Quiksilver - the mountain_ the Wave and the Warehouse by hjkuiw354


									                     j a n u a ry / f e b r u a ry 2 0 1 0

  the mountain,
  the Wave and
  the Warehouse                                                 plus:
                                                             take part in
                                                              our forklift
  how dexion helped Quiksilver                                survey and
  ride a new wave
                                                               see inside
                                                               for details

 getting to the
 heart of inventory
 What it takes to create a mindset
 of continuous improvement

SPeCIaL feaTure   technology in the supply chain
22       cover story

the mountain,
the wave and
the warehouse
“You take the drop put Your board on an
edge, You lean over, carve Your first turn
and look down the line. You’re alive…
nothing else matters.
we are the mountain and the wave.”

   t’s not your average corporate mission         was growing at a rapid rate.                          But there were serious growing pains,
   statement. But then, Quiksilver is not your       This forced the move of some operations         as Jared West, Quiksilver’s current national
   average corporation.                           away from its spiritual Surf Coast home, opening   logistics manager explains: “The systems in
  Since its foundation in a 1960s Torquay         a new National Distribution Centre in Geelong’s    place couldn’t cope with the substantial growth
garage, ‘Quiky’ has written its own chapter in    dockside North Shore.                              of the business. When we moved to Geelong,
Australia’s national story.                          With an eventual capacity of 22,000 square      everything was paper based. There were few
  The company’s boardshorts and bikinis fast      metres across three levels, this new facility      links between internal warehouse divisions,
became as much a part of summer as sunburn,       was to act as the regional hub for the South-      which lead to problems with nearly one in
backyard cricket and visits to the beach. In      Pacific and set the company up for the next and    eight deliveries.
the mountains, gnarly dudes got “Big Air” on      necessary stage of growth.                            “On top of that, moving to Geelong was a
Quiky snowboards while closer to sea level,          When Dexion was initially approached in         bit of a shock for many people internally. At
the sponsored Tony Hawk rewrote the rules of      August 2005 by Brett Delaney, the then national    Torquay, if the surf was up, it was tools down
skateboarding and sports superstardom.            logistics manager, the facility was moving about   and into the water. While we had to grow and
  But by the mid 2000s, Quiksilver had become     20,000 units a day. The goal was to increase       take advantage of opportunities, we also had to
something of a captive to its own success and     this to 225,000 units a day.                       make sure we didn’t lose the culture that made

  22     MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS —            jANUArY / febrUArY 2009
                                                                                                          cover story                              23

us Quiky. Brett and the rest of the management       wasn’t a lot of integration.                      unleashed the shackles as far as productivity
team worked very hard to ensure our culture             “Sometimes there would be two or three         and accuracy goes,” says Peter Small,
was not eroded due to the move away from             separate deliveries to a single destination       Quiksilver’s on-site IT manager.
Torquay,” states Jared.                              within a day or two of each other. It was not        “After commencing an order, RDS ensures
   So what was the approach?                         only inefficient for Quiksilver, but fiddly and   that each shipper is conveyed to all required
   “The first thing I did,’ says Dexion’s Simon      frustrating for the retailers.”                   picking zones,” says Peter. “If something is
Ingram, ‘was spend a lot of time on the floor.          The installation of Dexion’s Real-time         missed, say because a lane is full, the order is
Walk in the company’s shoes for a mile or two.       Distribution System (RDS), including RF hand-     simply re-circulated until all zones have been
   “It was important that we immersed ourselves      held scanner guns, enabled a fluid transition     visited before exiting to sortation.”
in the Quiksilver culture. For any solution to be    to paperless operation and allowed data to be        Dexion prescribed a 3-tier Carton Live Storage
effective, it had to fit in with where the company   captured at the point of action.                  System for the facility, which, in addition to the
had been and where it was heading. We worked            “By acting as a link between our               overall racking profile, has the capacity for a
very closely with the DC staff at all levels.        people, the orders and Movex, RDS really          potential 5 million units.
The staff were great, happy to show you the
current processes and learn the potential new
technologies as they went.”
   Challenge number one was to consolidate orders.
   “Quiky has three main product range seasons
per brand annually,” explains Ingram. “There
were also different product divisions: shoes,
wetsuits, snowboarding gear. Due to the paper-
based systems, where orders were phoned in
and printed on separate pieces of paper, there

                                                                      MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS —          jANUArY / febrUArY 2009                23
24        cover story

    “Quiksilver has about sixty thousand SKU,”       transit and retailers to know exactly which stock   Battered old Malibus, waxed twin-fins and giant
Ingram explains. “Some, like the Kelly Slater        is in which box.                                    posters of surfing heroes cover the walls. In the
range of boardshorts, leave as fast as they              Something that can be immediately critical      staff car park, boards sit on roof racks patiently
arrive. Others, like full-length steamers, take a    if there’s a fresh powder dump or a promising       awaiting the end of the shift.
little longer.                                       swell on the way.                                      It’s clear that Quiksilver’s people walk the
    “To make the best use of the people on the           The second stage of the Geelong DC went         walk. They have a great team and it shows
floor, we had to gauge which were going to be        fully live in May 2009, when the global financial   when you’re on site.
the movers, and ensure access was easy and           crisis was giving retail markets merry hell. But       “People who come to work here tend to stick
replenishment systems could keep up.”                the new system proved itself capable of meeting     around. Getting the systems right has freed
    Dexion’s solution, coupled with the              these challenges, as West explains.                 us up to invest in training and multi-skilling,
Lawson Movex system allowed transactions                 “Given the increased operational efficiencies   thereby allowing those people to add more value
to be updated in real-time, producing some           generated by the Dexion systems, we were able       to the place.
stunning results.                                    to adjust our throughput settings and adapt to         “The solution that Dexion’s team has
    “Pick rates almost doubled and order             this new environment really quite quickly.          designed intuitively understands the human
accuracy sits somewhere north of 99.6%,” notes           “In fact, our express order turnaround now      spirit of Quiksilver, and the seamless way the
West. “And all this while achieving substantial      operates within a 24 hour fulfilment period,”       two act together has allowed us to achieve some
reductions in overall operating costs.”              West says.                                          really great results.”
    Retail customers are delighted not only              By improving pick accuracy to something            As our interview ends and the sun outside
with the near-perfect accuracy of their order        near 100%, the company has also been able           starts to cast long shadows across the
fulfilment, but also a revamped approach to          to turn its attention to its other great asset -    neighbouring docks, West checks his watch.
packing information.                                 its people.                                         “Off for a surf?” I ask him.
    Dexion’s RDS generates bar-coded pack lists          As you walk through the distribution centre,       “No,” he grins sheepishly. “Golf.”
that are attached externally, allowing Quiksilver    most of the folk look dressed for the beach:           For more information contact Dexion on 1800
to track the precise location of every order in      tank tops, skate sneakers and boardies abound.      100 050 or visit www.dexionintsystems.com.

  24      MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS —              jANUArY / febrUArY 2009

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