Westex Group is a third party logistics company employing 200+ staff with warehousing locations in London & the South East of England. The company provides warehousing and order fulfilment services to a variety of clients on both dedicated and shared user bases.
Westex regards its IT systems as a key aspect of the company’s service to its customers, with its systems linked seamlessly via EDI to its clients’ own networks, especially for High Street outlets, store groups and independents.
Westex initially implemented a CALIDUS WMS solution to support a dedicated operation for one of its major contracts with a large cosmetics company. This installation continues to successfully support the contract.
One of the key reasons for choosing CALIDUS from OBS Logistics was seeing the benefits the system provided to a neighbouring site operated by one of the large third party logistics companies. After all, there is no better reason for choosing a system than knowing that it has been successfully delivering benefits for a similar type of organisation and being able to see this first hand.
This and many subsequent successful projects were implemented on a licence and services basis by OBS Logistics, with the hardware to support the systems based at Westex’s sites and operated by their own staff.
Recently, when the company was looking to bring in a new system to support its growing shared user cosmetics fulfilment business, it again chose CALIDUS but adopted a new approach. This time the implementation was based on the latest version of CALIDUS WMS to support the operation and OBS Logistics’ newly introduced ‘Solution as a Service’ approach which offered a pay as you go managed service model.
This new version of CALIDUS offered a modern ‘windows’ like user interface which was consequently easy to use and offered comprehensive, configurable functionality to suit the Westex clients’ varying needs. It also offers the options for bar coding, RF operations and voice as required. A major benefit was that it enabled them to utilise their existing RF equipment avoiding unnecessary replacement cost.
Westex particularly liked the key functions provided within CALIDUS which suited their type of operation and reflected the extensive experience of OBS Logistics gained from the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and other like industries. As an example, the pick and pack functions deserve particular mention for the benefits gained in terms of speed and accuracy of customer dispatches.
The ‘Solution as a Service’ option provides real business benefits. Sue Blake OBS Logistics’ account manager for Westex explains,
“We see an increasing number of companies who want to deal with fewer IT suppliers and get away from running their systems themselves. This is exactly what ‘Solution as a Service’ from OBS Logistics offers. OBS Logistics provides a single supplier solution to meet the client’s needs. The CALIDUS WMS system is hosted in OBS Logistics’ purpose built data centre and the software, implementation services and ongoing support are all provided by OBS Logistics as a total service, including any EDI links with other systems – a key requirement for Westex to facilitate seamless links to their clients’ systems.”
The ‘Solution as a Service’ approach has enabled Westex to add new clients and contracts in a timely fashion and has allowed them to carry out pilot projects with some of their clients as proof of concept. Three new contracts have been successfully implemented within the last four months in rapid succession, including customer specific EDI links and a fourth implementation is already about to commence.
It is not just the total service from a single supplier and rapid implementation benefits that attracted Westex. ‘Solution as a Service’ offers massive financial benefits as the total service is paid for by a single annual charge whilst the system is being used and delivering benefits. They also have an agreed tariff for future changes in scale and for adding new contracts. This is invaluable to third party logistics companies, enabling them to negotiate new deals with clients knowing what their IT costs will be.
Andrew Fryer, Operations Director of Westex, summed it up very well:
“With our CALIDUS ‘Solution as a Service’ from OBS Logistics we have the benefits of a best of breed WMS solution, delivered as an overall service on a sound commercial basis which is cash efficient and offers predictable cost both initially and for future changes. For a growing logistics services business such as ours, we can add new clients and grow volumes without worrying about our IT capacity – OBS Logistics deal with that for us – and we pay only for what we need.”
“The solution has served the business extremely well and enables us to meet our demanding service levels.”