Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Van Maanen streamlines hub with WMS

Dutch logistics provider Van Maanen has streamlined operations at its new hub at Barneveld, in the Netherlands, with a Kewill warehouse management system and RF-scanning technology.

The new, high bay racking hub was opened to help deal with the company’s growth, and has pushed up warehouse capacity to 25,000 pallet places.

The company’s recent expansion called for wider support for its warehouse management. It also wanted to be able to separate food and non-food goods such as paint and high-tech products.

The company brought in the Kewill Warehousing system to monitor its warehouse processes, and support the movement of inbound and outbound goods and invoicing.

The system has helped improve Van Maanen’s flexibility, enabling it to configure the system to meet the specific needs of each customer.
The opening of the new hub has enabled Van Maanen to pick up new customers. And the high bay racking in the warehouse has resulted in a more easy separation of the storage of food and non-food products.

RF scanners were also introduced into the warehouse. Previously, when goods arrived staff were notified by a pre-receipt message – a process now unnecessary with the new system.

Willem van Riesen, director of Van Maanen, says: “Following the introduction of RF-scanning applications we are able to work with a wide range of inbound stock at any one time. When goods arrive at the warehouse they already have a scan label. Furthermore we use a free location system, which means that when the goods arrive, our warehouse employees can decide for themselves where to store the pallets in the warehouse.

“RF is an advanced and efficient way to control and monitor processes in the warehouse. A signal is activated via an RF terminal when a truck arrives at a dock, and warehouse staff will know directly which pallets they need to prepare for departure.

“This also applies for the arrival of goods. The introduction of this rapid communication structure allows warehouse managers to organise staff and trucks in the most efficient way, while employees can flexibly be assigned onto a pick task.”

Kewill was asked to provide further training on the system, as a result of the growth of Can Maanen’s customer base. Van Riesen says: “Transport and warehousing are two very different disciplines and this is why we decided to provide our employees with additional training. As the business experienced rapid growth we needed support from Kewill to deliver custom-made services to our growing customer base. Kewill also helped us with the configuration of the software.

“Before we implemented the system, warehouse managers had to walk into the warehouse to divide the workload among the warehouse employees. Now, these orders are being sent via RF-terminals and it’s much easier to manage processes and prioritise orders.

“It’s almost impossible to make errors in the RF-system, and because of this it’s very easy to deploy temporary labour during busy periods. The RF-system guarantees 100 per cent quality and has resulted in significant cost savings for the business.”

Van Maanen has also spent time focusing upon the development of management dashboards. These provide information regarding how the goods are stored and what their status is. It also advises how many pallets need to be transported and how many trucks are required to transport them.

Working this way the business is able to retrieve information quickly about the number of trips and movement of goods in and out. The dashboards also display the revenue, costs per mile and the number of pallets that have been stored during a certain period, which helps boost the transparency of its processes.