16/05/2012 | Hardis Group

The game and toy specialist took advantage of the implementation of a Hardis WMS and moving its logistics platform to a new mechanized warehouse to completely rethink its working methods and logistics processes. The result: in two years, productivity increased by 100% while logistics operations costs reduced by 25%.

Services, business software publishing and facilities management company Hardis Group has announced that game and toy specialist King Jouet has chosen Reflex WMS in hosted mode to manage its logistics. The solution was able to adapt to the new logistics processes and working methods set up when they moved their logistics platform to a new 24,000m² mechanized warehouse as well as the highly seasonal nature of the company's business.

A highly seasonal activity

Based in Voiron (Isère), King Jouet currently has over 200 stores in France, Switzerland and Spain carrying just over 8,000 items. In addition to its physical retail outlets, its e-commerce website now plays a key role in the chain's cross-channel strategy: in addition to on-line purchasing, items can be reserved for in-store collection.

Transporting 870,000 toys and games every year, logistics is a strategic part of King Jouet's business. Business is also strongly affected by the time of year, with sales in the last three months of the year accounting for 50% of annual revenues.

Different logistics processes for different sales channels

In a bid to continuously improve productivity and quality of service, the chain's managers regularly review logistics processes and organization. Benchmarks are drawn up periodically to compare costs between internal and outsourced logistics. As a result, traditional logistics (supplying stores) are now managed internally while the e-commerce activity has been entrusted to a specialist service provider since June 2011.

The flexibility of an outsourced warehouse management solution

The approach is the same for IT: in 2008, prior to opening a new 24,000m² warehouse in Rives (Isère), King Jouet decided to acquire a WMS. The main software solution publishers in the market were consulted. Hardis' bid presented the best functionality/services/price ratio: not only did the Reflex WMS solution meet King Jouet's operational imperatives (picking/shipments, connection to Generix ERP, etc.) but it was offered in hosted mode (in the publisher's data centers).

"The highly seasonal nature of our business requires our logistics information system to be flexible," explained Nicolas Leclercq, Assistant General Manager of King Jouet. "A managed WMS seemed to be best suited to our needs."

Double the productivity

2009 was a pivotal year for King Jouet and its logistics teams. The game and toy specialist took advantage of the implementation of Reflex WMS and moving its logistics platform to its new mechanized warehouse in February 2009 to completely review all its working methods and logistics processes. The dedication of the teams, led by a new logistics department, and Reflex WMS' help with implementing and optimizing new processes enabled King Jouet to stabilize the project in just a few weeks. Since then, the logistics department has constantly been developing new uses by using more and more of the functionality provided as standard by Reflex WMS: "At first we were barely using 10% of Reflex WMS' functional capacity," remembers Jean-Philippe Smith, Logistics Manager at King Jouet. "Today it is more like 95%".

The improvements relating to the logistics IS modernization project exceeded the expectations of the King Jouet management: between 2009 and 2011, the number of Consumer Sales Units (CSU) processed in an hour by a logistics operator increased from 38 to 75, which is a 97% increase. At the same time, logistics operating costs fell by a quarter. "We were also able to improve quality of service to our stores," said Nicolas Leclercq.