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Warehouse Management System cuts lead times, improves accuracy

Keeping consumers happy is not easy. In a world where few are willing to wait, retailers are under pressure to deliver goods faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Amidst growing consumer demand-supply chains are being pushed to the absolute limit to ensure they can operate not only faster and more reliably, but also more cost-effectively.

 

 

Food Lovers Market (FLM) does have an existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system but the flow of goods was not optimised from the distribution centre (DC) to the various stores and back. FLM required improved stock management and stock visibility model that would bring integration and optimization to the warehouse ultimately allowing for better stock prediction, management and flow.

 

Operating in a fiercely competitive environment FLM opted to use Forte Warehouse Solutions as the third-party project manager for ADOR4, in regard to the implementation of the WMS as they act as the bridge between the clients’ expectation and the software development house.

 

There were several challenges identified at the start of the project that kicked off in 2015 already. First and foremost was the hardware and infrastructure that needed to be addressed. It is essential that a DC can cater for the functionality of the equipment ADOR4 functions on. At the same time, one must not lose sight that such implementations bring about big changes for any organisation and its employees. Therefore, managing that process is integral to the success of it all. We had to make sure that everyone across the warehouse understood the plan and process and that change management took place from a user level.

This all had to be done without impacting the trade environment at all – meaning there was no shutdown of one system and then an introduction of the new one. It had to be done without interruption of operations.

With ADOR4 providing the development experience with a lot of background work took place as well. Thorough user acceptance testing and dry runs were done before the first DC was moved onto ADOR4.

 

FLM run a combination of departments in each DC and the requirement was that all the divisions would operate ADOR4 to cater for the specific requirements within each department.

 

ADOR4 had to be adjusted for such scenarios as well as the various critical requirements within each department. Most of the success was in the adaptability of ADOR4 and how extremely relevant and workable the system is on the ground level.

 

The benefits have been incredible. Store lead times are down with up to 50% while picking per store is down from an average of 5.5 hours to less than an hour. Picking accuracy, in turn, has increased by 45%.

 

Staff are trained, assessed and retrained as and when required. Thanks to the process knowledge and the dedicated teams we were able to develop and test the software several times before implementation leading to fewer bugs and a more effective process all round.