Tura Scandinavia AB has a reputation for delivering powerful electronic brands faster and more efficiently than any other company in Scandinavia. With annual sales of just under 1 billion SEK (more than €113 million), and prestige clients such as ElGiganten (DSG Group), Media Markt, Siba, NetOnNet, ICA, COOP, Åhlens, and ONOFF, Tura Scandinavia needs to manage a highly complex logistical operation with complete efficiency.
You may not know them, but you’ve bought things from them
Despite the pivotal role they play in getting electronics into the hands of consumers faster, Tura Scandinavia is not so well known outside the logistics community. "You’ve probably never heard of us," admits Tommy Palm, Tura Scandinavia’s warehouse manager, "But you’re likely to have at least seven things in your home that we have been responsible for distributing." Many popular brands, such as Koss, Hama, SanDisk and Skullcandy flow through their warehouse every day.
Twice the efficiency
Tura Scandinavia serves its customers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland from a Distribution Centre in Nässjö, south Sweden. The DC has two storage areas totalling 16,000 square metres, where 5,000 article numbers are processed from 14,000 picking areas.
To maintain their lead in the market, Tura Scandinavia continually looks for ways of streamlining logistics and IT processes. In 2006, they contracted consultants to advise them on the best WMS system to meet the growing needs of their customers. The company were advised to choose Astro WMS and introduced a new warehouse system run that included in-truck and handheld computers, and automatically generated picking lists.
Moving from a traditional, paper-based system to a partly automated, computerized WMS was challenging, but after the first year, Tura Scandinavia was able to assess the significant impact Astro WMS had on their efficiency.
"With Astro WMS in place, we can move up to 8,000 order lines with one shift and 24 picking trucks. We have basically cut our personnel needs in half." Comments Tommy Palm
Easily integrated into a new ERP system
When the company decided to implement the Navision ERP system, they were faced with an important decision: should they migrate to the Navision’s inbuilt WMS module, or integrate Astro WMS into the new ERP system?
Although switching to the Navision WMS component would have allowed Tura Scandinavia to consolidate all their business functions in one system, the company was reluctant to give up the Astro WMS that had served them so well. "We are pleased with Astro WMS," explains Pär Eriksson, IT Manager and one of the company’s owners, "If you have a good system for logistics, why change it?"
Tommy agrees. "Astro WMS is one of the best systems on the market. It fulfils all our needs, is expandable and very easy to use. Giving it up to try out an unknown quantity just didn’t make sense".
Goods delivered as fast as 1-2-3
Integrating Astro WMS with the Navision ERP system was faster and easier than Tura Scandinavia expected. When an order comes via Navision, picking is prioritised by Astro WMS. The system automatically chooses picking rounds and sends these to the truck computers. Trucks zigzag through the distribution centre on a picking route. Goods are then processed on a packing line, addressed and then protected by a plastic bag that is automatically filled with air.
Astro WMS allows Tura Scandinavia to achieve superior speed and simplicity in its order fulfilment system. All orders are downloaded each morning. By 7.30 a.m., staff know exactly what they’ll be picking that day. Orders received on day one are packed on day two and with the customer by day three. Ease of use plays a role in the swift turnaround times Tura Scandinavia achieves.
"Astro WMS is a very easy system to use," says Tommy Palm "Even our newer workers, people who have not worked in warehouses before, can figure it out and get up to speed quickly."
Full automation next up
"One of the biggest challenges for us is that our customers are focused on keeping their stocks low" explains Pär Eriksson. "This means they order fewer goods more frequently, even to the point of ordering the same item three times in one day." To meet this new trend and keep down transportation costs, the company needs to introduce a greater level of automation into the system.
"We are looking at an integration project where Astro WMS will feed information to the Knapp automation system. Astro WMS will take care of everything including goods in, packing routines, sorting, etc." says Pär.
Being fully automated brings greater capacity, which conversely lowers the environmental impact of the supply chain, as goods only come into one centre and don’t have to be stored once more in a regional centre.
3PL partner for consumer electronics companies
"We see automation as adding to our competitiveness. Says Tommy Palm. "Some customers like Elgiganten and L’easy want us to send packages directly to end customers on their behalf. So we may be asked to send, say one memory card with the right invoice and right package to a customer. As we expand we can help more customers transport fewer goods per order more efficiently".
"We are gearing up to meet new challenges, and with every step we take it’s good to know we have a system like Astro WMS to rely on. It never crashes, and is fully expandable, giving us the ability to grow and take on more customers." Concludes Pär Eriksson.