Case Study Neild & Co

Created in 1994, Neild & Co. has grown to be one of the leaders in the retail, wholesale and food processor industries. Dealing predominantly with the meat industry alongside the general food trade industry, this Australian owned company was saved by directors Brian Harris and John Florin, taking the business from the brink of death to a thriving business.

Neild & Co has undergone a huge amount of change in its relatively short life, moving from a business of seven people, including Harris and Florin, who had to key in orders that arrived via fax or phone. From there, the orders were picked, packed and dispatched to their customers.

“They had approximately 200 customers and 2 trucks,” operations manager Tanya Scott said. “They [Harris and Florin] grew the business to what it is today, a fleet of 7 trucks and 1800 active customers, and a team of 37 people. John and Brian are still both actively working in the business.”

Today, Neild & Co runs the full Paperless Warehousing WMS solution, which was installed in July 2012. Since implementing the system, Scott said that there were several noticeable changes, including fewer errors, which means happier customers, as well as forcing the business to be more disciplined. Scott, who joined Neild & Co in July 2011, said that she enjoyed working with the Paperless team again.

“I have been involved installations and go lives with Paperless in my previous two roles,” Scott mentioned. “I know the team at Paperless; they are a business that will stay with you. They don’t do an installation then walk away; I consider them a partner in our business.”

“I cannot fault the business as a whole, their service and relationship with Neild & Co is second to none. We have had very few issues; I know that if we do, Paperless will be doing whatever they can do to fix it. They understand their client’s business and know how time critical working in warehouses can be.”

The complete Paperless solution offers a variety of benefits with core functionality including receiving, putaway, cross docking, picking, despatch, truck loading, and workflow management and administration modules all customised to suit the needs of the user. Scott said that these benefits had helped manage some of the challenges that come with working in the food industry.

“Neild & Co sell dry ingredients to the food industry so the recording of all Batch/UBD and rotation of stock is critical to our business,” Scott remarked. “Paperless has helped with managing this side of the business; it forces us to record all of this data. Previously, it was all manually written on pallets and manually rotated for picking. It has also become a very valuable tool for product tracking, should recall or specific product follow-up be required.”

The Neild & Co business has seen huge changes over the past 20 years when Harris and Florin took over the business. Some of Neild & Co’s vital statistics includes (as of August 2013):

  • 380 pallets per week
  • 5944 part/carton picks
  • Orders per week number 418 for the company truck fleet and 348 in freight orders
  • 75,000 kg picked per week

This has been a huge step up for a constantly growing company and the Paperless Warehousing WMS has assisted the company in moving to a digital model for their warehouse and product management.

Overall, Scott said that there were several key benefits that the Paperless system offered that Neild & Co has seen. Firstly, Scott said that the Paperless system had helped the company become more efficient and organised in the warehouse. Scott also said that it was easier to train new team members as they weren’t required to memorise product locations, but it also makes the team accountable as all movements and picks are monitored by the system. She said that this meant that the workflow is continuous and controlled on a daily basis.

Other benefits that the Paperless WMS have given Neild & Co include:

  • All movements are traceable and in real time
  • Error rate has reduced dramatically over the past year
  • More orders/customers without additional cost to the business
  • More efficient office environment, giving the office team more time with customers on the phone
  • The above efficiencies have translated into greatly reduced overtime expenses

Supplying “everything you would see in a butcher shop except the meat”, Neild & Co has brought on some major chains as customers including Peters Meats, a company with over 50 years of experience in the meat market; Joe’s, Prime Quality Meats and several mid-sized processing companies. As well as that, the company has created close connections and co-operation with similar companies to start a buying and networking group.

Having worked at several large companies previously, Scott said that Neild & Co presented a great opportunity to continue her career progression.

“I decided to move to Neild & Co as I was seeking a new challenge, I had achieved everything that I had set out to do in my previous role,” Scott explained. “Neild & Co wanted to continue to grow which I thought was exciting considering that they have already been trading for 20 years.

“My strength is implementing and managing change and I could see that Neild & Co would benefit from this, I knew that it would be challenging but very rewarding at the same time. I am passionate about change and stretching people to their full potential and taking a team through that journey to make the business more efficient and profitable.”