Elektroimportøren AS fulfils professional and consumer orders for a vast product range, including electrical products, lighting, heating and ventilation components, home and leisure goods, tools, and cable and wire. All with fewer than 30 employees and a single warehouse location, They’re known for great quality, great prices, and value-added trade services such as project planning and special-order support. Their goal is to always feature among the top companies on price comparison sites.
Going for growth
In April 2014, Elektroimportøren AS was purchased by Norwegian private equity firm Herkules Capital. As a result, the company is now poised to become a major player in the home improvement space, with its own product line, Namron, and a bigger profile in the consumer market.
Before the switch to Astro WMS, Elektroimportøren AS was stretched to capacity and working overtime during high-volume periods. In the busiest seasons, even the adminis-trative staff had to pitch in on the warehouse floor. And as volume soared, picking errors increased, with mixups and returns creating even more work in the warehouse.
They needed to enhance manual processes with an automated solution, and a WMS that could handle significant growth in the near future.
The company evaluated a number of warehouse automation systems, but weren’t satisfied with what they saw. On the advice of their consultant, they took a look at Astro WMS. After reviewing the standard feature set, they realised that while other systems would require costly, time-consuming tweaks and customizations, with Astro WMS they could get what they needed right out of the box.
“We ended up buying the standard Astro WMS installation," says Joakim Nielsen Project Manager, Elektroimportøren AS. "It was quick to implement and had everything we needed."
With a standard installation, the implementation process could be fast-tracked, getting the company up and running in a very short space of time.
Ramping up fast
While Elektroimportøren AS remains a relatively small company for the time being, they need to know they can meet existing order volumes more efficiently and be ready to ramp up as their business evolves. Astro WMS has helped them achieve that level of flexibility within their existing staffing limits.
With just eight people working in the warehouse, the company was able to jump from 500 to 1500 orderlines per day—without incurring a single hour of overtime.
“We measure warehouse performance, and we’ve seen large performance improve-ments," says Nielsen. "All orders coming in by two o’clock can be shipped the same day. We struggled with that before, but with Astro WMS, we have almost eliminated picking errors.”
This new and reliable performance standard has enabled the company to offer a same-day-shipping guarantee—a significant advantage in winning the business of both profes-sional and consumer markets.
Filling in the gaps
In addition to improving their fulfilment rate, the company wanted to do a better job of using available warehouse space.
Before Astro WMS, they used a manual process for stock-taking and updating the loca-tions of products. As a result, they often had problems knowing how much free space they had or where to find it, eating up on precious warehouse resources.
"With Astro WMS, we always know how many places are free and how many are occu-pied," says Nielsen.
Looking to the future
Elektroimportøren AS can now meet the challenges of business growth and be ready for anything the future brings.
"We have barely scratched the surface with Astro WMS," says Nielsen. "We started with standard functionality, but as we learn more about the system, there is a lot more we can use, like reporting and taking the temperature of the operation."
Having access to this kind of big-picture information will help the company manage busi-ness expansion more effectively. With a system that supports add-on modules for busi-ness intelligence, data analysis, traffic management, route planning, and RFID, Elektro-importøren AS can feel confident that Astro WMS provides them with a strong platform for growth.