Long Beach-Based Royal 4 Steps Ahead In Automating Distribution Centers
April 29, 2011 2 Comments
by Tiffany Rider, Staff Writer
An international warehouse management software development company, which works in 30 different industry sectors and helps mega-distributors organize shipments to retailers like Wal-Mart, calls Long Beach home.
Jess Noguera, founder and chief executive officer of Royal 4 Systems, founded the company in 1984. His business is software, consumer technical support, implementation, training and ongoing technical support for large wholesale distributors and manufacturing companies. “Most of our customers have large distribution centers, some up to one million square feet in size,” Noguera says.
Royal 4’s business is the development of enterprise supply chain software at its international headquarters in the Long Beach Airport Business Center at 5000 E. Spring St. The software is sold nationally in physical and electronic form through a direct sales force and uses sales agents, business partners and resellers globally. Noguera says a significant part of their service is consumer technical support, which is provided globally from its headquarters, other U.S. locations and offices in Mexico.
Royal 4’s Warehouse Management Software System, called WISE, automates the operation of such distribution centers using bar code equipment, eliminating the need for a paper trail. In conjunction with Royal 4 software systems, the company also sells Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID), like the bar code scanner you might see at a grocery.
Noguera says the RIFDs are portable and can beam the product’s barcode in the warehouses as they’re being put on forklifts. “It’s a very effective way to run a warehouse with a 99.9 percent accuracy of the inventory,” he says. Japan’s largest tire company, Toyo Tires, informed Royal 4 that in one year it lost only one tire – out of millions of tires – thanks to the effective software. “They are able to know where all the products are at any given time where very few people can be very efficient and run a big operation,” he says.
Worldwide, the company employs about 85 people in sales and support, with about 30 individuals on the Royal 4 payroll in Long Beach, including all senior staff. Noguera says he chose to headquarter the business in Long Beach due to its proximity to the San Pedro Bay Ports, the entry point of goods manufactured in China and other Far East countries, as well as its proximity to freeways and the Los Angeles, Long Beach and John Wayne airports.
Royal 4 customers are spread out across the Americas, as well as in Europe, Australia, South Africa and in The Netherlands, where Royal 4 is using the industry’s first voice recognition technology to automate the distribution center of a supermarket chain of about 80 markets in The Netherlands, allowing employees to input the product in a database hands free. VCD, the largest software company in The Netherlands, is in partnership with Royal 4 for the software distribution.
The company has recently begun using mobile technology, which means the unit does not have to be within range of the radio frequency to inventory product. It can come in through the Internet or through a cell phone. “We also are one of the few companies that have developed functionalities for the warehouse systems using mobile technology,” Noguera says.
Noguera, who is originally from Spain, began in the industry developing information systems for Northrop Grumman. The company sent Noguera to Spain for about 18 months to help build the F-5 tactical fighter jet, and upon his return he began working for a small subcontractor with Boeing in Torrance. In 1972, Noguera says there was a bit of a recession in the aerospace industry so he got approval to start a service bureau, which became “a fairly good business.” He eventually partnered with another company and spun it off as Royal 4, initially providing a microcomputer and software to companies for business operations.
Noguera earned a bachelor of science in aeronautical and electrical engineering from the Northrup Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in systems engineering and management sciences from West Coast University in Los Angeles.