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Warehouse with many products on shelves

Morton Group (UK)

The West Yorkshire based Morton Group comprises three companies engaged in packing, warehousing and distribution. It has an impressive client base of well-known names from the food, confectionery, gift, greeting card, pharmaceutical, and household sectors.

Mortons originally began as contract packers but has developed into a full service organisation that can assemble, package, label, and store all under one roof. Optimiser WMS software is integral to the business, accurately tracking all stock movements from receipt of all of the various constituent parts to the despatch of finished items.

The system is ideal for the food items they handle as it allows complete batch code and product traceability. The use of barcode scanners to feed data into Optimiser in real time means that Mortons is able to utilise data through Crystal Reports to monitor performance against a pre-defined target for each process.

These processes can be varied. For example the making up of a gift item could require several items from various parts of the warehouse to be combined, then shrink wrapped and labelled. In order to help with such processes the teams at Optima and Mortons worked together to develop further the Optimiser WMS product.

Craig Morton, Operations Director of Morton Group, explains: “Originally we bought Optimiser just to control stock movements in and out of the warehouse. However we got the team at Optima to write a special program to manage the packaging side of things. If we are making up, say, Easter Eggs, the BOM (Bill of Material) module creates a recipe instructing the user on the steps needed to build the product and the components required to do the task.

Upon completion it then automatically takes them out of stock and increases the stock level of the finished product. With the report writer we can also work out exactly how long it takes to make up the item allowing us to monitor efficiency levels with a high level of accuracy.”

Optimiser can be set up to work with the order systems of Morton’s clients – allowing a seamless process from order to fulfilment. An example of this is in action is a client which is an online retailer of bathrooms and bathroom items. As soon as an order is received via its website it is sent straight to Mortons as an electronic file and imported directly into Optimiser. The system then sends picking instructions to the warehouse operators.

Order picking may entail simply the selection of a single item, or it may involve the picking of a large number of components that constitute a complete bathroom. As soon as the order is despatched to the bathroom customer the supplier is sent an automatic report.

Since placing all of its storage and fulfilment functions to Mortons, the bathroom company has been able to concentrate on marketing and has doubled its turnover.

Craig Morton continues: “The key to Optimiser’s success is its flexibility. It can be easily adapted to our business and the way we work. Because of this it not only allows us to operate our company efficiently but also adds value to our clients’ businesses.”