Lowes: WMS Upgrade Requires Relabeling 15 Distribution Centers

Lowes Flatbed Distribution Center sign

ID Label is proud to have been a Lowe’s partner since 2004, supplying a range of custom-engineered warehouse labels, signs and installation services for dozens of distribution centers across North America.

Founded with a single hardware store in 1946, Lowe’s today serves more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 290,000 people.

To meet the complex distribution requirements of this massive operation, Lowes has amassed an advanced logistics network that includes dozens of regional, specialty and flatbed distribution centers, as well as coastal holding and transload facilities.

WMS Upgrade Improves Workflow Processes

In 2016, Lowes began the complex, 18-month task of upgrading its warehouse management system (WMS) for its network of 15 distribution centers that support its flatbed products. This includes lumber, plywood, boards and other building materials that are transported by flatbed trailers to Lowe’s stores.

Its previous WMS was more than 10 years old and no longer met the company’s dynamic needs. Inventory management, for instance, was limited to a labor-intensive process that required manual data entry to accommodate picking, shipping and custom store orders.

“ID Label was a real partner in this process, designing and engineering thousands of labels to our precise requirements. They were extremely responsive and committed to our needs.”

– Jamie Reiss, Senior Industrial Engineer
Lowe’s Flatbed Distribution Centers

“Now, with our new WMS and mobile barcode scanners, we’ve greatly improved our workflow processes,” said Jamie Reiss, senior industrial engineer for Lowe’s Flatbed Distribution Centers. “It’s helped to drive efficiencies and speed across all our DCs and improved communication with stores. And we’re seeing a reduction in errors with our new automated scan-data entry.”

Custom-Manufactured vs. In-House Labels

The new WMS meant that all 15 flatbed DCs required new, durable rack location labels to accommodate the upgraded inventory management system. As it has since 2004, Lowe’s turned to ID Label.

“We revamped the layout and the way we set up inventory locations in each DC to accommodate better processes and workflows,” Reiss said. “Everything was mapped down to the inch, including our barcode labels.”

Reiss had ID Label manufacture all of the required rack labels to coincide with the changeover at each DC over the 18-month project. “They’re much better quality than in-house labels,” she said. “ID Label uses a durable laminate coating over the images so they hold up longer. And they just look a lot better, too.”

Working with “Awesome” ID Label

“ID Label was a real partner in this process, designing and engineering thousands of labels to our precise requirements,” Reiss said. “They were extremely responsive and committed to our needs. We had to repeatedly coordinate manufacturing, timing and shipping to all 15 DCs. Our labels were always delivered without a hiccup – on time if not ahead of schedule. We have an awesome relationship with ID Label.”

“[Our new rack labels] are much better quality than in-house labels,” Reiss said. “ID Label uses a durable laminate coating over the images so they hold up longer. And they just look a lot better, too.”

ID Label Inc. Logo

Planning a New Construction or Relabeling Project?

Consult with ID Label to understand your options. We’re passionate about helping our clients find the best solutions to keep their businesses moving forward.

ID Label’s warehousing products – from rack and LPN labels to signs and installation services – have been tested and used by great companies like Lowe’s in operations around the globe for more than 20 years. That’s extensive experience and knowledge we can bring to your specific requirements.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to request product samples or a free consultation.

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