Logistics providers need to process large quantities of data every day to control their material flow efficiently. The German Fressnapf Group supplies more than 1,800 branches and regional warehouses in eleven European countries from its central warehouse in Krefeld. This requires efficient, forward-looking warehouse management. That’s why Europe’s market leader in pet supplies places its trust in both the LFS warehouse management system and the Timesquare supply chain control tower by EPG (Ehrhardt Partner Group). The all-in-one dashboard serves as a cockpit for process monitoring, displays all relevant figures and thus helps to ensure greater flexibility during everyday logistics operations. The leading pet supplies provider was the first Timesquare client to introduce the dashboard in its automatic small parts warehouse at its Krefeld central warehouse back in 2018. In the future, user-friendly dashboards will be used in the entire central warehouse and then also gradually introduced in the regional warehouses.
In 2015, Fressnapf decided to replace its manual small parts warehouse with an automatic one with three aisles and storage spaces for around 80,000 containers. This was due to an increase in customer demand for toys, pet food, dog clothing, care products and other pet accessories. A forwarding system handles picking, carrying the boxes to different picking stations automatically once an order has been placed. In addition to the currently eighteen pick-by-light stations, there are also two pick-to-tote stations. This automatic small parts warehouse is currently being expanded.
Timesquare reduces costs and minimises risks
As its order volumes increased, Fressnapf was finding it increasing more time-consuming to obtain maximum transparency for material flows. “We had to compile the current figures from different menus by hand and analyse them individually. That not only took considerable time; it was also prone to errors,” states Larissa Strippel, Project Manager for Logistics Systems at Fressnapf. Timesquare provides an overview of all relevant key figures. The central dashboard delivers forecasts, status reports, and, importantly, reliable data on the individual warehouse processes in real time. In this way, the control centre receives a continually updated overview and can intervene in picking faster if necessary. “Timesquare enables us to monitor our processes and KPIs in logistics in real time. As a result, we receive active support for everyday logistics operations, create transparency and save time and costs considerably,” explains Strippel. This big data solution enables Fressnapf to reduce costs, minimise risks and increase productivity based on targeted analyses. Timesquare provides information on the order status and commissioning automatically and presents it in a transparent format.
Picking aisles in small parts warehouse feature dashboards
The retail chain started with a dashboard to control material flows in its small parts warehouse control centre back in 2018. The picking aisles in the central warehouse are now also equipped with a control tower. As a result, Fressnapf increases employee autonomy and efficacy significantly since employees can now immediately see which picking point needs them the most. This eliminates unnecessary walking distances and detours. As the dashboard is hosted online, new users and other departments can be easily added at any time.
Timesquare encompasses everything from incoming goods and monitoring various logistics areas through to transport systems, loading gates and shipment. The clearly organised dashboards can be custom-configured to meet the users’ specific needs. Fressnapf has been using the EPG LFS warehouse management system for more than ten years now. It also benefits from the LYDIA Voice pick-by-voice solution, the WCS warehouse control system, the TMS transportation management system, and the WFM workforce management system, which was developed in a joint project between EPG and Fressnapf. The different software solutions can be easily connected to Timesquare thanks to the close integration between the control tower and the EPG ONE suite. The control tower has been further developed in close cooperation with Fressnapf on a continuous basis. This is also why warehouse management has progressed from a static solution to a dynamic one.
Third-party software in new shuttle warehouse can also be integrated
The pet supplies specialist is currently expanding its small parts warehouse. Shipping is also being upgraded to include an efficient shuttle warehouse system. Controlled by a third-party software, the new shuttle warehouse is where the completed shipment boxes are buffered, sequenced and then automatically palletised. This warehouse will also be connected to Timesquare. “At the moment, we are still working with individual shipment conveyors. Our employees have to lift the boxes physically, place them on their intended pallets and then secure the shipment by hand. We’ll make this work step easier by automating the shipment area significantly, thus alleviating our employees. Timesquare will allow them to organise their work themselves and keep track of their successes,” affirms Strippel. In a next step, Fressnapf will be incorporating incoming goods, technical incident handling and the large parts warehouse. A third-party material flow computer is also being integrated into the new shuttle warehouse.