Case Study Joss Total Warehousing Solutions
When launched in 1975 by husband and wife team Colin and Lorraine Joss, it was clear that the focus was on the construction management and the building of commercial and industrial projects. However, over the years, the company has seen great success. Today the company has three divisions - Construction, Facility Management and Total Warehouse Solutions.
Launched in 2007, the Total Warehouse Solutions division was created to serve as a 3PL service provider to South East Australia. The division has grown to offer services such as palletised storage, carton and/or pallet pick & despatch, cross docking and container de/consolidation within both constant ambient and temperature controlled environments.
Based in Albury-Wodonga, Joss Total Warehouse Solutions’ (JTWS) location enables access to clients in major capital cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney overnight. Covering industries such as wine, bottled water, power generation, cleaning products and construction, JTWS has seen large growth in the warehousing division.
During its inception, funding was sought for the introduction of the Paperless Warehousing warehouse management system (WMS), which would enable JTWS to provide efficient and modern warehousing practices. A NSW State Government Grant was awarded for $100,000 to provide capital for the purchase a Paperless Warehouse Management System (WMS) licence. JTWS General Manager Simon Jacobs said some of the company’s success had come about because of choosing Paperless as its WMS provider.
"Our clients consist and come from a variety of industries,” Jacobs said. “The Paperless system helps in attracting new clients by reducing stock levels. The feedback and reports we send our clients such as ‘picking frequency’ help our clients to review their stock and the need for that product.”
Initially choosing the Paperless system when the Total Warehousing Solutions division was launched, there were several reasons that made Paperless the right choice for Joss according to Jacobs. This included Paperless’ WMS being a well-known Australian product as well as several warehouse employees having been exposed to the system and responding with positive feedback. Since then, Jacobs said there have been very few issues, if any.
One key attribute that Jacobs trumpets about the WMS is the inventory control, saying “it helps us keep clients and attract new ones” and Joss “stakes our reputation on inventory accuracy”. The relationship between Joss and Paperless has been mutually beneficial as Joss positioned itself as a leading 3PL provider in a very short time period.
“We had an opportunity presented to us so we took it,” Jacobs said of Joss’ initial foray into the warehousing sector. “Being diversified in business can be a good thing if done correctly. 3PL warehousing tied into our business through construction and property development.”
“Productivity and inventory control have been two benefits of the Paperless system. Our warehouse has a turnover of 300,000 pallets per annum, with only 3 missing pallets. When you pay for missing stock you need to be in control of your inventory.”
Following WMS implementation, JTWS started warehousing and distribution services for Mountain H2o in 2010. The result was 300,000 pallet movements per annum requiring 25 new staff for the warehouse. Mountain H2o serviced major retailers in Australia including Woolworths Select, Coles, ALDI and Macro with products that were all produced locally.
Following the large intake of staff, JTWS required a large amount of training. JTWS sought a state government grant to train operators on the Paperless Warehouse Management System under a nationally accredited training package. The subsequent training was subsidised by the state government via the vocation, education and training (VET) scheme to the tune of $103,000.
Jacobs said the training via the VET scheme was great for the company as it not only had it helped new employees understand the Paperless system but also supplied the workforce with a nationally recognised qualifications. Training was offered through the Warehouse Management Training Institute (WMTI) and every new employee was subsidised $4000 to undertake the week-long course. The course has helped JTWS to dealt with several difficulties of the warehousing industry.
“Finding quality trained warehouse staff that understands a warehouse management system and can operate specialised equipment such as reach trucks [are two difficulties of the business],” Jacobs said. “The days of staff just having a forklift licence are gone. They need more skills in this industry now, times have changed.”
The flow on effects of using WMTI meant that Joss didn’t need to do any internal training on the WMS, as well as meaning that JTWS was able to expand and develop the business quicker than originally expected. WMTI offers courses from certificate II to diploma, all of which are nationally accredited. Joss employees will be also able to continue training through WMTI. Jacobs said the training has been great for a variety of reasons.
“We now have nationally accredited trained staff, we receive incentives from the government through payroll tax deductions, we know we have a training plan in place which is good for our staff and gives us traceability for incidents if they occur,” he continued. It’s a major selling point to our clients and gives us a clear staff development plan.”