25/10/2016 | Hardis Group
The Breton company, kitchen and bathroom equipment specialist, contracted Hardis Group and Mecalux to couple its brand new mechanization system with Reflex WMS, used since 2005 to manage its warehouse. 60% of its product are now processed as an automated order preparation.
Digital services company and software publisher Hardis Group assists SCD Luisina, a French company, specialized in designing and distributing kitchen and bathroom equipment, to automate order preparation within its warehouse. In 2015, Luisina opted for the mechanization system (stacker crane for plastic boxes) provided by Mecalux. Hardis Group helped Luisina to define its new flows and to configure Reflex WMS to handle preparation modes and the synchronization of Mecalux WCS. Few months after the miniload's deployment, gains are considerable for Luisina, in terms of productivity and quality of service or work comfort for its operators.
SCD Luisina: customer satisfaction at the lowest price
Founded in 1989, SCD Luisina is a French family-owned company, specialized in designing and distributing kitchen and bathroom equipment for supermarket's professionals and craftmen. Over the years, Luisina has successfully developed and consolidated its range of products and services, in France and worldwide. The brand is currently present in 30 countries and offers a catalogue with more than 650,000 items. About 190,000 orders are processed every year from its 12,000 m2 unique warehouse, located in Rennes.
The strategy of the Breton brand focuses on customer satisfaction, with quality products, delivered quickly and at the lowest price. This involves, in particular, a continuous improvement of the productivity within its wahehouse. As a result, from 2005, Luisina has deployed Hardis Group Reflex WMS to optimize its logistical processes and flows.
Mechanization of the warehouse: "pick-it-easy"
Almost ten years later, the Breton brand wanted to go further, by undertaking a major mechanization project to automate the collection of accessories, which represents more than 60% of its product range. "We must process orders in shorter and shorter deadlines. In parallel, our operators could cover up to 7 km per day within the warehouse. We had to reduce their movements" , explains Dominique Lambert, warehouse manager at Luisina SCD. "By applying the principle of 'pick-it-easy', the decision to mechanize our warehouse followed a dual objective: reduce the order preparation time, while improving the working conditions of our operators."
Necessary synchronization of Mecalux WCS with Reflex WMS
For Luisina, the selected automation tool should be able to interface with Reflex WMS, while being adapted to its product storage mode. Following an in-depth functional analysis, Luisina finally opted in 2015 for Mecalux miniload solution, an automatic storage system in plastic boxes, including racking, machines and handling software.
Apart from the achievement of works in the warehouse, which were essential to welcome the stacker crane, one of the project's major challenges was to allow both systems (Mecalux and Reflex) to interface and synchronize properly. "We have a created a group dedicated to the project, with the IT team and integrated operating personnel (super user), starting with the functional analysis and dealing with all the issues: workstation, operating procedures but also processes. We had to ensure that the information sent by Reflex WMS were correctly received by the miniload input WCS, and that information sent by the output WCS were correctly retrieved by Reflex, for all the order preparations", specifies Dominique Lambert. Luisina, Mecalux and Hardis Group have thus worked closely for almost six months, from September 2015 to March 2016, to configure and interface both solutions.
"We have benefited from Hardis consultants' expertise in the project management, which allowed us to save us valuable time in the configuration phase", adds Dominique Lambert.
Immediate gains, a service rate expanding fast
Today, the picking process is automated for 60% of the products. Apart from the gains inherent to the miniload implementation (automate the product input and output operations, save storage space, secured stocks, real-time inventories, etc.), the warehouse manager has noticed that the number of preparations errors had considerably reduced. "We have significantly increased our service rate", declares Dominique Lambert. Orders are from now on processed during the day, which allows to meet Luisina's customers' requirements. On the operators' part, benefits are also significant: "their movements have been reduced by nearly 70% and they are working under less pressure", continues Dominique Lambert.
Luisina already works on new automation projects, including products for which the collection still has to be automated. "We now have a latest generation automated logistical system, which allows us to adapt more quickly and more efficiently to the changing demands of our market, while reinforcing our brand image", concludes Dominique Lambert.