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Minutes turned to seconds at busy Bury warehouse

Eton, UK – January 24, 2002 – The UK’s leading retailer of greetings cards and related products, Birthdays, has revolutionised the speed of its warehouse management system (WMS) by migrating to Caché database technology running on a Linux platform.

Birthdays runs a WMS from Chess Logistics at its Bury warehouse, managing storage and distribution of its 4,000-item product line. This latest development significantly reduced placement, retrieval, and replacement times. For example, order upload times that took approximately 40 minutes on the legacy system now take less than one minute, and the time it takes to produce a picking list has been reduced from 31 minutes to 21 seconds.

John Langford of Chess Logistics says that Caché has enabled Birthdays to “enjoy the benefits of the latest technology while maintaining its investment in applications development”. He explains that Birthdays has been running the system for many years, adding its own features and tweaks over this time. “If they had bought a completely new package they would have had to do a phenomenal amount of tailoring.”

Further benefits include a savings of overtime costs and management time reports which were once produced “out of hours,” for example, over the weekend, can now be produced during the work day.

Langford predicts that Birthdays only has just started to see the benefits of the new implementation. “Now that the Christmas rush is over I think they will be able to re-evaluate some of their working practices to make best use of the additional time generated by system performance for example establishing later order cut-off times and better picking utilisation.”

Implementation was undertaken just before the Christmas holiday season, Birthdays’ busiest time of the year. The migration took only seven hours with the operation continuing immediately after the upgrade. This time was made up within the first 24 hours.

Many users of Caché, the post-relational database from InterSystems, report very significant improvements in transaction speed. All Caché data is stored in multidimensional arrays, which makes access fast as it does not have to be “reassembled” from its component parts. The Caché multidimensional server eliminates the processing overhead associated with relational technology, resulting in the boost in speed.

Andrew Davis, IT and MIS Director at Birthdays has seen the improvements that migrating to Caché database technology running on a Linux platform have made:

“Using the new Caché database and platform has enabled Birthdays to dramatically reduce the lead time required to process key tasks such as auto-replenishment orders as well as deliver improved resilience and data accessibility. This proved invaluable during the busy season in the run up to Christmas and has opened the door to introducing more dynamic processes in the future”.

About InterSystems

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., InterSystems Corporation ( is the leading provider of high-performance database systems, with over four million users worldwide. InterSystems’ flagship product, CACHÉ, is a post-relational database with a multidimensional data and application server offering ultra-fast and massively scalable objects and SQL. CACHÉ features breakthrough rapid development technology for building object and web based applications.

About Chess

Chess Logistics Technology Ltd is a leading provider of WMS and SUPPLY CHAIN SOFTWARE. It has over 20 years’ experience of working for UK and multi-national companies. Its customers include leading names in FMCG, retail and third party logistics.

Trademark Notes:  Caché is a trademark of InterSystems Corporation.  Other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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