Abraham Linc earn customers’ trust with a warehouse management solution

Inventory counts!

When your customers place an order, they often don’t have time to wait for a product that is out of stock. They need it now. Having immediate access to product can impact whether or not they win a job and their reputation for reliability among their customers. Your customers need to be sure they’re placing their trust in the right business partner.

So it’s critical that customers can rely on Abraham Linc to maintain an inventory of the right quantity of the right products at the right time. Oh, and one other thing. At the right price to ensure a fair profit for both Abraham Linc and its customers.

That’s how you earn customers’ confidence.

Abraham Linc accomplishes this with the help of Dancik’s Integrated Warehouse Management System. It ensures that when customers’ orders are received, the product is available to pull and process for delivery — and in the most efficient way possible.

The difference maker

Headquartered in Bridgeport, W.Va., Abraham Linc distributes high-quality, great-value floor covering products throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including:

  • Carpet
  • Hardwood
  • Laminate
  • Sheet Vinyl, LVT and Rubber
  • Cushion and underlayment
  • Accessories.

The company’s 91,000-square-foot Bridgeport facility includes 78,000 square feet of warehouse space and a 13,000-square-foot office. Locations in Baltimore and Waynesboro, Va., have warehouses of 35,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet with room to grow, respectively. Overall, they carry roughly 5,000 SKUs.

These three locations provide fast, efficient delivery to customers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, eastern Ohio and Kentucky, and southern New Jersey.

A long-time Dancik ERP system user, Abraham Linc implemented their IWMS about five years ago. The system paid for itself in less than two years.

“We invested significant resources to upgrade our warehouse and refine our delivery system,” said CFO Robert Marra II. “Having the ability to scan all of our products in and out — and know exactly where they are — is a tremendous benefit. We’re able to turn a greater volume of product with minimum workforce.”

Among the key tasks that the IWMS supports at Abraham Linc are:

  • Monitoring the real-time workflow and inventory at all three warehouses
  • Receiving
  • Picking
  • Staging and shipping accurately and efficiently
  • Inventory control and cycle counting by item, serial number or location
  • Automatic email notifications when adjustments are made
  • Productivity analysis of each warehouse employee
  • Barcode label generation
  • Location management

The system works in conjunction with the latest in Radio Frequency scanners and barcoding technology. When warehouse users log into an RF gun, they are assigned a work queue that indicates each product, in order, to be pulled, as well as the most efficient route to take when picking them. Managers can assign the most logical tasks for each employee.

“It’s a very intuitive system that incorporates our preferences and priorities with products’ age, weight and location to determine the route and how to stage the material in the most logical order,” noted Marra. “It really helps our warehouse staff improve their productivity and accuracy — factors our owner and management look at closely.”

The ability to gauge factors like that is one of the key features of the IWMS, according to Dancik Technical Sales Consultant Greg McClelland. “It provides management with a high level of metrics on each warehouse employee’s productivity and accuracy. The system logs everywhere they’ve been, what they’ve scanned and the time,” he said. “Users cannot override it. Just taking a minute of time off each route adds up. And equally as critical is accuracy in pulling the right product for each customer order. It can be a real incentive for a warehouse team if management chooses to tie those factors into performance bonuses or a higher pay scale.”

Using the Dancik IWMS, Abraham Linc has “had a huge impact in just a few years — not only on our bottom line but also our customer service,” Marra said.

Marra was complementary of the Dancik implementation and customer service team. “When we implemented IWMS, Dancik personnel came to our operations for about three days 2-3 days of in-house training,” he said. “In addition to group training sessions, each of our team had individual time with the Dancik trainers to ask questions, go over any concerns they had and give them confidence to use the system.

“While no one likes change, the IWMS was very well received by our staff,” Marra went on to say. “Some of our veteran employees were among those most excited about the new system. That was surprising to us, since we thought they would have the hardest time adapting to a new way of performing their tasks. We credit them, and the Dancik personnel, for handling the implementation so smoothly.”

Dancik Strategic Account Manager Steve Magann noted that with the purchase of an IWMS, customers receive three years of service. Following that period, there is a monthly fee for service. “All of our customer support is done in-house and is live,” Magann said. “Customers have direct phone numbers and emails for support — they don’t go through a switchboard. Account managers like me help escalate and track the response to customers’ service needs. It’s very much a family environment; our team knows our customers by name and provide personalized service when they need assistance.”

Marra added, “Our account manager is always available, and we deal with customer support personnel that we’ve known for years who quickly respond to our needs. Our service and support has been very good.”

“The link”

Formerly known as Preston Carpet Distributors, when Darren Abraham purchased the company in 1988 he changed its name to Abraham Linc to emphasize how seriously they take their role as the “link” between suppliers and customers.

Abraham is close to marking 30 years at the helm of the company, and according to Marra, many of the staff have been with the company for 10, 15 or 20 years — or longer. “That speaks to the culture of the company, which stems from the top down,” he said. “Our owner’s leadership style is one of the main reasons for the longevity of our staff. And having that type of environment translates into excellent customer service from everyone who touches our customers from the executive level through our drivers.

“Our goal is to enable our customers to satisfy their customers, which earns them — and us — repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Our customers’ success is our success. And that means we’re doing our job.”