Dynamically controlled central warehouse

MANUTAN company made its business processes more efficient and optimized through the Dynamically Controlled Warehouse by NAVISYS.

BIZ4Warehousing for central and eastern Europe

“Our company has been continuously extending the range of offered products and it has continued to improve our customer services. A part of this strategy is also advancement of a quality information system which has already become one of fundamental pillars of our activities. Continuous advancement of the information system makes it possible for us to optimize work processes, carry out their automation, reduce operating costs, and first of all, increase satisfaction of our customers. To improve the information system we need a partner who is able to meet our requirements quickly and in good quality. NAVISYS has been such a partner for us since 1998,” says Jan Švenda, IT manager of MANUTAN s.r.o.

Business goals

  • Business process automation
  • Introduction of tools eliminating customer errors
  • Make the process of warehousing transparent and optimized
  • Maximum marketing support (CRM)
  • Automatic document exchange between the head office and branches
  • Automation of processes involving suppliers, carriers, Czech Post, ...

Initial situation

Manutan s.r.o. used Microsoft Navision 3.70B information system without the Warehouse Management module. The company did not keep track of the warehouse by shelves but only by locations; to expedite goods a tailor-made module for creating dispatch orders without propositions of specific warehouse locations was used. In 2005 the company decided to move to new premises with a new warehouse run in a compartment mode.

Description of the entire solution

Manutan s.r.o. uses a solution based on Microsoft Navision 3.70B. At present, new functionality is being developed for the head office, placed in the Czech Republic, and for four branch offices (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia). The database is located in the Czech Republic with the branches remotely accessing it (Citrix solution). Manutan s.r.o. guaranties the customer to deliver the goods (catalogue sales) within 24 hours in the Czech Republic and within 48 hours abroad. The goods must always be in stock in optimum quantity for sales.

The physical location of the central warehouse is at the head office and the branches deliver from this warehouse (the branches do not have their own warehouses). There is automatic document exchange (customer orders, order confirmations and shipping orders) between the head office and the branches. The branches have online information regarding the stock levels at the head office and the quantities they can deliver from this stock to the customer, or possibly when the next stock replenishment is planned. Item cards of the goods in the system are centrally managed and synchronized from the head office to the branches. Item price calculations are also centrally controlled using a special module of Item Calculations.

The warehouse is divided into several zones. The warehouse contains pallet racks (different for various classes – heights of goods), compartment racks, and free space for oversized goods, such as wardrobes. The warehouse is conceived as a dynamic one, which means that most of the goods do not have a stable place in the warehouse, with the goods being delivered in and out dynamically.

The system can even handle such situations like that the supplier does not meet the order specifications (quantity, type of packaging…) and fails to deliver the goods packed as declared. When receiving the goods it is possible to reflect these types of discrepancies. The stock keeper can modify the type and class of packaging. In case of oversized goods exceeding standard dimensions of a pallet location in the rack, the stock keeper enters the overlap (indication whether the goods will overlap by one or two pallet locations). Depending on the overlap a compartment is then proposed in the warehouse to have adequate space at the sides. The compartments into which the good overlaps are blocked and released only upon consumption of the entire packaging. The system checks the goods in to ensure that there is always the highest possible number of cells in the warehouse allowing storage of overlapping goods. In order to ensure that there are no manoeuvre restrictions, the cells for overlapping goods are not situated at the sides or between the pillars.

Project execution

In spring 2005 MANUTAN decided to move to new premises with a new warehouse run in a compartment mode. An external company prepared a physical design of the warehouse with adequate capacity for the period of several upcoming years. NAVISYS was invited during this design phase and the warehouse was optimized also from the perspective of warehouse management. Standard project stages followed: analysis, design and customization, testing, setting up the demo database, user training, customer testing, feedback processing. The production version of the Dynamically Controlled Warehouse was launched in summer 2005.

Results and benefits for the company

By introducing the Dynamically Controlled Warehouse the entire business process from creating a new customer order, through warehouse allocation, to final dispatch was made more efficient. The stock keepers have a clear overview of the warehouse inventory and of availability of free capacities. Thanks to automation of the entire process, inventory checks are much easier and more transparent than before implementation of the new warehouse management system. Communication between the head office and the branches is fully automated. The new warehouse management system gives very little space to customer error, becoming thus a very efficient management tool.

Technologies used

  • MBS Navision 3.70 B + application server
  • MS Windows Server 2003
  • MS Windows XP Professional
  • MS Office 2003
  • MS Share Point Service
  • Citrix server
  • Server: Fujitsu Siemens, 2 CPU 3,06GHz, 3 GB RAM,
  • 5xHDD36GB

Company profile of MANUTAN, s.r.o.

MANUTAN s.r.o., (until 22.12.2005 called PLUS - vybavení skladů, dílen a kanceláří s.r.o.) was established in 1993, dealing originally in production of manual manipulation equipment with a wide range of hand-operated trolleys, transport platforms etc. In 1994 additional activities of already trade nature in the area of travel wheel distribution were included. Both the specified product categories remained an important part of today’s product offer. The fundamental change in the business activities of PLUS took place in 1995 when it entered the Czech market by issuing the first annual mail-order catalogue with warehouse, workshop and office equipment. In collaboration with a number of Czech suppliers it succeeded in providing the customers with goods not offered at that time through a regular sales distribution network. By the end of 1998 PLUS became a part of the European group of MANUTAN INTERNATIONAL – a supplier of equipment for plants, workshops, warehouses and offices, the daughter companies of which do business in more than 20 European countries.

In September 2005 PLUS moved to a new logistics centre in Ostrava - Třebovice, from which it delivers goods to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia.