Relationship Focus: Educational Development Corporation
Educational Development Corporation is a publisher of children’s books based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since the 1970s, EDC has sold award-winning books from Usborne and Kane Miller to retailers or directly to customers.
From 2015 to 2016, EDC saw rapid growth in sales from $35 million to $105 million. The company needed to expand their operations due to limited capacity. Hytrol and the integration partner were there to help.
“You know when you have that kind of growth, it’s not like next week you snap your fingers and you put in a system that will handle that volume,” Randall White, Chief Executive Officer of EDC explains. “I had the confidence in the company, had the confidence in our two partners. I just believed. I believed that we were doing the right thing and I love the results.”
After careful planning, EDC moved their operations into a new, much larger facility. The company started with one pick line and quickly added a second and third.
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Information Technology Craig White said EDC changed their operations to a divert system after receiving recommendations from the integration partner.
The divert system utilizes EZLogic® to take color-coded cartons to pickers, increasing efficiency. Large orders are diverted to a specified pick line while smaller orders in blue and red totes are diverted to two different areas.
Sensors detect when a packer has sufficient work in their area and diverts them to the next available packer creating a more efficient process. A lighting system and alarm were also added to alert an employee if a package has stayed too long in one area.
This system allowed EDC to go from processing 3,000 to 4,000 orders per day to upwards of 14,000. Processing one package now takes about one hour compared to three hours in the previous system.
“It certainly increased our lines per hour in picking by around 40% and increased our pack out by around 30%,” EDC Operations Manager Jimmy Cleveland said. The ability to pick more lines per hour significantly increased the company’s output, according to Cleveland.
Once picking is completed, Hytrol conveyors transport the packages to void fill stations before they are moved to trucks on a flexible conveyor.
Implementation of the new system contributed to volume growth for EDC while also limiting their need for multiple shifts. The system drove down errors from 7% in 2016 to less than 2% by 2018.
Hytrol’s ongoing support in areas of maintenance and training aids in keeping EDC’s operation running at peak performance.
“Using the Hytrol products we’ve had virtually no downtime,” said Craig White. “Whatever downtime we do have we’re able to resolve very quickly not only with our integration partner, they’re very close and can help, but we now have maintenance guys on staff that can get the system up and running very quickly as well.”
Maintenance personnel with EDC traveled to Jonesboro and attended one of the various training seminars offered by Hytrol for the benefit of end users and integration partners.
“They came back with a wealth of information,” Cleveland said. “They laid out a [preventative maintenance] plan and had just a very fundamental understanding of how the system works, how the conveyor works, and how the EZLogic system works.” EDC plans on sending more of their employees back to Hytrol for further training.
As the company forecasts more growth in the future, Hytrol and the integration partner continue to provide the best support to meet their needs.
“We think that we can increase our sales to $150 million within a year,” said Randall White. “So, you can only do that with people that are reliable and their product works and they’ll work with you. So, it’s kind of a win-win for both of us we think and couldn’t be happier with the people we chose to help build our business.”