24 March 2017
A wholesaler with a European network of dealers/sale points (200+) and its own outlets (15+).
Strong growth in recent years was putting pressure on the company’s existing supply chain. That plus its six decentralised warehouses, each with their own way of working, and an out-of-date WMS software were increasing the risk of mistakes and creating inefficiencies. What’s more, an incremental increase in e-commerce activities meant no structured approach to the e-commerce supply chain. Too long delivery lead times during peak periods on the website were the result. The company decided to relocate to a new distribution centre (DC) and implement a new warehouse management system (WMS) to rectify the situation.
The company’s owner asked Gwynt to manage the start-up of and transition to the new DC, which included the implementation of a new WMS. We adopted a tight approach to the project management. Each of the different work flows had to focus continually on deadlines and quality control by drawing up an issue list and managing priorities during the start-up phase.
In addition to the project-based approach, we challenged management to consider the various ways of setting up the warehouse and WMS and decide on the best option, as well as testing and validating WMS functionalities. An important success factor of implementing a project of this size is enabling employees to work in new ways and with new systems, so we helped formulate a new organisation structure, draw up a communication and training plan, and we oversaw an extensive handover.
The start-up of the new DC and its WMS was a success. The company has seen a significant reduction in logistical complexity and costs. The professional web-picking operation can now handle peak volumes and offer 24-hour deliveries even during the holidays. All stakeholders were informed swiftly and sufficiently concerning the transition and new working methods.