The DC in the city of Voorschoten supplies all shops with printed articles based on orders from the publishing firm. The DC in the city of Harderwijk – owned by ANWB subsidiary Telstar Trading – purchases all fashion and special products and supplies the ANWB shops with them as well as other selling organizations in The Netherlands (like the tourist information shops of the VVV). They also supply shops of other European tourist organizations.
Dutch Third Party distribution organization Centraal Boekhuis operates as a transport and distribution partner to ANWB for the distribution of the printed articles. The whole ANWB logistics organization is rather complex, but can be understood by splitting it in two main logistic streams. There is a wholesale logistics stream for the printed matters and a retail logistics stream for shop supplying. Wholesale logistics are managed by software called BestMate. Retail logistics by software called Omega. Both act as an order entry system for the two distribution centers which are managed by the WMS SattStore.
SattStore and BestMate and Omega operate from a central server in The Hague and communicate with the warehouse employees in Voorschoten and Harderwijk. To make sure the three software systems communicate without any problem, experts of ANWB and SattStore-supplier Consafe Logistics made some new interfaces.
Consafe Logistics’ WMS SattStore is a client-server application. According to the end users at ANWB the software is very flexible for co-operating with the two order entry and the physical order picking systems in the warehouses. It needed however some adjustments because of its standardized way of operating. These were developed by both IT specialists of ANWB and Consafe Logistics. SattStore has been selected by ANWB after a brought market survey and a severe selection of three candidates. Implementing SattStore took place after implementing BestMate and Omega in the year 2005.
ANWB achieved four aims by using SattStore:
- faster throughput of inbound information and therefore faster physical inbound activities
- more capacity for order entry throughput
- less delivery mistakes because of less order picking faults and better stock management
- frequenter and more complete communications to have better reactivity possibilities to market demands.
SattStore has been implemented within budget and time limits. ANWB decided to change its logistics systems in 2002. It started with changing the logistics management system at the publishing firm implementing BestMate (in 2003). Than the retail ordering system Omega came in 2004. SattStore closed the changes in 2005 and brings both the ANWB distribution centers new possibilities.
SattStore was implemented by the Dutch office of Consafe Logistics in the city of Oudenbosch. It appears that – according to the various ANWB managers and experts, involved with this project – SattStore meets all demands of the distribution centers as well as the demands of their customers. Nevertheless the ANWB organization has a complex structure because of a diversity of independent operating departments like the publishing firm and the shops.
To know how this complex organization works, this story looks into the various activities. At first it is important to know that the publishing firm supplies the shops from the Voorschoten-DC with the help of Third Party Logistics Organization Centraal Boekhuis with books and maps. They also supply other shops from other organizations with the same printed matters. It is also important to know that the ANWB shops not only sell books and maps but also the so called ‘special products’ (mobility articles), travel insurance’s and other kinds of insurance’s, holiday trips and business trips as they also act as travelling agencies. At least they sell ANWB’s own fashion line called Human Nature. For all these activities stock supply not only comes from Voorschoten but also from the DC in Harderwijk, owned by ANWB subsidiary Telstar Trading.
Another important fact is that the logistics system has two independent streams, known as the retail and the wholesalers logistics. The retail part is managed by the order entry system called Omega and the wholesale part is managed by the order entry system BestMate. As been said, BestMate was first introduced in 2003 and Omega secondly in 2004. With the implementation of SattStore in 2005, logistics at ANWB are fully streamlined. Now the shops put their orders in Omega or in BestMate and SattStore manages all activities in the two warehouses. It also manages the distribution orders to Centraal Boekhuis.
The whole operation brought a number of challenges to the IT and Logistics Departments of ANWB in the period of 2003 up to 2005. Of which the most demanding parts were the making of the interfaces and adjustments to the WMS, nevertheless the search for the best WMS. This was a primary challenge, since ANWB wanted to implement standard software which could be adjusted by themselves. The line of challenges however was opened by the implementing of retail system Omega. Directly after this system came into operation, the sales information of the shops is received in The Hague in the hours the shops are closed. Therefore all Point of Sale-computer cashiers of all ANWB shops communicate directly in the night hours with Omega. This software transforms all sales information into replenishment orders.
It took however until 2005 – the implementation of SattStore – to make it possible that this WMS translates these orders into order picking lines for both the DC's. Because Omega also gives minimum and maximum stock levels for every shop, based on its individual historic sales information, the logistics management of ANWB more easily can plan their activities. But before this ideal situation was achieved, implementing of BestMate was at the agenda. This software aims to inform the publishing firm about the sales of books and maps, so they know what to purchase. BestMate also informs SattStore so picking order lines can be produces for the DC in Voorschoten.
Voorschoten’s DC-manager Mr. Rob Zuidam says that one the most conspicuous aspects was the degreasing of administrative work. “Prior to the renewals by implementing SattStore we had a lot of administrative work in our DC”, he says. For example the everyday returning type work of thousands of article numbers and addresses. “But since we have the interfaces between SattStore, Omega and BestMate all this information is automatically put into the computer files", he now knows.
Which appeared to be an advantage to another labor full work known as the ‘sticking job’. For all printed items carry their own unique label, having the well known EAN and ISBN numbers as well as unique ANWB article numbers. For example these are needed to know whether this book is coming from new stock or old stock and to know as well the difference between members selling price as non-members selling prices. To apply these labels on every book, Mr. Zuidam used to have a few employees in service, doing nothing else but labeling. Now he operates for this sometimes large labeling jobs two separate sticker stations of which each applies some tens of thousands of labels onto books and maps on a daily basis. Every year these two labelers produce over 1.5 million prices and bar code labels which formerly were made by typewriter and put on the articles by hand.
Wireless data communication
The Voorschoten DC stocks about 2,300 different articles, from books and maps to value documents like admission tickets and the so called ANWB International Travelling Credit Letter (IRK). The warehouse counts 2,500 (bulk) pallet locations and about 4,000 picking locations, filled and emptied by hand. The physical handling of full (inbound) pallets and the internal transport of bulk pallets to the unpacking stations (for replenishment of picking locations) is done by two reach trucks and two stackers. For order picking and the internal transport of the picked goods to the packing stations roll containers are in use, which also carry the goods for the shop supplying.
DC Voorschoten further operates with hand held and truck mounted terminals with barcode scanners from LXE. These terminals communicate with SattStore by means of a wireless data communication system (RFDC). There was however one time consuming extra task, which was not really foreseen. “Implementing SattStore brought us the task of sticking all picking locations with new location labels", Mr. Zuidam remembers. This operation of change took indeed some time but it appeared to be a really good investment because of the peace and more easy working environment after the SattStore implementation. Harderwijk In the Telstar Trading DC in Harderwijk there is a different situation. This DC distributes a complete other kind of assortment and not only to shops in The Netherlands as well in other European countries. Business Unit Manager ANWB at Telstar Trading Mr. Joost van Renselaar tells that his organization supplies some 125 shops in The Netherlands and some 140 customers in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway. "We bring them especially Human Nature fashion", Mr. Van Renselaar says.
The DC at Harderwijk also supplies the customers with special products, varying from specific travelling articles to navigation systems. As the DC in Voorschoten the Telstar DC gets its information from SattStore after the Omega reading operation has been carried out. Mr. Van Renselaar says to be glad to know by this operation all minimum and maximum stock information of each shop. "At first because it is the basis for SattStore to organize the replenishment for every shop by giving us the order picking lines", he says. As has been explained these order picking lines normally are made during the down times in the night hours. But it may happen that during day hours Omega puts express orders into SattStore for both the DC’s. To recognize them, a special written interface brings these lines from the shop computer into the WMS.
Another special task for the Telstar Trading DC is the designing of the sales floors in every shop and planning the shelf lay outs. Mr. Van Renselaar for this uses the SattStore information which is transformed into special designed planning software. "We even have a showroom, where we can show as well all fashion as the shelf plans to our local and foreign shop managers", he explains.
It is obvious that SattStore manages all stock in Voorschoten and Harderwijk. The employees in both the DC’s communicates with the software by logging in as a client to it on the central server in The Hague. SattStore automatically selects order lines per client and distributes these lines to every logged in employee. During picking tasks all bar codes at the products as well at the warehouse shelves are scanned and the numbers of picked items are typed in at the hand held or truck mounted terminals. The information is on line, so ‘in real time’ distributed to SattStore, which after that manages the printing of the packing lists and the transformation of the new stock information to the purchasing departments. For external distribution Telstar Trading operates with DHL and the DC in Voorschoten operates with local transporting companies including TNT.
Voorschoten DC manager Mr. Rob Zuidam says that the new kind of working (with SattStore) in almost every way meets the ‘old’ way of working in the DC. Which made it easier for his crew to get used to the new operating rules. Mr. Joost van Renselaar mentions the same. Both say that SattStore brought significant improvements in warehouse efficiency and specifically in order picking, which now leads to almost fault free deliveries.
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