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PathGuide Provides Warehouse Management Solutions Across North America and Canada

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PathGuide has been consulting and training wholesale and retail distributors on how to improve their warehouse logistics for more than 27 years. Below is our recent interview with Rebecca Hagge, Marketing Communications Manager at PathGuide:

Rebecca Hagge

Q: Can you provide our readers with a brief introduction to PathGuide Technologies?

A: Absolutely. PathGuide Technologies is located in the greater-Seattle area. We provide warehouses and distribution companies complete warehouse management solutions that help suppliers increase customer service and lower labor costs, ultimately driving greater profitability. Believe it or not, our solutions make warehouse employees happier, too. PathGuide’s Latitude WMS brings flexible, real-time control to wholesalers and industrial distributors across North America, Canada and abroad. Our solutions are designed for modular, yet turnkey, functionality to best suit distributors’ business requirements and growth objectives. We’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years, so it’s no wonder we’ve uncovered a deeper level of insight to warehouse automation than our competitors.

Q: Why Latitude WMS – and what makes it the best choice?

A: To put it bluntly, our solution is solid – and so is our track record. In fact, I’ve had customers actually shy away from agreeing to publish their success story for fear their competition will implement Latitude WMS so they can realize the same competitive advantage. True story. What makes Latitude WMS such a stellar product is that it automates all operations from inbound transportation management, receiving and order picking, to manifesting and truck route/stop management with delivery confirmation. Our software integrates with more than 20 different ERP systems, driving carousels, conveyors and other material handling equipment. It’s flexible enough to accommodate each customer’s unique business practices to help streamline processes, whether they’re B2B, shipping to their own stores or extend offerings through e-Commerce.

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Q: How hard is it to determine if company needs WMS at all?

A: Not hard at all. We start by taking a look at the number employees who are actively engaged in warehouse activity to determine the economic value of a WMS investment. When you have less than a handful of warehouse workers, a smaller number of SKUs and a smallish warehouse space – a WMS investment becomes less viable. The value of the inventory, and whether you’re shipping directly to customers or to your own retail stores, is also a consideration. Warehouses with high-value items that need to be lot controlled or tracked by serial number can certainly be addressed with a WMS like Latitude. When the total stock in a warehouse has little or no value, justifying a WMS is problematic.

Q: What’s the future of warehouses? Are they going to be completely automated?

A: It depends, but gone are the days of thinking that paper-based processes are enough. Automation is at everyone’s disposal, yet investing in it doesn’t mean it will solve every goods-handling issue. It’s up to each company to do its due diligence to see if automation makes economic sense. Things like time horizon, scale of warehouse activity and the type of items you’re stocking should play a big part in the decision. Larger warehouse operations will, more likely, invite the use of automation, including robotics where a total cost of ownership case can be made for such an investment. In the near future, we’ll be seeing a continued use of existing material handling tools including carousels, vertical lifts, conveyors, pick/put to light and cube/dimensioning systems where human intervention is required to replenish and stage inventory and its movement to maximize efficiencies.

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Q: What can we expect from PathGuide in the future?

A: More offerings to support where the SCM world is going. This will include e-Commerce, third-party logistics, value-added inventory/consignment support, and other ventures to help our distributors drive the cost out of their deliveries and increase their customer service. We’ll also provide even greater visibility to inventories, their location and their movements through devices such as cell phones, tablets and other portable tools that assist in inventory transactions. PathGuide also leverages our Latitude Advisory Board when it comes to advice on future product enhancements and training programs. Our LAB members, all experienced power-users of Latitude WMS, represent multiple industries, ranging from electrical and retail distribution to marine supplies and architectural detailing.

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