WMS in Kontri warehouses

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  • Due to its dynamic growth, Kontri has taken a number of steps to improve its logistics operations

  • A professional  WMS-grade, system was thought to be a fitting replacement for the existing ERP (including for warehouse management).

  • The choice of Logifact-Systems as a WMS provider was dictated not only by the superior reputation of WMS on the Polish market but also its extensive flexibility in designing solutions for warehouse logistics

  • Use has been made of a version of the WMS IT specifically designed to support e-commerce warehouses and equipped with features to tackle Kontri’s specific logistics needs

The e-commerce leader in its sector, Kontri Sp. z o. o., saw its sales volume increased as a result of business growth and an extended product portfolio, while also struggling with outdated ERP software. As a result, it decided to introduce a professional WMS system for logistics management.

 The WMS supplier was selected from among reputable and nationally recognised brands, the choice being dictated mainly by the supplier’s extensive know-how in warehouse logistics.

Based on the needs analysis and discussions with the client, it was decided that the new warehouse management system, designed for e-commerce warehouses, would be customised to the specific needs of Kontri Sp.o.o. Particular emphasis was to be placed on those areas in which improvements in the operation of logistics were sought as a result of the WMS being implemented. WMS tasks include supporting warehouse operations, focusing on such objectives as the short-notice picking of large-volume orders and the flexibility to cope with an expanding offer.

Kontri Sp. o.o. is an e-commerce leader in its field, operating on the Polish and foreign markets since June 2006. The company specialises in retail and wholesale of women’s clothing, lingerie, gadgets and accessories. Its offer includes products from over sixty renowned Polish manufacturers, including Vivisence, Ava, Gaia, Gatta, Gorsenia, Obsessive, Wolbar, Fiore, Axami, Babella, Gorteks, Julimex and Italian Fashion.

To cater for its clients, the company has combined the traditional model of sales in bricks-and-mortar outlets with e-commerce. The company’s products are also available on major sales platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Allegro.

Kontri Sp. o.o.’s extensive experience in the industry allows it to receive numerous distinctions, including in the Opineo.pl ranking of online shops, Business Gazelles and e-Gazelles of Business. The company has also received the European Trusted Shops certificate, awarded to online shops that meet strict safety, quality and customer service requirements.

In autumn 2017, the company completed the construction of and moved into Kontri Sp. z o.o. Logistics Centre, a state-of-the-art facility. The 3,230 m2 building had been adapted for the distribution of goods from various merchandise industries, while also expanding the available space and warehousing capacity.

In 2018, the company embarked on a completely new form of business, with the addition of the new KiddyMoon brand ofchildren’s products. The launch of modern machinery and an in-house sewing room allowed for the production and sale of high-quality children’s dry pools and plastic balls, which quickly won the approval of customers in markets across Europe

Rapidly growing sales volumes, the launch of new business areas and the continuous expansion of the product portfolio meant that the software warehouse management system (ERP) used at the time lagged behind the company’s dynamic growth and became inefficient in terms of performance and functionality.

Operating in a competitive market and facing the need to improve logistics operations, the goal was to:

  • streamline the receipt and entry of goods into storage locations,
  • improve facility management and stock storage,
  • improve the warehouse inventory process,
  • increase productivity, particularly in terms of picking,
  • ensure better returns processing,
  • shorten staff training times,
  • forecast performance through dedicated reports

Kontri Sp. o.o. decided to implement a professional WMS system in its warehouse.

Logifact-Systems was chosen in the end. A reputable and Poland’s most recognised brand was chosen as the WMS supplier, the choice being dictated mainly by its extensive experience in warehouse logistics.Bearing in mind the identified needs of the client, system logifact® WMS was used with extensions to include e-commerce warehouse functionalities.

It is a system designed to control the flow of goods, coordinate warehouse operations and support proper logistical organisation within an e-commerce warehouse. To this end, it is equipped with special custom-made functionalities designed to tackle the specific nature of the warehousing business. Especially noteworthy among the many contributing factors to the need to implement special logistics solutions for e-commerce are the necessity to prepare a large number of small orders in a very short time and the strong tendency to expand the range of products on offer.

As a result of a detailed needs analysis and discussions with the client, it was agreed that the warehouse system would be tailored to the specific nature of Kontri’s logistics, with particular emphasis on those areas where improvements in logistics performance were sought as a result of WMS implementation. In order to achieve the objectives, it was crucial to apply the solutions described below.

Input control during stock entry

With regard to the way in which incoming goods are handled, a method was used to track deliveries as they enter the warehouse locations.

Such a solution considerably improves the e-commerce warehouse which requires very efficient handling of deliveries and enables very fast availability of goods for picking. In addition, it quickly frees up space in the entry/exit area

Optimised management of locations and storage of goods

The logifact® WMS enabled an optimised distribution of goods in the storage locations, including the appropriate mixing of goods in the locations. The strict assignment of brands to specific locations was abandoned in favour of dynamic (system-controlled) storage location allocation.

This has resulted in a much more efficient use of warehouse space and the possibility of easier product identification for picking.

Flexible management of order picking

In addition to the advanced handling of the multi-order-picking process, the system allows the picking control parameters to be adapted to the current customer order structure by easily changing the number of single-item picking orders aggregated into a single picking order and the number of multi-item orders picked in a single path. In practice, this functionality has significantly boosted the efficiency of the picking process. In addition, the flexibility in configuring picking parameters has made it possible to create special working profiles allowing for the picking of non-standard/oversize goods. In this way, finished goods (swimming pools, balls, children’s items) transferred from the on-site production area at Kontri Logistics Centre Sp. o.o. are picked

Efficient warehouse inventory process

The efficiency of the warehouse inventory process (both annual and spot) has also been significantly improved. The system makes it possible to carry out a physical inventory of the entire warehouse with multiple validation in just a few hours. As a result, there is no overlong downtime in the logistics centre. In addition, inventories involving smaller quantities and spot quality inventories can be completed during the working day.

Individual locations selected according to the operator’s instructions or at low-stock times within a location are verified. An inventory is taken to verify a location with a shortage.

Automatic allocation of storage tasks

Warehouse tasks are generated and assigned automatically to the relevant employees by control algorithms embedded in the WMS, which take into account the rights of individual employees, work areas, type of orders, etc

Thanks to such precise guidance of the employee from activity to activity and control of their execution, the lead times for each task are significantly reduced, which obviously has an impact on the efficiency of the entire warehouse operation.

Efficient returns processing

logifact® WMS system is organised to ensure fast and efficient handling of returns. Particularly important is the use of Auto ID devices that automatically collect all the necessary information on the returned goods in an instant by scanning the barcode placed on the relevant label. This relieves warehouse staff of the time-consuming task of document verification, with the spare resources to be used in warehouse processes.

Also, by using automatic data exchange at the WMS-ERP interface, the efficiency of returns processing on the host system side is greatly improved.

Smooth induction of warehouse staff

Thanks to the intuitive and clear user interface of the logifact® WMS system, the time taken to train a new employee for independent work in the warehouse has been significantly reduced.

The average time previously needed to prepare an employee for work has been reduced from several weeks to as little as 2 – 3 hours.

The WMS has also partially freed the warehouse from the problem of staff shortages.

Dedicated reports to monitor warehouse operations

The system monitors every warehouse process and presents statistics in specially designed reports. These include global statistics on goods in and out, as well as picking orders.

They also help to verify how efficiently individual tasks are carried out by warehouse employees. It is easy to spot deviations from the norm or bottlenecks in the warehouse process.

Summary

 

The entire implementation of the  logifact® WMS went smoothly, as planned to begin with, and was successful, as shown by the productivity gains achieved and the improved quality of customer service.
With the same staff size, the warehouse handles up to 40% more picking orders than before. The number of shipping errors has dropped drastically. Returns handling has been significantly improved.

The implementation of the  logifact® WMS system has allowed improving and coordinating all logistics processes in the Kontri Sp. o.o. warehouse. Today, the WMS system, which is used in regular operation, ensures the control of the entire warehouse flow. Work procedures in the entire warehouse have been put in order.

This success has been possible thanks to the logistical competence and practical experience of Logifact-Systems’ specialists as well as a professional WMS tailored to the e-commerce industry.