Rudie Wilhelm Warehouse Co. Anticipates Future with Upgrade to Headwater’s SmartEnterprise 3PL Management Software Suite

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The Milwaukie, Oregon logistics company operates four networked warehouses as well as a non-asset-based transportation service. Nearly 100 years old, the company has purchased a state-of-the-art third party logistics management system from Headwater Technology Solutions Inc. that will streamline and modernize its office operations, expedite warehouse activities and provide an additional dimension of service to customers.

Our customers are looking forward to the ability to access e-Vista and determine the exact status of their inventory 24/7

Rudie Wilhelm Warehouse Co., about three years shy of its 100th birthday, has positioned itself for the next hundred years with the implementation of a 25-user SmartEnterprise 2.7 third party logistics management (3PL) software system from Headwater Technology Solutions Inc., according to Bert Looney, director of administration and operations and Headwater Senior Vice President Joe E. Couto. The company went live with the new solution in August.

Rudie Wilhelm Warehouse Co. operates some 600,000 square feet of space in four networked buildings in suburban Portland, all but 20,000 square feet of it ambient temperature storage. The company’s client/product mix is varied, including a number of major national food manufacturers and manufacturers of paper products and insulation, among others. It also operates an integral non-asset based transportation service for customers that require delivery services.

“We were thrilled with the way the upgrade went,” Looney said. “The planning was superb and while there were a few minor complications, that is to be expected in any upgrade. Overall, the process was very straightforward. It was the easiest upgrade we have experienced and we feel that this new system takes us to the leading edge in warehouse management technology.”

The SmartEnterprise suite replaces a WarehouseLogic v.4.5.2 3PL management system, also from Headwater, that has been in place for seven years, running on an IBM RS/6000 computer under the AIX operating system, Looney said. SmartEnterprise runs on the same platform, with data from an existing Oracle database and communicating with a Linux server that houses Headwater’s e-Vista web-based customer inventory visibility and tracking tool.

The GUI-based SmartEnterprise suite is comprised of the Enterprise Foundation integration layer, the RF Foundation, WarehouseLogic logistics management software, the Active Desktop graphical single point access and control module, the d’Amigo alert management and reporting tool, and the browser-based e-Vista and the RFID modules – both of which are scheduled to go live later this year.

“Our customers are looking forward to the ability to access e-Vista and determine the exact status of their inventory 24/7,” Looney said. “It represents a major time-saver on both ends, since it eliminates the need to make and take phone calls to check on inbound and outbound shipments.

“The d’Amigo reporting tool provides us with an array of standard reports as well as the ability to generate ad hoc snapshots and to build our own report formats. For example, we are currently in the process of eliminating one complex custom report because we have found that we can simply call up the information using d’Amigo. We also see significant potential in converting many documents from paper-based forms to electronic templates.”

The new system is enabling major warehouse efficiencies as well, Looney said. Using Telxon handheld RF devices, for example, warehouse personnel perform directed picking operations with automated instructions from the SmartEnterprise system. And later this year, they will be able to “slap and ship” radio tags on outbound product that is destined for RFID-enabled destinations, including Wal-Mart.

“This was not an ROI-driven initiative,” he added. “Rather, we were motivated by a desire to offer the best technology we could find to our customers, and also to assure them that while Rudie Wilhelm has a history throughout the U.S. West Coast and Western Canada, we also have our eyes on the future. Nevertheless, we are satisfied that the efficiencies and economies are there and that we will be able to realize them very quickly.”

About Headwater Technology Solutions

Headwater Technology Solutions Inc. is a global Supply Chain Execution (SCE) company focused on the 3PL WMS, TMS and LLP markets, supporting the flow of goods and information from the point of origin to consumption. Headwater’s SmartEnterprise 3PL/LLP/corporate logistics, Freight Logix TMS transportation and RealDispatch field in-fleet management solutions enable seamless supply chain planning and execution that leads to smarter and more profitable management of goods as they move through the supply chain. Headwater maintains corporate headquarters in the Toronto suburb of Markham with regional offices in Oakville and Atlanta, marketing its services and solutions internationally.


Lynn Couto



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