Before September '94 new product launches by Albuquerque NM-based Bueno Foods meant a lot of labor-intensive experimenting. That's how it determined the best quantity and packing pattern for products going into a corrugated shipping case and for stacking those cases onto a pallet. In the past a separate case was used for each different product size and variety. Inventorying all these case blanks required considerable warehouse space. Saying no mas the Mexican food producer turned to Advanced Logistics Systems' (Roche Harbor WA) Advanced Pack And Stack(TM) software to upgrade its cartoning and palletizing operations. Bueno Foods has introduced some 30 new products since first using the software. And the early returns show a $3 labor savings and a 15% drop in the number of corrugated shippers plus an equivalent amount of space freed up in the 78-sq-ft facility. "In the past we did everything by hand" says Jason Gauna Bueno's warehouse manager. "We packed pouches or cups into a box and measured out how many we wanted in the box. Then we'd give those dimensions to the box maker. If it didn't work we had to have new boxes made. And once we had the proper case size we'd stack cases onto a pallet and restack them until we got the best configuration. It used to take us about 15 man-hours to do all of this. With the software we do it all in an hour or less." Guana says the software also has allowed Bueno Foods to reduce the number of individual corrugated cases required by 15%. "It's difficult to put a dollar figure on these savings because we have so many stockkeeping units. But we've been able to reduce the number of cases by often configuring them so that different products of like sizes and similar quantities can use the same case. Using fewer cases not only cuts our costs but the reduced inventory also saves us space in our warehouse."