American Heritage Billiards Gains a Big Win

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American Heritage Billiards Gains a Big Win

By Alarice Rajagopal and Jamie Grill-Goodman - 10/12/2015
Founded in 1987, American Heritage Billiards (AHB) is the world’s largest game room furniture manufacturer. It specializes in handcrafting heirloom quality billiard and game tables, counter height dining sets, and home bar accessories.

Embracing e-commerce, more than 60 percent of AHB’s sales are initiated online through retail partners (like costco.com) and drop-shipped from its 150,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Streetsboro, Ohio. The remainder are pallet shipments to the ‘brick and mortar,’ retail distribution centers that have been the principal sales channel until only recently.

According to Raymond Soltes, director of Information Technology at AHB, capitalizing on online sales opportunities meant transforming operations. AHB needed to overhaul its order picking and shipping processes to accommodate high volumes of smaller orders and shorter shipping windows, with an eye towards increasing profitability.

“To make the same profit as shipping three or four pool tables by LTL we need to ship about 50 parcels, because the labor costs are so much greater,” Soltes explains. “AccellosOne Ship [a HighJump product] allowed me to impact those costs right away. It’s been a total game-changer for us.”

AHB lives up to its vision of superior customer service by making next day deliveries available. At the same time, it was able to reduce labor costs through streamlined warehouse operational processes. The result; one warehouse operator can now do the work of many. Using A1Ship, AHB was able to cut labor costs by integrating shipment label creation into the outbound order process. After the orders are picked, the only thing left to do is take them straight to the truck.

“Today our parcel shipments are picked, labeled, and on the truck by lunchtime,” Soltes says. Instead of struggling to meet a 72-hour shipping window, AHB can now easily ship any order within 24 hours, even at peak times. This is crucial to meeting the expectations of online consumers and the major e-tailers that serve them. After orders have been picked, packed, and shipped, the integration between AHB’s Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP system and the WMS updates each order with tracking numbers.

“Once an order leaves the front office there are only two people who touch it: the person who does the wave and the person who does the pick — and neither of them has to concern themselves with how it’s shipping, or how fast it needs to ship or what else is shipping with it,” Soltes clarifies.

Besides radically reducing the labor cost associated with parcel shipping, A1 Ship has slashed shipping errors by at least 80 percent.

“I’m not paying retailers to sell my products anymore,” quips Soltes. “The fact that I can get my orders out faster and more accurately is actually improving our sales.”