Before the facility was built, TriLiteral decided that a key factor to success was to find the best ERP system on the market. The company, along with representatives from the three university presses, made a careful assessment of many software vendors before choosing IBS Bookmaster, the most widely used publishing software for publishers and book distributors
IBS Bookmaster is publishing-specific ERP software – one of TriLiteral’s primary reasons for choosing the solution – and includes integrated modules for sales order management and warehouse management. “IBS Bookmaster has allowed us to be the number one distribution facility of all university presses,” explains Sheila Lilja, General Manager, TriLiteral. “With such a wonderful customer service system, our customers are constantly complimenting us on our fast turnaround times,” she adds.
Reduced workload with increased production
Before installing IBS Bookmaster, TriLiteral had to deal with three separate databases for each of the three presses. This meant that ordering and picking took far too long and the staff had to work two shifts a day to cope. With IBS Bookmaster in place, warehouse employees can now work only one shift and still handle the warehouse volume, even though production has increased by half. “I really love IBS Bookmaster because I don’t have to do two shifts any more,” explains Jeff Pepin, Assistant Warehouse Manager, TriLiteral.
The software provides much new functionality for TriLiteral, such as the real-time interleaving system used for wire-guided forklift trucks, which automatically pick the products and brings them back. This allows the company to produce an order in much less time: every order that comes in during the day is shipped by 4 p.m. in the afternoon. “New ideas like this are constantly being implemented by IBS and the more automation you use, the better off you’ll be,” notes Lilja.
In the warehouse, IBS Bookmaster provides all the relevant information to run an efficient operation. “The system tells us everything like sales velocity for a title and where in the warehouse it should be located,” notes Pepin, “and it also does this every night during the end of day process.” As soon as warehouse staff arrives the next morning, IBS Bookmaster initiates a clean-up run, which generates moves and actually tells forklift drivers where to look in the warehouse, where to grab stock and where to position it. Consequently, all fast-moving titles are in the forward bin area and ready to be moved out the door. “We have a ‘ship within 24 hour’ policy and with IBS Bookmaster, we don’t have a problem with that,” adds Pepin.
When it comes to picking replenishments, IBS Bookmaster knows all the book and case dimensions. The system won’t allocate a driver to pick up too many pallets, but will limit the goods to the amount of weight that the truck can actually handle.
Accurate online reporting
IBS Bookmaster’s excellent reporting also adds to TriLiteral’s efficiency. For example, a user can print a report any day for any particular item for a specified period, such as the previous two years. This provides information on how many replenishments drivers have completed in that period and how many moves they’ve done. “I can track an order that came in three years ago, or a pallet that was delivered four years ago, and know exactly where it is in the system, how many locations it’s ever been to, who handled it, everything,” explains Pepin.
When it comes to a full inventory which is performed over a weekend, IBS Bookmaster produces all the relevant reports. “The difference between the reports and us is a very accurate .0004%, so the software allows us to take a very accurate inventory,” notes Lilja.
Powerful software, passionate people
IBS Bookmaster constantly tracks and categorizes the life of a book from sales to method of stock keeping, e.g. FIFO (first in, first out) and location. This means that a slow-moving book is placed in the slow movers section, while fast-moving books are stocked in the fast pick area. With this intelligence in place, TriLiteral has gone from a book order-to-shipping time of 2-3 weeks’ backlog down to an incredible 9 hours. “With powerful IBS software in place, it takes just 20 minutes to fulfill an order for a customer”, states Lilja.
The three presses and TriLiteral are very pleased with their decision to purchase IBS Bookmaster. The IBS support team is passionate about helping TriLiteral save costs, be more efficient and provide excellent ongoing support. “IBS has a great support team and we have a great rapport with them”, says Lilja. The IBS slogan of ‘Powerful software, passionate people’ is more than a group of words: for TriLiteral, it’s a way of doing business.