Going with the PetFlow…a real expansion treat


A US pet food and treats retailer has more than doubled its active SKUs to 10,000 and is competing against market leaders Chewy.com and Amazon’s pet e-commerce site Wag – since switching to a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS).

New York-based Petflow, which has distribution centres on both coasts in New Jersey and Nevada, has used SnapFulfil to optimise inventory management, work flow prioritisation and pick paths amongst other things.  It now ships quickly and efficiently nationwide direct to shoppers’ doorsteps, either as a one-off or through a convenient subscription commerce model based on an auto-ship delivery schedule.

PetFlow has used the SnapFulfil cloud WMS since 2011 to ensure efficiency and accuracy throughout its order fulfillment processes.

However, in 2017 the scalability and flexibility of the WMS solution came into its own when Phillips Pet Food & Supplies acquired them and SnapFulfil helped to seamlessly leverage PetFlow’s SKU base to deliver an “endless aisle” option.

With orders coming in from pet stores across the US, SnapFulfil helps route Phillips-related orders separately and can dynamically change the return address on shipping labels – allowing all orders to appear as if they’ve come from the Phillips customer directly.

Bryan Abbott, Industrial Engineer at PetFlow, says: “SnapFulfil has essentially seen PetFlow through every phase of our growth. It’s affordable and the ability to scale with our business and customize to our needs has allowed us flexibility and enabled us to sustain high quality results. We’ve made a number of successful process changes through the years and SnapFulfil has been key in each one.

“Implementing a WMS can be daunting, but SnapFulfil is very intuitive and simple to walk through. We’ve had a very easy time onboarding our new employees because of the user-friendly interface design on the RF devices and the pack stations. It also integrated seamlessly with our proprietary system and ERP, which means employees can access critical order fulfillment information in real-time from a central application.”

Through SnapFulfil, PetFlow has established a replenishment system to prevent inefficient picking from higher locations in its warehouse, which are up to 30 ft. It also helps the company know when to increase the batch size of a pick assignment based on the height of the pick tasks.

In the event of an order delay or replacement order, SnapFulfil gives PetFlow the ability to expedite exception work – prioritising at the shipment level and assigning specific orders to specific operators.

More recently, SnapFulfil is helping PetFlow optimize pick paths and batching logic and minimise travel distance on each route. It’s also implemented putaway logic, allowing PetFlow to see optimal slots based on a set of given criteria and to ask for alternate locations.

Tony Dobson, MD at SnapFulfil, adds: “We are looking at a number of exciting initiatives with PetFlow, like developing a way for them to send a message to pack stations based on the order type and telling a packer to put a certain insert or promotional material into a specific order. These enhancements will allow PetFlow to specifically target marketing efforts based on individual customer needs to provide even greater value and a personalised shopping experience.”