The proverbial 800-pound gorilla has not only reshaped the retail dynamics with its endless product choice, focus on customer service, and rapid delivery, but has also impacted the way that organizations approach the supply chain landscape. Travis Smith, the CTO and founder of WithoutWire Inventory Sciences explains, “Challenges have certainly mushroomed for inventory companies trying to deal with the Amazon Effect. When customers buy online, they don’t want to wait as they expect instant delivery. They are not accustomed to the outages that often come along with the retail fulfillment of online stores.” Focused on solving this complex supply chain quandary by using modern technologies, WithoutWire delivers a warehouse management solution (WMS) that improves inventory efficiency and streamlines optimization, all by applying unmatched scientific rigor to tackle the Amazon Effect. “Right now, there’s a disruption in the supply chain, and we think the biggest opportunity is to bridge the gap between the supply and demand. By using our software that creates a rapid deployment model for inventory management in dynamic ecosystems, businesses can optimize their distribution and manufacturing inventory operations,” says Smith.
"We’re looking where others aren’t and are finding endless opportunities to innovate"
Founded in 2001, WithoutWire has been creating business innovations since its conception by utilizing Azure and other Microsoft technologies and is one of the leaders in developing solutions for tracking inventory. Their comprehensive WMS brings the power and flexibility of collaboration to the inventory management landscape. “We help automate inventory processes with real-time visibility across a diverse ecosystem; our solutions are available as licensed on-premise software or cloud subscription services,” states Smith.
Dynamic and Rapid Deployment Model
The WithoutWire WMS software enables order fulfillment of online orders for the retail stores. The software can also be used to collect customer information and operationalize order fulfillment tasks. “Whether organizations are fulfilling orders for a retail store, or doing replenishment picks from other stores to fill stock outages, we can serve them in every aspect,” says Smith. Through its software, WithoutWire can rapidly scale-up in a flexible manner, add different elements from various locations, and report in real time by using apps available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, or Zebra’s rugged device app gallery.
Our concept of deployment has led to incredible opportunities for us in the global logistics environment, which we are witnessing now as a big part of our future growth
Through its cloud-based rapid deployment model, the “just-in-time” inventory is delivered, which enables the clients to have visibility on their compliance data and performance and mitigate operational costs. Further WithoutWire’s unique system is designed to support different process flows to fulfill the needs of distribution, manufacturing, and field services. Smith explains, “Whether it’s warehousing and supply chain logistics, manufacturing or field service needs, we’re continually applying rigorous scientific research and development every day, to adapt, adopt, and provide up-to-the-minute improvements and potential for all of our products.” In an instance, WithoutWire assisted Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants in improving their inventory management operations at their Winery and Distribution Center. The company used WithoutWire’s system to integrate with the ERP system at their Winery, allowing them to leverage barcode scanning capabilities in their inventory management process. Impressed by the success that WithoutWire’s system delivered in managing their inventory, Cooper’s Hawk eventually started leveraging it for multiple processes at their Winery and Distribution Center; including inventory management, materials receipts, and order fulfillment.
The example not only demonstrated the prowess that WithoutWire has made in the field of inventory management but also stands testament to the constant quest that the company is on, which is to effect rapid and seamless deployment. “Our concept of deployment has led to incredible opportunities for us in the global logistics environment which we are witnessing now, as a big part of our future growth,” mentions Smith.
The WithoutWire team follows a state-of-the-art approach to implement their solution, which starts by running a multi-tenant instance of the client’s system in the cloud. Clients can explore every feature in the system along with WithoutWire’s knowledge base, which includes tutorial videos. Next, they deploy a product consultancy team that works with the client to assist them in understanding the base features. Through this process, WithoutWire determines “how well the client fits into their base model” which minimizes associated costs. This is followed by scoping and analysis of the clients’ process such that the system can be configured to meet their demands.
With a particular emphasis on ease-of-use, WithoutWire publishes native apps for Android and iOS rather than HTML-based solutions. This allows the company to provide a robust and engaging experience to the clients. Smith adds that although they cater their solution to different industries, such as pharma, biomedical, and food, the difference they are making is the security aspect they offer in the single app approach to provide vertical-specific capabilities seamlessly. He further mentions that WithoutWire ensures that there are no fragmented versions of its system by providing backward compatibility to its clients consistently. In addition, WithoutWire uses the Azure Active Directory to provide a security blanket for its clients and Microsoft Power BI to gain insights from the real-time data analytics. These components assist organizations in fortifying their supply chain and preparing for the next wave of requests.
Reiterating the winery example, Smith adds, “Shortly after they had implemented WithoutWire in their Distribution Center, they faced a situation where a power failure in their area caused an extended network outage in their D.C.” It was WithoutWire’s ability to run on a mobile device that enabled Cooper’s Hawk Winery to still pick and complete their orders with no impact to their restaurants. This flexibility provided to the clients through its mobile app and the cloud back-end features are the real differentiators for WithoutWire.
WithoutWire strives to provide its customers with unmatched support service along with their modern software platform. Their clients are offered a web interface that allows them to easily send support cases; in the event of an issue, all support personnel are notified of the issue. The case is then stored for historical purposes allowing the team to serve the customer better, should any further problems arise. A monthly support log is also provided to customers upon request, giving them detailed information on all support cases and the time required to solve each case.
Along with its 24/7 support, WithoutWire has introduced an Intercom messaging app that provides real-time support options to clients. The messaging module is integrated with the native app, which allows WithoutWire’s team of experts to respond to the clients’ queries quickly. The firm is also aiming to provision this tool in a way that will allow their clients to use it within their own organization and extend the ability to support the supply chain.
Having carved a unique niche in the inventory management space, WithoutWire is currently working on global expansion and is adding more languages to its software. They are also in discussions to acquire a mobile sales and dynamic routing company to improve their arsenal for remote replenishment capabilities. According to Smith, this acquisition will also empower WithoutWire to develop their business in last mile delivery scenarios. He informs, “By thoroughly examining the myriad elements and details that go into inventory control and processing, we’re able to improve the tools we provide steadily. We’re looking where others aren’t and are finding endless opportunities to innovate.”