European Motor Distributors Ltd (EMD), a member of the Giltrap Group, recently teamed up with Honeywell and Interlogic to strengthen its warehouse performance and bolster a 22 per cent order growth in its auto parts distribution business.
EMD, a New Zealand importer of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Skoda vehicles and parts, needed to upgrade its paper-based warehouse management system (WMS) to an automated process that would support increased demand in its parts and distribution centre from EMD’s dealer network. This demand required them move to a larger facility so they could double the stock of parts imported from Germany.
As part of its new warehouse system, EMD deployed Honeywell’s LXE Tecton MX7 industrial mobile computer and Thor VM1 vehicle-mount computer. The new system provides real-time insight into inventory and the flexibility to cope with small or large orders of a wide range of individual car parts, rather than traditional pallet orders.
“After a year of planning, we simultaneously moved locations and rolled out the new WMS from Interlogic and Honeywell. This was achieved in just four days, with only one day downtime, which meant we were able to see the benefits and results very rapidly,” said Douglas Blair, general manager, parts & distribution at EMD. “Since implementing the new system, we have achieved a 20 per cent increase in our warehouse picking productivity.
“The rugged technologies haven’t skipped a beat and have enabled 100 per cent uptime of our system, which best places us to deal with our rising stock throughput due to increasing orders from dealers. The system is also designed to help EMD stay ahead of the local car market and grow with the expanding market well into the future,” Blair added.
The upgraded Interlogic and Honeywell warehouse system allows parts to be tracked at every stage of the supply chain, including receiving, picking and distribution, which has resulted in increases not only in productivity, but also accuracy and efficiency.
The new warehouse system has achieved an increase in dealer product availability and supply from 83 per cent under the old system, to 93 per cent under the new system. The overall effect is that dealers are now receiving the correct parts faster, so they can in turn return serviced cars to their customers quicker.