“We implemented WMS just before the Christmas sales and I remember one day we had a lot of orders coming in. Normally it would have taken our warehouse a whole day to process that many orders, but after two hours everything was picked and packed. I knew then that the system would quickly pay for itself.” Lars S. Sørensen, CEO of Eventyrsport, explains.
Eventyrsport sells clothing and equipment for active outdoor life, both in physical stores and in their large online shop. In 2016, they decided it was time to introduce a dedicated WMS to optimise the warehouse.
Storage on track
Companies trading in textiles know the challenge of optimising warehouse locations. Each style is available in several colours, and each colour comes in several sizes, so there may be a need to group either sizes or colours in locations. Eventyrsport had their WMS configured so they have styles and colors in different locations, but with mixed sizes.
Storage has been optimised by the warehouse employee using the hand terminal to scan and receive instructions on which box to place the item in. Each style and colour goes in the same box, so it’s quick to stock. The employee can simply listen to the tone the hand terminal plays at each scan, as long as it is an item to be put in the same box, he will get an ok sound, but if he scans a different item type, a warning sound will be played.
When the box is filled, the hand terminal tells it which trolley to go on, so boxes that need to be stored in the same hall are placed on the same trolley. This ensures efficient storage.
Many types of pick
WMS7 offers many different picking routines, and at Eventyrsport the picking routine that best suits the items released for picking is used. For example, single orders are picked with batch picking, mixed orders with multipicking and large items such as canoes as single picking.
Don’t underestimate the time involved
Lars S. Sørensen from Eventyrsport knew that it would require a dedicated employee for the process to go smoothly. “We knew that we would not be able to dedicate the necessary time to the project ourselves, so we chose to hire an IT consultant with good experience in WMS. It was worth its weight in gold. He was involved in the selection phase, the testing phase and the implementation phase. He made sure to train super users among our staff and got our warehouse structured optimally to introduce good picking practices.”
When a company introduces WMS, many are surprised by the amount of time that needs to be spent on internal processes. Kristian Andersen, WMS Manager at Tecsys explains, “When a warehouse is going from paper-based picking to WMS-driven picking, you will see barcodes everywhere. This is how we keep track of goods, locations, pick trucks, pick boxes and packing stations. It takes some work for a company to get everything labelled up correctly, and of course the system only works when the labelling is set up correctly.”