WMS supports extreme flexibility in multi-client warehouse
Software coordinates the daily fluctuations in order profile.
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When global logistics service provider Simon Hegele received a request from a new customer to handle its spare parts logistics, the company quickly realized the current warehouse management system (WMS) wasn’t flexible enough to support the new multi-client warehouse they were building. After implementing a new WMS, the company achieved enhanced flexibility without sacrificing speed.
The five areas of Simon Hegele’s new 600,000-square-foot logistics center include a high-bay warehouse with 47,000 pallet positions and an automated small parts warehouse that offers space for 55,000 Euro containers. If required, the container capacity can be doubled. Bulk storage areas and long goods warehouses are also part of the logistics center, as are refrigerated containers in which sensitive items are stored. Every day, an average of 2,000 orders are picked with RF devices, and the number of orders varies by up to 40%.
“Each day has its own DNA to which we need to react in a flexible way,” says Sebastian Schmitz, operations director. “The new WMS helps us accomplish this by controlling all processes from goods receiving to loading, and coordinating them in an intelligent way.”
A stress test conducted by the software provider convinced Simon Hegele of the new software’s benefits, which also offered the multi-client capabilities and certified SAP interface used to run a multi-user warehouse.
On average, 40% to 60% of the orders are placed in the afternoon, but the system allows for the picking type to be adjusted depending on the time of day and order volume. In the case of large order volumes, picking takes place per client, meaning the employees pick items for a single customer at one time. Cross-client, multi-order picking is also possible and often necessary. Small orders consisting of only a few items are packed afterwards. This “quick checkout” saves time when processing urgent orders.
“For us, it’s more than just a supporting IT package,” Schmitz says. “The warehouse management system is an essential part of our success.”