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CUSTOMER
Chess Logistics Technology
CHALLENGE
Develop warehouse management systems combining industry best practices with easy-to-enhance functionality.
OUTCOME
Chess uses InterSystems data platform to create the sophisticated warehouse management systems its customers demand more cost effectively than it could with other platforms.

Chess Logistics Technology Rapidly Fits Warehouse and Logistics Management Systems to Customers’ Needs Using InterSystems

Chess Logistics Success StoryWhen you buy coffee at a retail store or drink it at a restaurant, you do not need to think about how the coffee got there. For many U.K. organizations, this is because they rely on the warehouse management and logistics computing applications and services from market-leading specialist Chess Logistics Technology.

Chess provides solutions to companies in the logistics, food and retail distribution, industrial, and manufacturing sectors. What sets Chess apart from other suppliers is its ability to rapidly tailor solutions to customers’ unique needs. While many suppliers provide modular systems, too often the burden of application configuration slows implementation, increases costs, and deters ongoing changes. In contrast, by embedding InterSystems data platform technology into its solutions, Chess is able to develop applications that combine industry best practices with versatile and easy-to-enhance functionality.

Maximum Warehouse Efficiency Using Core Plus

Chess’ solutions enable customers to achieve maximum efficiency in warehouse operation and deliver the highest levels of accuracy, productivity, and utilization. For example, by working with Chess, Whitbread has measurably reduced operating costs by improving picking accuracy, productivity, and resource allocation.

Chess’ aim is always to provide a WMS that delivers the maximum possible benefit to the client’s business, regardless of warehouse size or supply-chain type. It achieves this by using a special feature within its applications known as Core Plus. This is a flexible software architecture that enables Chess to provide nonstandard features in its solutions without affecting the underlying standard system. It means that customers can benefit from ongoing evolution of the standard product, while the addition of unique features that give them a distinct operational edge over their competitors doesn’t require recompilation of existing program code. This significantly enhances solution stability while reducing unnecessary change, costs, and project timescales.

Core Plus exploits the inherent object-oriented nature of the InterSystems data platform to promote the rapid development of applications that are also easy to maintain. Other suppliers add object-oriented functionality in layers that introduce technology mismatches and costly overheads.

IN LIKE-FORLIKE TESTS, THE INTERSYSTEMS DATA PLATFORM PERFORMED BETTER EVERY TIME. IT ALLOWS US TO OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT CUSTOMERS BELIEVE WILL DELIVER THEM A COMPETITIVE EDGEIn contrast, Chess’ solutions are modular inside and out, which makes analysis, coding, and testing of complex situations and procedures much easier. InterSystems technology also provides support for SQL reporting and data analysis. This means that users have the business functions they need, and these functions work with the rest of their systems. At the same time, Chess can continuously innovate by adding the latest technologies and capabilities to respond to the changing and demanding requirements of the retail and logistics industry.

Other more obvious benefits that InterSystems brings to Chess’ solutions are its market-leading high-throughput, scalability, and reliability – essential features in an industry that is dealing with high transaction volumes 24-7.

Long-Term Partnerships

Chess and InterSystems have been partners for more than 20 years, and InterSystems technology underlies all its WMS features, including RF solutions, voice recognition, delivery information systems, and radio frequency identification functionality.

“We have used and continue to use InterSystems technology for the simple reason that it enables us to provide the sophisticated solutions that our customers demand, more cost effectively,” says Nick Abbott, Technical Director, Chess.

“In like-for-like tests, the InterSystems data platform performed better every time. It allows us to offer solutions that customers believe will deliver them a competitive edge.”

“The impressive client list Chess has is testimony to the benefits it delivers to the retail and logistics industry,” says Christopher Norton, Managing Director and Group Director U.K. Region, InterSystems. “InterSystems is proud to have such a long-standing and successful partnership with Chess, and we are equally proud that our technology is the power behind proven and leading logistics systems, providing the platform for their future business growth.”

Customers That Benefit From Chess Solutions & Services

Whitbread
Whitbread PLC is the U.K.’s leading hospitality company. Widely recognized, it manages leading brands in hotels and restaurants, including Premier Travel Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater, and Costa Coffee.

Whitbread has dramatically improved processes at its supply chain operations by implementing Chess’ Empirica Task-RF software. The implementation has provided significant tangible benefits to Whitbread, dramatically cutting picking errors by 50%, eliminating paperwork, improving resource allocation, and greatly improving productivity.

Associated British Ports
Offering a range of port-related services, Associated British Ports (ABP) adds value to supply chain management through its warehousing, distribution, transportation, and logistics services in the U.K. As the United Kingdom’s leading ports business, it handles approximately one quarter of the country’s seaborne trade.

ABP selected Chess to handle the remote management of several satellite warehouses from one centralized IT support center.

Baylis Distribution
Baylis introduced the Chess Distribution System to pull together its communications, warehouse management, order scheduling, and vehicle management processes. The system was selected because it offered a cost-effective solution with high functionality that could be implemented quickly.

Baylis Logistics is the U.K.’s leading food and grocery supply chain specialist. It provides nationwide shared-user operations, including primary and secondary distribution, specialist warehousing, and an extensive returns network.

Reed Boardall
Reed Boardall is one of the largest temperature-controlled food distribution businesses in the United Kingdom, regularly conveying over 5,000 different products to supermarkets nationwide. It selected Chess to provide a flexible and consistent solution that would keep pace with complex demands and large transaction rates. The solution integrated a voice control system into the WMS meeting the customer’s requirement to deliver faster, more accurate results.

Future Developments

Technology is developing rapidly across all industries, but particularly in the retail and logistics market, where superior service and cost efficiency deliver demonstrable market advantages. Chess’ capability is reinforced by its long-term technology partnership with InterSystems that enables it to continually provide the latest solutions customers want, as they need them, tailored to fit their unique needs in rapid time. Whatever the latest technical innovation is, such as service orientation or business performance management, Chess is ready to deliver the benefits to its customers without forcing them through costly technology upgrades. This ensures that Chess creates value in the supply chain that drives its own and its customers’ business success.

“IN LIKE-FOR-LIKE TESTS, THE INTERSYSTEMS DATA PLATFORM PERFORMED BETTER EVERY TIME. IT ALLOWS US TO OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT CUSTOMERS BELIEVE WILL DELIVER THEM A COMPETITIVE EDGE.”

Nick Abbott
Technical Director, Chess
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