Atlanta Dental Uses This Shipping Software

Desperately Seeking Shipping Solution

Atlanta Dental is an employee-owned, full service distributor of dental supplies that primarily serves the Southeast U.S. Founded just after the American Civil War, Atlanta Dental is committed to distributing quality equipment, services, and technology to every customer.

Like many distributors, Atlanta Dental needed a shipping system that would easily accommodate their specialized shipping requirements.

Pain Point: Lack of Customization

When Atlanta Dental first began using a manifest system in their warehouse, they chose Clippership, a well-known market shipping solution. However, Clippership’s low price comes with a hidden cost: minimal customization capabilities.

“You get what you get with Clippership,” says John Hanna, Director of Operations at Atlanta Dental. “We really didn’t have any choice but to devise various workarounds in order to use it.”

Atlanta Dental’s warehouse is divided into two zones – small parts and bulk case goods. A single order often calls for items from both zones of the warehouse. While Atlanta Dental’s ERP and WMS systems could split the order into zones, the manifesting system couldn’t handle the logic of putting those two zones back together into a single shipment.

“Essentially,” explains Hanna, “we had to run two separate manifest stations in the warehouse to compensate for this lack of functionality.”

“We knew we had to find something more aligned with our business.”

Pain Point: Unenthusiastic Vendors

Atlanta Dental next tried another competitor of Clippership. They preferred the overall functionality above Clippership, but still found it lacking when it came to business-specific modifications and customizations. As Atlanta Dental grew and changed, business managers found that their shipping needs changed as well.

“We sell certain parts by the case and certain parts as eaches. Our WMS could handle the math of splitting cases into eaches, but our manifest system couldn’t deal with the math. So we had to manifest every single box individually.

“It became apparent that the programmers of this new software were not going to be able to make the changes we needed on an ongoing basis,” says Hanna.

Pain Point: No Pre-manifesting

Pre-manifesting is the process of creating shipping papers and labels before an item is picked. Pre-manifesting is used for items that are already securely contained in appropriate packaging (usually items that are sold by the case or pallet) and don’t require post-picking handling, like additional inspection.

Pre-manifesting can speed up the pick-and-pack process significantly for companies that are interested in speedy, efficient fulfillment.

Like many businesses, Atlanta Dental wanted to decrease their fulfillment times by pre-manifesting certain items in their warehouse. Many disposable dental supplies, like rubber gloves and saliva ejectors, are sold by the case. Pre- manifesting these items could shave minutes off of each order’s fulfillment, but Atlanta Dental’s first two manifesting systems didn’t offer the ability to pre-manifest.

Latitude Manifest & Shipping System

Atlanta Dental turned to PathGuide Technologies, providers of the Latitude Manifest & Shipping System (or LMS).

Latitude Manifest & Shipping System is an advanced shipping system sold both as a standalone solution for warehouses that need to provide world-class shipping, and as a part of the Latitude Warehouse Management System.

Solution: Pre-manifesting

Pre-manifesting is included as part of the LMS package. Because pre-manifesting reduces the number of times that a product is touched in the warehouse, it speeds up fulfillment times while reducing errors.

“We developed the pre-manifesting option for clients who want to reduce the time it takes to ship an order and minimize shipping errors.” says Greg Laycock, Vice President of Engineering.   “It makes picking and shipping these items much faster and more accurate, which is absolutely crucial to customers in virtually all industries, but especially for medical suppliers like Atlanta Dental.”

“We can recommend the LMS system without reservation to any company that needs a robust, flexible manifesting solution that’s compliant with virtually all major and regional carriers. We can also recommend PathGuide as a solid vendor partner who is always there to help out when the client has a need.”