05/04/2018 | Hardis Group

The packaging distribution firm is using Hardis Group's warehouse management software to improve efficiency and reliability, and to meet its promise of delivering to customers in four countries in under 24 hours.

Hardis Group, a consulting firm, digital services company and independent software vendor, announces that packaging distribution firm Rajapack Belgium has opted for its warehouse management software to more efficiently process and ship 2,000 daily distance selling orders. The firm has rolled out Reflex WMS to cope with a surge in demand, improve picking accuracy, meet delivery lead times and, ultimately, better serve its customers.

Rajapack Belgium opts for Reflex WMS to streamline its logistics processes
 

A unique WMS for a growing business

Rajapack Belgium is a subsidiary of Raja Group, Europe's leading packaging distributor. It sells more than different 7,500 items via its e-commerce site, call centers and hard-copy catalogs. The firm promises to deliver within 24 hours to customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany, and within 48 hours to Austria, Switzerland and Denmark. Each day, it ships more than 2,000 orders from its three distribution centers, totaling 50,000 m2, in Tongeren, Belgium.

In the past, the Rajapack Belgium used its ERP system to manage product receipt, picking and shipping operations. However, the firm found that its existing system was unable to cope with 10% annual sales growth, impacting its ability to process orders efficiently and meet its next-day delivery promise. In addition, Raja Group took the decision to streamline its IT tools and migrate to a single, group-wide warehouse management solution. In early 2011, the group commissioned a consulting firm to help it determine its key subsidiaries' requirements and invite market-leading WMS software vendors to tender. "We were looking for a way to make our warehouse operations more efficient", says Martin Moermans, Logistics Manager at Rajapack Belgium. "We wanted a WMS that covered most of the needs of Rajapack Belgium and other group subsidiaries, and that was robust and could scale as our business grew."

A WMS to drive efficiency and deliver within 24 hours

In 2011, the group opted for Reflex WMS because of the range of functions it provides and because its flexible, customizable design meant it could be adapted to the specific features of Rajapack's business. "Raja Group had already switched to Reflex WMS in France in 2003," adds Moermans. "We opted to deploy the solution group-wide following the tender process. Hardis Group proved that it had the capability to support us through the analysis and configuration phases. Its experience in working with similar, international businesses was also a determining factor in our decision."

The solution, deployed in 2012, has proven a game-changer for the firm. Whereas orders were previously picked individually, Reflex WMS manages all order details centrally and distributes picking requests across the three distribution centers according to products, quantities and carriers (individual parcels, freight companies or entire trucks). Orders are regrouped by customer at the end of the chain, on the conveyor belt that carries them to the loading bays. "The WMS recomputes the most efficient order-picking route every 15 minutes, cutting the distance that operators have to travel," explains Moermans. The combined scanning and voice picking system has also reduced the number of picking errors. And Rajapack Belgium is using Reflex WMS to measure its logistics performance, manage warehouse operations in real time and, where necessary, prioritize specific orders before the 16-hour cut-off point to make sure they are delivered on time.

The firm’s logistics staff have received training on the new system and can now reconfigure processes in Reflex without outside support. “Hardis Group’s consultants and support staff are always on-hand to help whenever we need to make changes to our core system,” notes Moermans. The firm is delighted with the new system and is updating the solution on a regular basis. It plans to add a new traceability feature for food-grade packaging batches in the coming months, and is also looking at rolling out Reflex at the group’s new warehouses.