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Figleaves

Summary of the story

Country : United Kingdom
Distributor : CASIO Electronics. Co. Ltd..
Customer : Figleaves
Location : Figleaves warehouse in Cambridge
Terminal : IT-500M30R Handheld Terminal
Business Type : Retail

Customer profile

Figleaves' (http://www.figleaves.com/) philosophy is to provide a simple, one-stop shop for all underwear, hosiery, swimwear – whatever your size, sense of style and budget. The company is committed to providing the greatest selection of brands available on the net or in the high street, and to make the shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

The company combines the benefit of the latest innovations in online shopping with a solid retail background.  During the last five years that they have been selling underwear they have grown from a 4 to a 140-strong team with a growing customer base which has taken them into the top 20 of UK internet retailers.

Figleaves has shipped the goods to 66 countries worldwide.  The company has its own call center, distribution system and ambitious plans for global expansion.


Photo 1
Scanning bar code on a  product to pick up for shipment.

IT-500M30R

The terminal is in an elegant style yet rugged design and has superb functionality with built-in laser scanner as standard for industrial use.

Photo 2
The front view of the IT-500M30R installed in the Figleaves warehouse

System configuration and the operation

Work commenced on a new, component based system built using Microsoft .NET Framework architecture, and a Microsoft SQL Server Database.

One of the key requirements of the new solution was to make Figleaves warehouse operatives as flexible and mobile as possible, particularly when checking stock or storage locations, and picking orders ready for dispatch.  The decision was taken to develop the mobile applications using the Microsoft .Net Compact Framework running on CASIO IT-500 CE .Net Devices, communicating with the Global Logistics Management application server using 802.11b wireless connection.

Figleaves now uses the device for receiving and putting away stock, inventory, management, picking orders on a guided walk route, and shipping.  All applications have been designed to provide minimum disruption in the event of an operator stopping and re-starting work.  For example it is possible for an order picker to start picking a large batch of orders on a trolley, then stop work, and for another picker to take over just by scanning the trolley bar code (all stock containers in the warehouse have a bar code).  The next instruction that they will see on their IT-500 will be the same one that the original operator would have seen before stopping work.

Figleaves' Logistics Management software in a new warehouse facility in Haverhill, Cambridge.  From day one, CASIO IT-500s have been used for all operational areas requiring a mobile device.

Figleaves' personnel use the IT-500 to book in stock, move it to the warehouse pick-face, pick orders, and finalize shipment.  The combination of a fast, wireless mobile device and the Microsoft .NET framework has produced an intuitive solution to underpin the company's plans for future growth. 

Photo 3
Figleaves' distribution center

Photo 4
Stocks in classified shelves

Key words to the success

-The Windows CE.NET operating system is integrated as standard.
-The IT-500's form-factor and color display are ideal for the type of applications envisaged.
-CASIO UK is able to provide high-quality technical backup during development and implementation.

Improvement with the CASIO

The fast and simple to use stock management software allows Figleaves users to scan any container in the warehouse and see what it contains.  If it contains other types of container, the user can 'drill down' to the lowest stock level.  Any user can immediately identify all locations for a stock item, simply by scanning the item's bar code.

The new picking application, used in conjunction with back-end software, which calculates optimum box-size for shipments, is expected to provide a significant improvement in order fulfillment time.

Figleaves were able to move stock into its new warehouse over a single weekend using the applications to move the stock into picking location. Within a week, the number of shipments being processed each day was already exceeding its previous system.

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