Items have fixed warehouse locations and are picked based on orders, and picking is done using paper picking lists. Manual operations, inaccurate stock balances and mixed modes of operation eat up resources and cause aggravation. Sound familiar?
“There were several picking areas and the real work situation could only be gauged by visiting the area and looking at the thickness of the picking list stack. There simply wasn’t any more competitiveness to be gotten out of the manual processes,” says tool and supply business market leader Würth’s Head of Logistics Terhi Vesala about the typical starting situation.
For its logistics processes, Würth decided to acquire an operative system that was compatible with the current IT infra and was specialized in logistics.
“After mapping out the potential system suppliers, we chose LeanwareWMS as our warehouse management solution. Leanwareans are professionals, who are familiar with logistics processes and terms. It was easy for them to understand what we wanted, and they were also able to deliver it.”
Improving picking efficiency was set as the primary goal of the project. The challenge was solved with a clear user interface, sensible picking bunching and a special picking process for product-specific picking of full boxes. Additionally, route-specific departure time management and picking prioritization was implemented.
“The customers can see the change primarily in the improved delivery reliability and speed. Thanks to the routes, we can now provide different supply break times in accordance with departure times. At the same time, we gained traceability right from receiving and batch monitoring to best before dates,” Vesala says.
LeanwareWMS now manages all warehouse processes right from receiving to warehousing, restocking and handling of goods to be dispatched. It also manages production orders. According to Vesala, the most important improvement is that the whole operation can now be seen from a single system.
“The manageability and visibility of the warehouse processes have improved significantly. We are now able to see the status of operational procedures in real time and are able to react to them quickly, ensuring daily delivery reliability. Thanks to the system, we now also have better facilities for developing logistics further,” Vesala says.
According to Vesala’s experience, the prerequisite for the success of other similar projects has been that the customer knows their starting situation and its demands well. Goals must be kept clear during the entire project, and they shouldn’t be compromised on. There are also a lot of demands directed at the supplier.
“Leanware was committed to the project. We built a concept that worked from day one.”
Items had fixed warehouse locations and were picked based on orders, and picking was done using paper picking lists. Manual operations, inaccurate stock balances and mixed modes of operation ate up resources.
The challenge was solved with a clear user interface, sensible picking bunching and a special picking process for product-specific picking of full boxes. Additionally, route-specific departure time management and picking prioritization was implemented. Additionally, all necessary integrations were implemented in the SAP system.
Würth Oy is the Finnish subsidiary of the German Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG. The turnover of the business, which specializes in tools and supplies, was 241 MEUR in 2013 and it had more than 1,100 employees. Globally, the group operates in 84 countries, its turnover is 9.75 billion euros and it has 64,000 employees.