Bar Code Labels Provide Inventory Accuracy Improvement To Cosmetics Manufacturer

Posted September 2, 2009

Bergen Brunswig, based in Orange, California, is the third-largest wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and medical supplies in the United States. The distributor needed shipping software that could fit the needs of its new direct-to-consumer fulfillment service to various on-line drug stores, run on the company’s AS/400, and be easily integrated with its primary distribution system, ASW by IBS. The company also needed to integrate electronic scales and bar code printers to allow for package labeling and tracking.

Bergen Brunswig met its Internet Fulfillment Center’s shipping system requirements through Pfastship-2000 software, produced and installed by Pfastship Worldwide Logistics Inc., an IBM Business Partner. The software integrates seamlessly with the IBS system, electronic scales, and thermal, on-demand barcode printers from Zebra Technologies.

First, bar-coded customer invoices printed off of the IBS system are scanned to automatically transfer shipping information to the Pfastship system. Then, the Zebra® printers, connected to weigh scales, create shipping labels displaying information such as consumer name, address and zip code; weight; shipping rate; and tracking number. After shipping, the tracking number is sent to the on-line drug store and usually to the consumer originating the order, allowing customers to track their package via the carrier.

The system, says Chuck Cook, president of Pfastship, gives Bergen Brunswig “…the flexibility to be able to process and ship packages using various carriers as well as to tie all [Bergen Brunswig’s] customer service into that data. Electronically, we’re just keeping everybody in sync as far as how did the package go, when did it go, what was the tracking number. They’ve got access to all that information almost immediately.”

In its early stages, the Internet Fulfillment Center was shipping about 3,000 packages a week for eight on-line clients, and expected 40 percent growth in the first six months.

Filed under: Case Studies