Transforming Warehouse Chaos Into Revolutionary Inventory Management

ftm warehouse
warehouse management systems

Famous Toy Manufacturer

Our client, headquartered in Washington, is a well-known American collectibles company that puts the “Pop!” in pop culture. This famous toy brand pioneered the concept of creating stylized, miniature figures of a wide range of pop culture characters, including a variety of well-known, licensed brands including Disney, Nickelodeon, and more. They gain new collectors when they tap into new fan bases, and their customer base includes collectors of all ages.

Tech Stack & Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics 365
Dynamics NAV
InsightWorks WMS
Transforming a warehouse management system
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Augment capabilities of Famous Toy's existing warehouse
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Bring in 3rd Party partner tools for a custom implementation
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New enhanced automation, efficiency with reduced losses.
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Let’s build something great together.

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Transforming Warehouse Management

In 2021, our toy client decided to consolidate their Washington-based distribution centers into a single facility in Arizona. As part of that move, they knew they needed to significantly transform their warehouse management software and approach.
Famous Toys had been using Microsoft Dynamics NAV on-premise ERP solution and was seeking to replace it with a cloud-based WMS (Warehouse Management System). Previous to TechFabric, the company had engaged a large digital outsourcing firm to implement the brand-new WMS System. But after 2+ years of struggles to implement and develop, the organization was no closer to its goal.
The supply chain disruption left Famous Toys with large amounts of excess inventory that severely strained its fulfillment network. Compounding this, the organization was facing excessive stock discrepancies which resulted in their inventory team growing from a staff of 5 (with automation) to a team of 90 working around the clock almost 24/7.
Key Areas To Remedy:
An Open Facility Without A Proper WMS
Poorly Implemented Initial WMS
Lack Of Automation
Increasing Human Capital Costs
Degraded Inventory Management Practices
Higher Operating Costs From Added Labor
Funko Inventory Management Warehouse

TechFabric Answers The Call

Suffering from order delays, missed shipping targets, and penalties/fines for missing deadlines, Famous Toy Manufacturer was in a crunch. Not only did the company pay $5 million in excess warehouse labor during the third quarter of 2022 to operate the consolidated fulfillment center without the intended WMS software, but the excessive inventory was also generating third-party logistics and co-packer warehouse costs further straining their fulfillment operations.
After considering several approaches, Famous decided to destroy between $30 and $36 million worth of inventory (yes, you read that one right too). Needless to say, across the company from warehouse teams up to shareholders, there were serious concerns and uncertainty about how to solve the problem.
It was time for a change in strategy...

The New Approach

We needed to do things differently, but we also needed to get a new Warehouse System implemented in 4 months. Initially, this was the main requirement, but as we understood the business, its DNA, and the challenges the organization was facing, we quickly realized building out a new system was the wrong approach.
Our ERP specialists concluded that instead of upgrading Famous Toy Manufacturer's existing Dynamics NAV ERP at this time, the smarter move was for the TechFabric team to augment the capabilities of its existing warehouse module to meet the immediate needs.
Funko Inventory Management Team

Adapting The Solution To The Business

Identifying the right approach was just the first step. No existing software would fully meet all of Famous Toy’s warehouse needs or goals, so what next?
The TechFabric team immediately went on-site to the new warehouse location to sit face-to-face with operations and warehouse teams to hone in on the deltas between what exists and what is needed. Armed with this knowledge, our ERP teams began working closely with Famous' teams to co-innovate on each area to quickly determine the needed custom implementation which could be addressed using existing add-ons and 3rd party partner tools.
Dynamics NAV (Navision) ERP lacks support for license plating, a crucial process in warehouses. License plating involves assigning a unique identifier, similar to a vehicle's license plate, to pallets of boxes. This identifier creates a record for each pallet, consolidating information about its contents for easy access using a single barcode scan.
A Key Component
The pallet license plate can store diverse data, including:
Item details
Serial numbers
Manufacture dates
Lot numbers
Funko Inventory Management Staff Reaching for Item
This ”license plate” is physically attached to the pallet, associating it with a specific bin location within the system. Even when stock is moved or misplaced, the pallet's identifier remains intact, preserving the system's record of its location.
To address this, TechFabric turned to one of its technology partners, InsightWorks. Their WMS module, built directly in Business Central and NAV, Warehouse Insight has been certified by Microsoft for Dynamics, which means it doesn’t just meet our high standards, it meets Microsoft’s. Using the Warehouse Insight plug-in allowed us to transition the organization from human-driven decision-making to automated, system-driven processes.
For example, high-demand products are placed near the front of the warehouse, while low-demand items are stored towards the back, and all are done automatically. This system-driven approach streamlines operations and optimizes efficiency. With the ever-increasing flow of inventory through warehouses, it's imperative to have a system that allows for quick and efficient tracking and processing of items.

Enhanced Automation, Greater Efficiency, and Lower Human Capital

4 Mo. Turnaround
This streamlined solution was delivered in a record 4-month period of time, and successfully met Famous Toy's immediate goals, with cheers of relief from their teams, stakeholders, and board members.
Lower Human-Capital Costs
Famous Toys successfully improved inventory accuracy and reduced overhead costs by downsizing its inventory team by over 50%, resulting in a reduction in resources including reach trucks, cherry pickers, and forklifts.
At this stage, Famous Toy Manufacturer expects to continue the process of further scaling down, but with the new system now dictating storage locations based on predefined rules, operators can now more efficiently allocate resources whether they are dealing with high-bin (elevated) or ground-level storage locations.

What the client had to say about the project.

FTM Logo
Raj Varughese
VP, Head of Global IT
“Your team has been fantastic, and we love working with them. They are goal and outcome-oriented which is a rare quality in most consulting companies these days. The partnership we have is the cause for the success today.”
Key Takeaway

More Than Just A Technology Partner

Like Famous Toys, today’s organizations are realizing agility is the top priority and the days of monolith software partners and multi-year implementations are coming to an end. Business, markets, and technology will always shift and change, and being able to adapt quickly matters more than ever.
For organizations like Famous, it’s not enough to work with a partner who specializes in a given area, e.g. ERP. Technology partners need more than just experience, they need to be strategic, agile thinkers who can leverage both industry and technical knowledge to develop creative, innovative solutions.
In this case, this was required to find the right WMS (Warehouse Management System) Implementation solution. It wasn’t enough that it would simply “meet their needs”. The right solution is needed to adapt to the company’s highly customized environment, transform its operational approach, AND be implemented immediately to stop the current inventory churn and losses.
Working with TechFabric, their WMS teams were not only able to achieve that, but they also saw:
Reduction in human capital costs through strategic automation
Greater warehouse efficiency with new systems and approach
Faster time to market with a modern and scalable WMS solution
Reduction in development costs with a more agile development partner
what’s next

WMS Implementations Are Not A One-Time Project.

Our ERP specialists are now working with the Famous Toy's team to continue their warehouse transformation. The teams extended the functionality of the WMS and co-innovating multiple solution areas focused on Directed Put-away with 4 Demand Signals, Warehouse Dynamic Slotting, Waving of Orders, and Wave Demand Replenishment, among other key areas.

Let’s build something amazing.

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