J.C. Penney Revamps Its Fulfillment Operation (672 words)
JCP Logistics is the entity now managing the fulfillment of all J.C. Penney's holdings. In 1999, it began using Smith-Gardner's WebOrder and MACS systems to apply a single order system to its multiple retail operations. Armed with more than 4,500 CSRs and 14 call centers, one of which is Web-enabled to handle e-mail and Web chat, it was off to a good start on the order taking end. Fulfillment was a whole other issue.
With six facilities available, J.C. Penney opted not to use its existing method. Instead, it decided to reconfigure two of its centers to meet the e-commerce fulfillment needs of its retailers. To handle the increase in product storage and shipping, J.C. Penney made its Alliance, TX, facility the import storage warehouse, and then transformed the Wawatosa, WI, facility into the fulfillment location for its other retail chain clients.
Now, housed in Wawatosa are five companies, all of which need their own product lines to be picked, packed, shipped and sometimes returned. Essentially, it looked like a recipe for disaster.
J.C. Penney wanted two things to happen at the Wawatosa location. It wanted a multi-company picking process, and it wanted the facility to handle its own returns.
To make the process run smoothly, J.C. Penney did several key things. First, it gave each client its own street address. This eased possible problems for package delivery and shipping and for the returns process.
Next, it devoted a single picking staff to each client but cross-trained them. Then, it developed a multi-company receipt process so that fulfillment-related costs could be paid and charged correctly. And, using Optum's Demand Center Management System, it created an order schedule.
Order scheduling allows one company's orders to have priority over another, which provides for a more efficient use of staff, as each company's peak times don't necessarily coincide.