warehouse, transportation, and labor management systems. “Those are real-time execution systems to help plan labor and equipment and maximize space,”says Michael Wohlwend, managing principal with Alpine Supply Chain Solutions Consulting. “Slotting optimization is also popular to support a 3PL customer’s lifecycle.”
In addition, many 3PLs are looking for capabilities, such as the ability to pick and fill online orders and provide next-day service, that will enable them to help clients more effectively navigate a market increasingly ruled by e-commerce.

(In regards to streamlinging e-commerce): The growth of online ordering has enhanced the value 3PLs can provide. Customers’ increasing expectation of next- or same-day delivery adds to transportation complexity. Many 3PLs have gained experience in tight delivery deadlines and omni-channel distribution, and companies in other industries are leveraging that expertise.

“Companies are focusing on their core competencies and letting companies that specialize in logistics manage the distribution,” Wohlwend says.

Cutting Costs & Maximizing Results: Understand Your Operation

Cutting Costs & Maximizing Results: Understand Your Operation

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t see through the woods, when you are in the forest”? This is exactly what happens when you spend 40,50, or 60 hours a week executing your daily tasks. It is not until you look at your operations through different lenses, that you might be able to indentify the low hanging fruit. Sometimes just having a consultant come in and spend a day with you understanding your operations can provide you a punch list of 10 items that you can implement on your own that require very little captial to help reduce costs and maximize results in your operation.

Alpine Supply Chain Solutions offers Warehouse Consulting Services to maximize your facilities space, equipment, labor & control. We start with the data and end with a justifiable solution.


Free WMS WhitePaper Download!

Free WMS WhitePaper Download!

Do you have difficulty selecting a warehouse management system?

Ready, Set, Delay! The Pitfalls and Gotcha’s of a New WMS Software Selection and Implementation Project.

Selecting and installing a WMS is an expensive and long-term decision that can often make or break a career. Choosing the right system for your current and future needs takes a lot of work, and you need to take into consideration your resource constraints, industry knowledge and overall strategies and put together an end-to-end plan that will accomplish your goals. 
Download our free white paper to walk through the steps:
-Determining what type of warehouse solution you need
-Creating an RFP
-Assessing, comparing and selecting the right vendor
-Negotiating contracts
-Making a solid plan for implementation. 
Do you need help navigating the perils of a 7-15-year WMS decision? Give us a call – we’ve been doing it for many years and we’re happy to help. 
Download the Warehouse Management Systems White Paper today! Also, check out our white paper on business intelligence!
Excerpt from “Ready – Set – Delay!: The Pitfalls and Gotcha’s of a new WMS Vendor Software Selection
and Implementation Project”:
Much has been written and showcased on the topic of selecting and implementing a new Warehouse
Management System (WMS), pronounced in my part of the country as “Dubya-M-S”. You can Google the
topic and you will get ~ 99,700 results, varying in detail from supply chain vendor websites, published
articles and topics totally unrelated to what you were looking for.
If you filter your results into a more manageable set of results, you will find varying opinions on the Top
“X” number of Factors/Successes/Steps/Benefits on how to successfully choose the right software
vendor to satisfy your business goals. Good luck weeding through the reams of documented “what and
what not to do’s.” For many people, selecting and installing a WMS is a once, maybe twice in a career
decision. Unless of course you move companies often. Even then, the average lifespan of an installed
WMS is about 7-15 years, and longer in some vertical markets. Not to spook you, but this is an
expensive, long-term decision that can often make or break a career.
First, let’s decide what is a Warehouse Management System. In the 80’s, 90’s and even the early 2000’s,
it was a pretty simple and straightforward explanation. Today, however, the topic can be and is often
heavily debated…
“Software that eases labor pains”

“Software that eases labor pains”

Alpine was featured in an article from Ben Ames of DC Velocity on the benefits of Labor Management Software and the evolution of LMS solutions to meet the demands of the shifting labor landscape.

On shifting labor landscape:

“The recent shift marks the latest stage in labor management systems’ ongoing evolution to meet changing business challenges, says Michael Wohlwend, managing principal with Alpine Supply Chain Solutions, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

In the early ’90s, many companies used their LMS platforms to track workers’ performance against ‘engineered labor standards’ in an effort to gain leverage against unions that were pushing for less-stringent metrics, he says. Then in the late ’90s, managers started using LMS software more strategically, implementing “pay for performance” programs that offered workers incentives to meet specific performance goals.

Today, warehouses are using their LMS systems—often in conjunction with their warehouse management systems (WMS)—to respond to a new challenge: meeting strict order-shipping deadlines. Many e-retailers now promise same-day shipping for all orders placed by, say, 5 p.m. However, fulfilling those promises often results in a last-minute scramble to get orders out the door, forcing managers to shift worker assignments on the fly. During these crunches, performance data from an LMS can help managers quickly identify the workers best suited to the tasks at hand,” said Michael Wohlwend, Managing Principal of Alpine Supply Chain Solutions.

Read the full article here!