ASKO a.s. has been active on the market since 1991 and is a leading company in the wood-processing industry. It deals with both Czech and foreign customer. At present it occupies the leading position among wooden material distributors in the Czech Republic. The firm has a turnover in excess of one billion and has more than 100 employees. Some of its largest customers represent “hobby markets”, e.g. Hornbach, OBI and Baumarkt. ASKO also delivers wood to many construction companies and traders. The registered office of the company is in Prague 10 Uhříněves where there is the main warehouse site with an area of over 17,000 m2, where the KODYS Accellos WMS managed warehouse was implemented.
“Thanks to Accellos we really have detailed stock information in the warehouse”, says Ing. Kamila Pichrtová, IT and Logistics Manager ASKO a.s. “We can easily find out everything about the status and the flow of goods. It enables us to respond faster to the requirements of our customers.”
Requirement: to resolve problems caused by the increase in the volume of goods in the warehouse by using information systems
Due to the continual growth of goods which ASKO stores and distributes, it was necessary to make the warehouse record-keeping system more effective and to implement automatic control of the warehouse process, the preparation of goods and dispatching. This situation occurred in cases where a large volume of goods passing through the warehouse would prevent experienced warehouse keepers from remembering the storage areas for individual goods. The main objective was to increase efficiency, decrease the error rate, improve accuracy, and implement traceability.
Solution: implement the Accellos WMS warehouse control system
KODYS was able to provide not only the delivery of equipment, but a comprehensive service which included the requirement for the development of software, data linkage to existing ERP (Helios Green) and the subsequent support and service. The KODYS solution was based on the implementation of the Accellos WMS warehouse management system, wireless networks, MC9060-G mobile terminals with WiFi communication and Zebra Z4M and Z6M thermal-transfer barcode printers.
How does the system work in practice?
At the time when the shipment arrives at the ASKO warehouse site, all
technologies are fully in use. The warehouse team have portable terminals with the Accellos WMS system running so they can handle the goods. During unloading, the operators print the labels for marking the goods from a portable terminal. The system distinguishes which labels will be used for marking the products according to the receipt document from the ERP system. After application of the labels, the operators identify the goods and the quantity by means of a mobile terminal and store them in the warehouse. Then, the employee identifies the storage areas (locations) where the goods are to be stored. Accellos WMS also recommends the required storage area thus ensuring the warehouse is kept in good order. Information about the status of goods in and storage is available for managers on-line, from the intuitive interface of the system from the web browser. The same is for the further phases of the process.
Goods in the warehouse
During the “life” of the goods in the warehouse, the employees and the managers have a wide range of further functions for making the work more efficient, e.g. information on what’s in the storage area or other tasks – e.g. regular inventory or relocation of goods.
First of all, the employee chooses the sales order from the ERP system. On the basis of this order, the request for the issue of goods is transferred into Accellos WMS through the data interface. As soon as the Operating Department puts this document into the shipping process, the operator identifies it through a portable terminal and reserves the warehouse stock for shipping. Then the order is navigated by the portable terminal through an optimised path through the warehouse for all goods issued for a respective order. The system regularly and automatically prints the labels for marking the packages to be shipped.
The last phase of the logistics process managed by the Accellos WMS system is shipping. During the loading of the goods, the warehouse operator uses the terminal to read the bar codes on the labels on the packages to be shipped. Accellos WMS is then used to trace the flow of material by means of the dispatcher interface. This function plays an important role for the statistics of the flow and the status of the goods, as well as for tracing facts in regard to any possible claim.
Contributions: making the process more effective, decreasing the error rate
After implementation, the warehouse managers of ASKO calculated that the volume of claims due to erroneous deliveries (replacement) and undelivered goods significantly decreased. At the same time, the time necessary for the preparation of goods for sales orders decreased – the warehouse operators know exactly where to look for goods; using the portable terminal the system navigates to the actual storage area.