Distributor regains control of end-to-end supply chain and improves customer service

Eliminated manual processes

and consolidated tasks through automation

Reclaimed management

of previously-outsourced solution to save costs

Company Overview

RS Components is the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. With operations in 32 countries, the company offers 500,000 products through the internet, catalogs, and wholesale to more than one million customers, shipping more than 44,000 packages a day. Its products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include semiconductors, interconnect, passives and electromechanical, automation and control, electrical, test and measurement, tools, and consumables.

Business Challenge

After embarking on an extensive digital transformation program, RS Components needed to unite a range of supply chain tasks from SAP and other applications across various time zones.

This included inventory processes, order-taking, order-to-cash, and delivery fulfillment.

However, the firms’ existing job scheduling solution was running with an inherent management latency of 24 hours. Any changes to tasks resulted in additional delays and costly manual fixes. The tool had been effective for several years, but despite custom development, it had begun to limit the company’sbusiness growth. RS Components found that regardless of the time, manpower, and funds it invested to improve the scheduler, it would never meet their needs.

With the firms’ existing scheduler contract coming to an end in just three months and its first coordinated rollout outside of Europe set to take place during this period, RS Components needed to coordinate its operations swiftly to maintain a high level of customer service across the globe.

Graham Wiffen, Business Systems App Manager at RS Components says, “Each day, we have orders placed every five minutes. We needed to ensure that our supply chain was operational during the transition so we could fulfill orders and satisfy customers.”

Solution

RS Components selected Redwood Business Process Automation to bring together all end-to-end supply chain tasks under a single platform. Working with Redwood Professional Services, the company was up and running in time to meet its three-month deadline.

At the start of the project, the company began a short, seven-day pilot program to confirm connectivity between various processes. Following the successful pilot, the company migrated each set of tasks, then reviewed them before moving onto the next set. This step-by-step approach ensured operations were running smoothly at all times. An additional layer of support was provided by leaving the existing solution in place so it could be turned back on to support operations if required.

Results

With Redwood’s automation platform in place, RS Components could now manage in-house all activities that were previously outsourced. The organization quickly developed a consistent task automation template for all countries that accommodated global time zones – with much less effort than before. Today, the RC Components team leverages the easy-to-use Redwood platform UI to rapidly make changes as needed, saving time and resources.

“We can now monitor, control, and manage every step of the supply chain process. We complete the order-to-pack cycle in less than 20 minutes, while web orders are processed in three minutes,” says Wiffen.

“Working with Redwood enabled us to recover control of our supply chain processes and gain the coordination and visibility we needed to expand operations,” Wiffen adds.

Within the first year of working with Redwood Business Process Automation, we saw a positive return on investment and rolled out the solution across the Asia Pacific region.“ Graham Wiffen, Business Systems App Manager, RS Components

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