28/11/2018 | Hardis Group
The wall coverings and interior decoration specialist is using Reflex WMS to organize the picking, replenishment and inventory operations of 10 robots which are part of the AutoStore system in one of its warehouses.
Hardis Group, a consulting firm, digital services company and independent software vendor, has announced that wall coverings and interior decoration specialist 4murs is using Reflex WMS to manage AutoStore, a fully automated compact storage and order preparation system installed at one of its warehouses in Moselle in Eastern France. In addition to boosting productivity when processing single-unit orders and reducing storage space for small items, this automation combined with Reflex WMS opens up new opportunities for supporting 4murs’ new strategy.
Automating picking and replenishment operations
4murs, a family company founded in 1969, has undergone a strategic shift in recent years. Its 120 stores and e-commerce site www.4murs.com have transformed from simply selling wallpaper and DIY supplies to being interior decoration boutiques. The company regularly renews its collections of wallpaper, paint, drapes and decorative items (pictures, posters, stickers, cushions, etc.) to cater to the latest decorating trends and its customers' tastes and lifestyles.
“Logistics is key to supporting the new strategy and developing our new Lifestyle store concept”, said Yan Beaudoing, logistics project manager at 4murs. In 2014, 4murs took the first step in optimizing logistics processes in its four warehouses in Moselle, which total 10,000m2, by obtaining Reflex WMS warehouse management software. However, the logistics system needed to automate further to support the new strategy. “We needed to optimize storage and single-item order preparation for our products, which are both more numerous and faster moving”, explained Yan Beaudoing. In 2016, 4murs' management decided to automate the storage and order preparation of decorative items, soft furnishings and tools. They chose to equip the logistics platform in Marly-en-Moselle with AutoStore by Egemin Automation (Dematic). The solution includes 10 robots which move around 13 storage levels housing up to 23,000 containers to perform picking, replenishment and inventory operations.
Managing automation with Reflex WMS Web
In addition to introducing AutoStore, Reflex C/S was migrated to Reflex WMS Web. The switch and the new configurations in Reflex were completed in two months. Hardis Group teams set up touchscreen interfaces for some procedures relating to AutoStore. AutoStore was implemented in February 2018 and is fully managed by Reflex. The WMS tells the 10 robots which quantities to take from the 10,000 filled containers and move to two “goods-to-man” workstations. It also manages automatic container replenishment.
Since implementing AutoStore and Reflex WMS Web, decorative items, soft furnishings and tools have been managed 50% more efficiently. The saved storage space has enabled 4murs to consolidate all its logistics operations in Marly-en-Moselle. A permanent inventory of items stored in AutoStore is also now carried out using a Reflex procedure. “The use of robots, combined with Reflex WMS, opens up new prospects including omnichannel retail, single-unit delivery of all products and dynamic picking, etc.” explained Yan Beaudoing.
In the coming months, 4murs is planning to optimize further: pick-and-pack, in-succession preparation, wallpaper dye lot management, shipment optimizations, etc. Eventually, the aim is for e-commerce orders, which have always been handled separately, to be managed by AutoStore and Reflex as well.