Mountfield - Czech Republic
“Without WMS, future development of our business activities would be impossible”, says Lukáš Roučka, the logistics Division Manager of the biggest European retailer specializing in selling garden machinery, swimming pools and garden and household equipment in Europe. He is not exaggerating.
Mountfield was founded in 1991. It has built a network of 74 stores and a similar number of service and swimming pool centres in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Extension of the product portfolio and sales network necessitated logistic facilities expansion and modernisation of the logistic processes. In autumn 2013 Mountfield started to implement a warehouse management system in the existing warehouse. On top of that, an additional warehouse was constructed nearby six months later with the same WMS implementation
Implementation in off-peak season
Cooperation with KODYS started back in 2011. At that time the user was starting to consider a WMS system. They were using paper issue slips for the purpose of warehouse management. All good in and shipping documents were processed manually and entered retrospectively into their ERP system. The MS Dynamics NAV ERP Warehouse Management module supported logistic processes. “The ERP system did not offer the functionalities required for our planned logistic processes modernisation, and the warehouse management module overloaded the system. Our aim was to introduce an external solution that would support the required functionalities and logistics development”, says Lukáš Roučka. Using paper documents limited further expansion. The company was struggling with error rates and inventory inaccuracies.
WMS implementation was planned during the off peak season. KODYS, the winner of the tender, needed less than 3 months to implement the project. Thanks to long years of experience with the solution, integration of Accellos WMS into the existing ERP system ran smoothly. Fast implementation of a warehouse management system was possible also thanks to the fact that the client’s team was well-prepared and provided excellent assistance to our staff.
Warehouse space increased by 60%
Mountfield supplies its stores and service centres from two central warehouse buildings situated in the logistic park in Strančice. Spare parts, small items and the swimming pool product range are stored in the building of the original main warehouse having an area of 9,200 m2.
The new warehouse of 14,600 m2 is used to store fast moving large-sized goods, such as garden machinery, heaters or furniture. Its capacity is 16,800 pallet positions. The new warehouse is a modern crossdock centre with goods in ramps and a despatch zone. It includes working stations with packing machines to ship on pallets to individual branches. Kodys installed 58 Motorola MC9190 terminals and WMS Accellos licences, as well as twelve Zebra ZT410 label printers. The server communicates with the terminals through a wireless Motorola RFS6000 network comprising 30 access points.
The database has about 30,000 SKUs with the overwhelming majority consisting of spare parts; the number of bespoke sales units reaches approx. 1,500 pieces.
The distribution centre prides itself on high throughput: in the peak season warehouse operators receive 1,200 pallets (approx. 40 trucks) on average daily and approximately the same number of pallets leave the warehouse every day. About 50 operators work in the warehouse in total; up to 20 agency workers assist them in the peak season, when the number of shipments grows by up to 300%. Thanks to an intuitive interface, work with the mobile terminals is easily understandable also to temporary workers and they learn very quickly to work as fast and reliably as salaried employees.
Future solution development
The WMS implementation has made warehouse throughput radically faster. With respect to work with WMS, the stacking process is very simple and quick; the user placed big emphasis on that requirement in the tender specification. The implemented system has made picking and stock taking faster and more accurate, while the user has gained real-time information about the stock levels. Thanks to better effectiveness of the logistical processes, the older warehouse could switch to one shift operation. However, it is quite hard to quantify the increase of effectiveness of the logistical processes, as the product range has grown considerably since the new warehouse was opened. “A year ago an average order included 80 items; it is 111 today. The product range has expanded by 50 items in only a few months”, says Lukáš Roučka. He sees transparency of logistic processes and easy planning as the main advantage. “A quick look at the list of orders for a particular day gives us a clear view of the number of workers required for their processing. WMS enables us to allocate an optimal number of operators to specific orders and provides us with an effective tool for controlling their productivity”. Another benefit of the system is the possibility to collect and analyse key operational data.
WMS Accellos is a highly modular solution that can be extended by additional functionalities easily based on the user’s needs. After a year of successful employment, the Mounfield management has a vision for future development of the solution. They are considering extension of the system to stores and implementation of a planning and loading management module.
Lukáš Roučka, Logistics Manager, Moutfield, assesses the benefits brought by Accellos One Warehouse: “WMS enables us to allocate an optimal number of operators to specific orders and provides us with an effective tool for controlling their productivity”.