Investing in warehouse management software instead of automation

At XO Metal, a contract manufacturing company, staff had grown tired of wasting time looking for goods. The first option the company explored was to purchase a warehouse automation system, but instead the company decided to seek expert help from Leanware and warehouse management system (WMS) software.

“We initially considered a warehouse automation system, but it was deemed unnecessary at this stage. The software has met that need.” – Petri Niinimäki, Managing Director, XO Metal

Sales Manager Simo Tirkkonen of Leanware points out that sometimes a functional problem is solved with machines or equipment, despite lighter solutions being possible. Tirkkonen recommends consulting a specialist first to decide on what to invest in and in what order to carry out the changes. In many cases, the most sensible way to start a change is to improve processes and their control, then manage the space more flexibly, and only then consider automation solutions.

It is not the biggest operator in its field, but XO Metal is determined to be the best, and right from the start of the collaboration with Leanware it was clear that the company had found a partner that could help them meet their needs.

“Leanware Oy is an ideal partner for both small and large companies.” – Simo Tirkkonen, Sales Manager, Leanware

A clear advantage from software

The development work started with warehouse control for finished goods, which helped XO Metal to meet customer’s exacting demands and also reduced manual work in the warehouse. Products can be found more quickly, so less time is needed to collect and deliver orders. During the partnership with Leanware, XO Metal’s turnover has grown from around 7 million euros to over 10 million.

“In the finished goods warehouse, the software brings a clear multiple advantage. Now that it’s in use, no one would give it away.” – Petri Niinimäki, Managing Director, XO Metal

Since the software had such a clear advantage in the finished goods warehouse, the good results inspired the company to use it in the component warehouse as well. The advantage of the software is that it can be customized and extended to different parts of the operations.

“The software is now up and running, and it’s been really good and is configured to suit us.” – Petri Niinimäki, Managing Director, XO Metal

As a satisfied customer, XO Metal has extended its partnership with Leanware Oy by also building a manufacturing execution system (MES). The purpose of this system is to make it quicker and easier to know the stage and timing of the manufacturing process for each product, and to improve transparency in production.

More efficient collection and stock balance accuracy

One of the goals for the project was that XO Metal would be able to deliver more orders faster, which would also further improve customer satisfaction. Leanware’s solution provides XO Metal with improved collection and stock balance accuracy, and makes operations more efficient. This avoids wasted time searching for components, and saves time overall. The software upgrade will support XO Metal’s strong growth by enabling the company to operate more efficiently and make better use of its human resources.


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Simo Tirkkonen