Using Leanware, Ponsse improved in-house logistics to match growth goals

For several years now, the production numbers of the world’s leading forestry machine design and manufacturing business Ponsse Oyj have been growing. Excellent understanding of customers, knowhow and technological innovations guarantee that the Finnish machines are exported at an increasing rate. The growth-oriented company wanted to make the in-house logistics of the Vieremä factory more efficient. A solution was mapped out in cooperation with Leanware: how Ponnse could achieve the best possible in-house logistics, and what sort of numeric goals should be set.

The development of Ponsse’s in-house logistics was begun in the fall of 2016. Teija Pesonen, Development Engineer at Ponsse Oyj, was the project manager of the in-house logistics project. The process development of the entire supply chain was also part of her job description.

“Together with Leanware, we have been building a system, in which assembly is done with the guidance of in-house logistics and it also becomes the operative tool for warehouse staff. Previously, warehouse staff were guided by a separate mobile application that was connected to the ERP,” Pesonen says.

Pesonen emphasizes that consulting Leanware before the automation of in-house logistics and the warehouse management project was a huge help to Ponsse when mapping out an efficient overview of in-house logistics, thinking of possibilities and finally improving the current situation. At the beginning of the cooperation, the business-based goals of the project were defined.

“We, as a company want to grow, and we recognized that our in-house logistics needed improvement. It has to serve production and bring efficiency to material handling instances. In addition, we sought even better quality for assembly work, which is finally also seen by our customers.”

Ponsse Oyj in-house logistics development goals:

  • Quality of material deliveries
  • Faultlessness – balance accuracy, picking accuracy
  • Transparent in-house logistics, more efficient use of resources
  • A real-time view of the entire supply chain

Logistical requirements were derived directly from Ponsse’s strategy

Leanware’s CEO Janne Viinikkala was a consultant on the project and also part of the steering group. He describes Ponsse’s starting situation as follows:

“In the beginning, the facilities reserved for Ponsse’s in-house logistics were not the best possible. They were cramped and located in the middle of production. The processes were manual. We had previously worked together with Ponsse on the Iisalmi warehouse logistics center project. The customer wanted the Vieremä factory to receive a similar warehouse and logistics as Iisalmi during the project,” Viinikkala says.

According to him, the result of the consulting work was the shared understanding that the amount of performances in factory logistics and warehouse logistics are not the same and therefore the same solutions would not work.

“In good cooperation with Ponsse we transferred strategic requirements to logistical requirements. The need for facilities and performances showed the way for the in-house logistics development project,” Janne Viinikkala says.

Leanware reviewed the size of the warehouse and the number of performances in accordance with the company’s growth plans. At the same time, the material delivery to the assembly cell was mapped out. During the consultation, three general cargo handling strategies were chosen:

  1. Plastic box for delivering material from the supplier
  2. Euro-pallet with a stack of pallet collars
  3. Items requiring separate handling (that are too big to fit into the aforementioned)

“Ponsse had had many different material handling strategies, even part-specific ones. As a result of the consulting, the material flow was made much clearer and easier to manage. The concepts of main material flow and side material flow were introduced,” Viinikkala says.

The aforementioned handling strategies enabled the use of material automation. From various automation options, a combination of shuttle and ASRS was chosen.

Silent information put to use

Ponsse began renewing its in-house logistics with Leanware in the fall of 2016. In April 2018, it has been four weeks since the implementation of LeanwareWMS and it is still in the start-up phase. According to Ponsse’s Teija Pesonen, the start-up phase has gone well.

“This has been a very typical start-up. Along with the system change we also got new facilities here at Vieremä. Sure, there is a lot to do, but the beginning looks promising. Already in the early stages of consultation, we were able to tell that having a long-term working relationship with Leanware has provided our cooperation with a great sense of depth. Leanware knows how to use the information it gets from us, and they bring a lot of their own expertise to our team. As it should be,” Pesonen says.

According to Pesonen, the silent information of the employees was brought forward by the consultation and future areas of improvement are thus known and documented.

Read more:Ponsse’s factory extension in Vieremä

Ponsse Oyj was established in 1970. Ponsse is the world’s leading forest machinery manufacturer, with operations still guided by the needs and desires of its customers, forest machine operators. Products manufactured by Ponsse widely satisfy the numerous demands set by machine entrepreneurs all over the world seeking efficient harvesting means.