As one of the leading home electronics businesses in the Nordics, POWER recognises the importance of warehouse optimisation. Through a combination of automation and smart use of Astro WMS®, Power has managed to dramatically improve both warehouse efficiency and customer experience.
POWER serves all Nordic countries, providing anything from mobile phones and cables all the way to large white goods and TVs. All these goods go through one central warehouse, so this location needs to be as efficient as possible.
“Orders come into our warehouse from stores and from our website,” says Casper Ödeen, Logistics Development Manager at POWER. “We pick and pack everything here, and ship it out to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Our warehouse is big, with 65,000 square metres of floor space, so to meet demand from our customers we have to work in an efficient way. Astro WMS® from Consafe Logistics helps with that.”
POWER offers a wide range of products, and Astro WMS® helps with the management and organisation within the warehouse. However, efficiency was further improved when the decision was made to implement AutoStore – an automated storage solution.
“If not for the simple integration with Astro WMS®, we would not have invested in AutoStore,” adds Casper. “Astro is flexible system thanks to Consafe being so willing to adapt it for our needs, so the integration works really well. This is great as the efficiency gains have from the combination of Astro and AutoStore have been huge.”
Before implementing AutoStore, all goods would be picked manually, and would involve a person using a truck to find a specific product in the warehouse. Now, the AutoStore robots can automatically store all of the smaller items like phones, cables, tablets and laptops. The robot then presents the required products to the picker after a request is processed through Astro WMS® , which saves a lot of time and effort.
“65% of our goods are now picked through AutoStore,” Casper explains. “This has had a real impact on our picking rates. When we were picking manually, we saw roughly 25 picks per hour. With AutoStore, it’s 170 picks per hour. This is such a big difference, and means we can get more orders out in a more efficient way, which in turn helps keep our customers and colleagues happy.”
It’s not only the picking process that has been streamlined. Thanks to the Box Calculation add-on to Astro WMS® working alongside a machine that can cut down cartons, packing has also been improved significantly.
“We were shipping a lot of air in the past,” says Casper. “But this equipment combined with Astro WMS® automatically cuts boxes down to the most suitable size. We ship significantly less air now, which has the knock-on effect of reducing the number of trucks we need to use. Not only does this save on delivery costs, it’s also more sustainable.”
A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
In addition to improving operations in the warehouse, POWER has also seen many ways in which the customers benefit from the automation and integration of Astro WMS® and AutoStore.
“In the past, goods were picked and packed in a somewhat random way,” confirms Casper. “Now we use a logic within Astro WMS® to properly organise our shipments. This means all goods of the same type go together, which helps whoever is unpacking them at the other end as it saves them a lot of time when they’re unpacking. It helps the store get goods onto shelves quicker, which means they can sell quicker.”
This method can also ensure that goods which are meant to go directly to customers can be identified as such and packed together. The goods can be scanned quickly upon arrival as they are all grouped together, and the customers can pick up their orders sooner than when the packing was less organised.
“Astro WMS® is the heart of our operation,” Casper says. “Being able to add AutoStore so easily has really boosted our efficiency, and we know that automation is the future. Knowing that we can integrate automation in a smart and simple way means we can better prepare for the future. Automation allows us to spend more time on analysing and understanding our business in a deeper way, which means we can make better decisions on how to progress and be competitive.”