Before the WMS deployment, most of Tadmar's 60 wholesale shops functioned as separate warehouses, which resulted in inventory dispersion and difficulties in moving the goods between the wholesale shops. The company’s operations were also hampered by problems with identifying and locating products. Furthermore, the very large scale of business activities rendered printed document handling and archiving really cumbersome. The ultimate business driver for implementing a state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System was introducing two-shift work. As a result, the flow of information among Tadmar's employees was incomplete and hindered the wholesale shop's operations to a large extent.
The company decided to eliminate these problems by creating a system of central warehouses stockpiling goods for wholesale shops in selected regions of Poland. Effective management of such a business structure required appropriate IT solutions to be deployed. Tadmar decided to implement the SattStore Warehouse Management System offered by Consafe Logistics, which is successfully used by sister companies from the Saint-Gobain Group.
The system deployment project lasted 4 months and was based on a few stages. The project began with a thorough analysis of the functional characteristics and customer’s needs. The collaboration between the representatives of the two partners was exceptionally successful. “Any business meetings of various types were really to the point and full of priceless tips for the system developers. We analyzed the prepared solutions and introduced modifications on an ongoing basis,” says Krzysztof Siwiński, Logistics Director, Tadmar. This allowed Consafe Logistics to develop the first version of the system in only 2 weeks.
Next, via a special interface, the system was integrated with the Movex ERP system deployed at Tadmar. As a result, it was possible to move on to the next stage, based on gradual tailoring the system so that it meets the company’s needs best. During that stage, Consafe Logistics encountered a few problems. Some of the products did not fit into the developed material workflow processes due to their physical dimensions. This problem was solved by modifying the warehouse process management procedures. Some difficulties were also encountered while accepting goods – not all the information required to accept the materials was displayed on the employees’ screens. This issue was solved by modifying the screens so that the entire process of accepting goods became intuitive.
The entire deployment project was supervised by Tadmar and Consafe Logistics experts on an ongoing basis. Therefore, all the tasks were completed very efficiently. The project was concluded with a series of system tests (each of the system modules was tested for a week).
The use of SattStore has considerably changed the way the company operates at present. “Work has never been easier! We are able to analyze the flow of goods and people in the entire warehouse within any period of time. The processes do not require any industry-related training from our employees. Problems with paper documents are gone,” says Krzysztof Siwiński. Consafe Logistics developed new working procedures, as well as modified the system of collaboration with other departments and customers.
Significant changes were introduced also for the regular warehouse employees. At present, the system provides them with a step-by-step description of the stages of the product warehousing process (from accepting products to handing them over). What is most important, problems with identifying and locating materials are gone. Moreover, the process of reporting and archiving necessary data has been streamlined. Also, audits of individual workplaces helped to eliminate most of the errors occurring before the deployment. The system can be operated in a very easy manner, which simplifies the process of recruiting new employees – simplified and repetitive procedures halve the time required to recruit and train a new employee. These benefits are fully supported by the positive reactions from Tadmar employees, who appreciate the convenience and transparency of the new system.
At present, Consafe Logistics carries out finishing works, and SattStore is supported by Tadmar and Consafe Logistics experts. Thanks to their efforts and efficient collaboration, the performance of the warehouses improves each week. Tadmar has also signed a system and hardware maintenance agreement with Consafe Logistics (ensuring access to software upgrades and modifications).