Northern Apex RFID Corporation

American Woodmark Corporation, Wins Innovation Award of Excellence at APICS 2015

Chris DePrisco - Monday, October 19, 2015


American Woodmark APICS Award

Northern Apex Corporation congratulates American Woodmark Corporation, on winning the Innovation Award of Excellence at APICS 2015. Northern Apex designed and integrated the enterprise wide, RFID solution that earned this award. APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain and operations management. The awards were awarded in Las Vegas.  

American Woodmark is a nationwide manufacturer of home cabinets that had the foresight in 2010 to begin their initial production implementation of Northern Apex’s CabineTRACK™ solution powered by Impinj’s Speedway Revolution™ fixed readers. At its core, CabineTrack™ is a component level tracking and information management system from Northern Apex to improve visibility into cabinet component movements. The system continues to deliver return on American Woodmark’s investment by having successfully reduced cycle count labor by nearly two-thirds and significantly increasing accuracy of those inventory counts. The Northern Apex solution leads to highly robust peak performance for the American Woodmark team. 

American Woodmark manufactures KCMA-certified cabinets under four major brands for remodeling and new home construction. A nationwide network of homebuilders, independent dealers and distributors as well as Lowe’s and Home Depot sell the cabinets. The company had over 136,000 key components at the base item level without any onboard identification. The items were identified by sight and manually entered into an ERP system per transaction. American Woodmark’s Senior Project Management Team knew that the inaccurate transactional activity and limited visibility within the manufacturing processes were resulting in component shortages, backorders, and inefficiencies.

Northern Apex understood the need for an RFID tagging solution to provide a component identification solution that was invisible to customers, not damaged or defaced by normal cabinet processing steps and automatically readable in key American Woodmark processes. After an extensive review process, American Woodmark chose Northern Apex and its CabineTRACK™ solution, designed specifically for cabinetmakers. The American Woodmark team expected the system to reduce cycle count labor and improve accuracy, decrease training hours for transactional activity and provide visibility to track doors throughout the manufacturing process. The team indicates that all of these objectives have been realized. 

The Northern Apex products used in the implementation leverage the Impinj technology. The implementation includes the Dorado 400 Visibility Station, Hercules 2400- Quality Base Unit, Portal Scanning Systems, and Cycle Counting Carts. The Speedway Revolution™ reader is a 900 MHz reader that offers Autopilot, which automatically configures and adapts to new and changing environments. 

American Woodmark has deployed the Northern Apex system in multiple of their own facilities in seven different states. The company’s deployment started with cabinet doors and expanded to drawer fronts, which at present run rates, utilize millions of SmarTrac Monza based inlays per year. The supply chain migrated to include several upstream vendors with factories in 5 US states, China, Mexico and Europe in 2016. Plans are in the works to continue into other areas of value within their production and supply chain operations.

 

 

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