Pharmacopola has simplified warehousing processes

Pharmacopola is Slovak distribution company with more than 10 000 items on stock. Company operates on the market for 25 years and is focused mainly on the wholesale distribution of veterinary medicines and preparations. Since 2001, the company’s portfolio has been expanded also on distribution of feeds. Later, the division of medical machines has been established, too.

Pharmacopola is currently the exclusive partner of many well-known manufacturers of veterinary products, feeds, breeding supplies and machines.

Initial situation

Pharmacopola’s warehouse with more than 2500m2 is divided into 3 logical units – feed, veterinary drugs and human medicines. In each of these logical units there is a different manipulation with goods used. It increases the demand on the warehousing processes. Another fact to consider is the tracking of attributes (LOTs, serials) and good’s expiration dates. Vets require to have the ordered drugs delivered next business day – that increases the difficulty of operations.

The warehouse runs on Navision ERP system. Only pen and paper were used inside of warehouse, barcodes were not used before. This means that employees used only the paperwork according to which they not only received and picked goods but also, they noted all goods movements on paper too. It was complicated to change the goods positions in system when moved. Additional processes were necessary to ensure low error rate. That significantly increased the amount of time and administration needed to run the warehouse operations. Goods were stored in dedicated positions to find them quickly, that is why the efficient usage of storage space was limited.

“When we needed to move the goods in a warehouse from one position to another, the employee noted this change on paper. Then, when he came to the computer, he marked this change into the information system Navision what often caused not actual stock information.” – Milan Gregus, logistics director

Implementation of the WMS system

Original processes were not effective and with increasing number of orders Pharmacopola had to decide to implement the WMS system that will cover their needs and still rising customers’ expectations to maintain the leading market position.

The main objective

  • more effective warehouse processes,
  • decrease of the warehouse operations error rate.

Secondary goals

  • stock’s exact location and volume in real time,
  • human resources optimization, employees’ fluctuation elimination,
  • obtaining KPI for evaluation the work performance.

The goals were achieved by implementing the WMS system HighJump Warehouse Edge (formerly known as AccellosOne Warehouse). Warehouse staff performs operations such as receiving, picking, moving and cycle counting using rugged mobile terminals with integrated barcode readers. This makes each operation faster and easier while maintaining a minimum error rate. All movements in system are tracked and updated online. Thanks to that, employees not only in the warehouse, but also on other positions for example buyers, sellers, or management are still informed accurately about the real status of the goods on stock. Of course, each task is monitored for LOTs, serial numbers or expiration.

Pickers can now use the WAVE function for quicker and more efficient picking of orders. It allows them to pick the goods for more orders simultaneously by one warehouse walk-through.

Another benefit is that the system provides detailed information about warehouse employees’ work. Thanks to the WMS system we have accurate information about the performance of the individual workers. That allows us to reward them fairly, according to their individual performance.

Milan Gregus
Logistics director
-
Pharmacopola s.r.o.

“Another benefit is that the system provides detailed information about warehouse employees’ work.  Thanks to the WMS system we have accurate information about the performance of the individual workers. That allows us to reward them fairly, according to their individual performance.” – Milan Gregus, logistics director.

Current state

Pharmacopola’s warehouse runs by three work shifts, six days a week, so implementation and go-live process had to be quick and smooth. This goal was achieved thanks to the all parties involved in implementation and system was successfully running and used by warehouse staff right on the first day of go-live launch.

Now, half a year later, the HighJump Warehouse Edge warehouse management system has total of 26 users working with system daily and without any major breakdowns. On average, WMS handles about 500 orders per day and is ready to increase this number. We can state that thanks to the WMS, the warehousing processes is much more efficient. Warehouse can handle higher quantity of orders without the need to increase the number of employees in the warehouse.

Hardware used:

  • Zebra TC8000 mobile terminals,
  • Extreme Networks (formerly Motorola) wireless WiFi network,
  • Zebra ZT230 label printers.