Hesburger’s logistics center went digital – WMS increased efficiency and decreased mistakes

Until a few years ago, daily paper juggling was still the norm at the Hesburger logistics center (Hes-Pro Finland Oy) in Kaarina. The LeanwareWMS that was implemented in the spring of 2016 provided Hesburger with a clear, real-time overview of warehouse balances and operations, thanks to which operations are now more transparent and efficient, and resources are saved for productive work.

“The printer was going day and night and the papers were organized into stacks according to weekdays and pickers. When an additional order came, the question was always ‘who has the original order’ and ‘how can the additional order be appended to it’. Now management can see directly on screen where each order and picker is travelling. We can use the control display to combine orders and prioritize pickings. The picker now makes the row changes on the tablet while picking, when before row changes had to be separately input into the computer. So many work phases are left out of the process,” Hesburger’s Logistics Manager Vesa Lehmuskallio describes.

“Once we got rid of the paperwork, we were able to save a lot of time from unnecessary and unproductive work and focus on relevant work.” Vesa Lehmuskallio, Hesburger

The electronic system has made the processes not only more efficient, but also more reliable, as the mistakes caused by manual work and human error have been minimized.

“Manual markings can be read and also input incorrectly. Before we managed the warehouse with pen and paper, and the chance for errors was greater than it is now. No system is completely fault free, but mistakes have decreased significantly after the implementation of the WMS,” says Vesa Lehmuskallio.

Clear savings already in 18 months

As a result of Leanware’s and Hesburger’s cooperation, Hesburger’s logistics center in Kaarina now has a digitalized picking process and warehouse management, and paperwork has successfully been eliminated. Hesburger’s other main goals for the electronic warehouse management system were to decrease work hours, improve efficiency and minimize errors. Hesburger’s Factory Manager Esa Tiistola says that clear results can already be seen.

“The system enables us to grow by comprehensively making operations clearer. From our profit calculations, we can see that even though the steps are small, the direction is right and clear, and numerical savings can already be seen. The system is still being developed and tailored to be better and more in tune with our needs. We are sure to reach even better profits in the future,” Tiistola says.

Leanware and Hesburger are going to develop the system continuously after implementation to better take into account the special features of the Hesburger logistics center. Together with a Leanware specialist, Hesburger is mapping out development points, and the software is being tailored and configured in accordance with the needs that arise.

“Leanware actively brings forth solutions and features that have proven to be effective for other customers. The conversation is open, and it provides us with development ideas. I like the fact that the selling is not pushy, but honest and realistic.” Heli Hagelberg, Project Manager, Hesburger

Tailored LeanwareWMS brings reliability and traceability to production

Attached to the logistics center, Hesburger has its main warehouse and production facilities for sauces and salad processing. Together with Leanware, an automatic reception was tailored for the production line conveyor system, which has decreased uncertain and time-consuming manual work.

“Before, the manufacturing process was input into the computer after the shift, and the balances weren’t real-time. We had to trust the counters of the machines, so there may have been mistakes. The new system has improved operational reliability, as batches always go as full stacks and the balances and date information are automatically transferred in real time to the LeanwareWMS,” says Hesburger’s Production Manager Jari Kivelä.

The automation system makes products more easily traceable, which makes reclamation handling and possible recall situations quicker and easier to handle.

Staff involved in change

Resources are saved also when it comes to onboarding new employees, as the newcomer need not memorize things the system will guide them to do.

“Previously, a picker needed to know where in the warehouse a certain item was located, but now the location of the item and picking routes can be seen directly from the terminal. This makes onboarding much easier and faster. Before, it took about one week to onboard a newcomer. Now one day is enough,” Logistics Foreman Pasi Piironen says.

“For many long-time employees, warehouse operations were already in the backbone. When you are changing something familiar, it will always cause worries and even resistance. LeanwareWMS has, however, proven to be a welcome alternative to the old paperwork.

Now that we have worked with the new system for almost two years, no-one from our staff wants to return to the old method. They consider it a positive change and see the comprehensive benefits the system brings. The change has been a good and important matter for the entire work community. The staff’s skills have improved, and they have better prerequisites for using the modern electronic tools of the warehouse business.” Vesa Lehmuskallio, Hesburger

This is how the system saves time:

  • A real-time view over warehouse operations helps position staff resources correctly
  • Additional orders can be managed directly on one screen
  • Row changes are done while picking and not afterwards on the computer
  • Due to the better traceability of products, the handling of reclamations is quicker
  • Mistakes and the time spent correcting them decreases
  • Picking is more straightforward when the system provides picking routes
  • There is no need to search for products
  • Faster onboarding
  • Production batch information is transferred automatically to the WMS, meaning less manual work.

Hesburger has over the years expanded its operations to be nationwide and has brought its delicious food within the reach of almost every Finn. In recent years, the successful concept has also gained a significant footing abroad. Currently, Hesburger restaurants can be found in nine countries..