New WMS for Candy Warehouse

Things have been pretty sweet for the Candy Warehouse operation in recent years.

For one, the candy merchant moved into a new 33,600-sq.-ft. facility in El Segundo, CA, at the end of 2009.

And now, after 20% sales growth in 2010, Candy Warehouse has signed a contract for a new ecommerce and enterprise resource planning system, according to company president/founder Chris Pratt.

Pratt says the company is going with Microsoft Dynamics Navision for the ERP and warehouse management system, and VLC Solutions for the implementation. The new system will launch in August, he says.

Candy Warehouse has been using an inhouse, paper-based system, Pratt says, with XML feeds, PERL scripts, and QuickBooks accounting. What functionality will the new system provide that the previous one didn’t?

Pratt says the WMS will include a new accounting, purchasing, and planning system; warehouse pick, pack, and ship with wireless barcode readers and notebook computers for warehouse automation; kitting and barcode printing capability; address validation on all shipments and full PCI compliance for payment security plus PayPal integration.

Other functions include content management and email marketing, full inventory status integration with the website, web analytics and “search-andising” capability, and a complex shipping calculator for perishable products based on integration with weather and temperature forecasts.

Microsoft Dynamics Nav, which Pratt says will cost about $700,000 including implementation, also has the ability to block access to the website from the continents of Africa and South America to avoid security hassles.

Founded in 1998, Candy Warehouse sells to businesses and individuals and now carries more than 5,000 varieties of candy and related products. Its annual sales were $7.7 million in 2008, $8.9 million in 2009, and $10.7 million in 2010, according to Pratt.