Congratulations go out to American Woodmark Corporation on winning the Innovation Award of Excellence at APICS 2015. American Woodmark is a customer of Impinj partner, Northern Apex, who designed and integrated the enterprise-wide, multi-tiered, global, RAIN RFID solution that earned this award. APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain and operations management. The awards were presented on October 6th in Las Vegas.
American Woodmark is a nationwide manufacturer of home cabinets and began their initial production implementation of Northern Apex’s CabineTRACK™ solution in 2010. Northern Apex recognized the need for an international standards based RAIN RFID tagging solution to provide component identification that was invisible to customers, not damaged or defaced by normal cabinet processing steps and automatically readable in key American Woodmark processes. After an extensive review, American Woodmark chose Northern Apex and its CabineTRACK™ solution, designed specifically for cabinet makers.
American Woodmark manufactures KCMA-certified cabinets under four major brands for remodeling and new home construction. A nationwide network of homebuilders, independent dealers and distributors as well as Lowe’s and Home Depot sell the cabinets. Prior to the RAIN RFID implementation, American Woodmark had over 136,000 key components at the base item level without any on-board identification. The items were identified by sight and manually entered into an ERP system per transaction. American Woodmark’s Senior Project Management Team knew that the inaccurate transactional activity and limited visibility within the manufacturing processes were resulting in component shortages, backorders and inefficiencies.
At its core, CabineTrack™ is a component level tracking and information management system that improves visibility into cabinet component movements. Northern Apex’s Dorado 400 - Visibility Station, Hercules 2400-Quality Base Unit, Portal Scanning Systems and Cycle Counting Carts were used in the solution. The solution incorporates Impinj Monza tag chips and Impinj Speedway readers and is fully compliant with RAIN RFID standards.
The American Woodmark team expected the Northern Apex RAIN RFID solution to reduce cycle count labor, improve inventory accuracy, decrease training hours for transactional and ID based activities and provide visibility to track doors throughout the manufacturing process. Northern Apex’s integrated solution met this expectation by delivering highly robust, peak performance for the American Woodmark team. The system continuously provides return on American Woodmark’s investment by successfully reducing cycle count labor by nearly two-thirds and significantly increasing accuracy of the inventory counts. Plans are in the works to continue into other areas of value within American Woodmark’s production and supply chain operations.
American Woodmark has deployed the Northern Apex system in multiple facilities across seven different states. The company’s deployment started with cabinet doors and expanded to drawer fronts, which at present utilize millions of SMARTRAC Monza based inlays per year. Their supply chain will include several upstream vendors with factories in five US states, China, Mexico and Europe in 2016. There was minimal impact on the established designs to deploy the solution in the other parts of the world since Impinj’s RAIN RFID readers are based on international standards and can support the requirements of the different world regions.