EUROLOGIC has deployed Infor Supply Chain Execution (SCE) at three logistics centres in Russia to help administer the logistics business. The installation was supported by LT Management. LT Management were themselves a warehouse operator until 2008, but sold the warehouse business to concentrate on consultancy around IT systems deployment in third-part logistics (3PL) across Russia. They are a member of the Infor partner network and completed the project in eight months.
EUROLOGIC operates three logistics centres, each of which can contain between fourteen and fifteen thousand pallets. Originally the company specialised in perfume and cosmetics, but has sinces branched out into other sectors including industrial equipment, appliance and food products (chocolate). One of the risks associated with these industries is counterfeit goods. According to a report by Zurich insurance in November 2014: “’Knock-offs’ are not limited to luxury goods. Today, counterfeit finished products or parts are affecting a wide range of industries, including the automotive, chemicals, pesticides, consumer electronics, electrical components, foods and beverages, agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, packaging materials, tobacco, toiletries and household products industries.”
This has been a challenge for EUROLOGIC. Shipments of goods leave their warehouse but those that arrive at the destination are not always the same. The problem is that the switch is not always discovered until the items are further down the supply chain, often in the hands of consumers. This can lead to costly investigations and a loss in reputation.
LT Management has developed a business process within Infor SCE to minimise or at least reduce this risk. It seeks to quickly identify when substitution of goods has occurred. This allows the shipment to be rejected by the destination warehouse and potentially lead investigators to the source of the issue. An external control and packing module allows operators at EUROLOGIC to confirm that the goods have been picked correctly prior to packing and shipment.
Before sending good out, the systems assigns a secret code to each item. One the goods are received by the client they can check the good against an item listing that is sent separately. This helps to confirm that the goods received are the same as those shipped and have not been switched out in transit.
Successful Business improvements
With 450 employees across its infrastructure, EUROLOGIC has looked to improve most of its logistics processes with Infor SCE. Processes for goods handling have been improved leading to an better utilisation coefficient of warehouse space utilization. This now stands at 0.8. Unfortunately the details of what the coefficient was before the installation is unavailable. Without further investigation and understanding such as whether pallets are stacked two deep, in which cause this is an excellent figure, or one deep in which case it is less impressive.
Infor SCE has also been integrated with the existing ERP solution (1C) and an Microsoft reporting services. One assumes that this was completed using Infor Ion, but it has not been made clear. Alexey Kharin, Chief Development Officer at EUROLOGIC is pleased with the results though and commented: “Compared to competitors’ solutions, Infor SCE has a friendlier user interface and enables us to use existing practices. It provides operation stability and quick response, as well as flexible modifications. The solution could even be scaled up twice to support more than 4-5 storage sites – that gives us technological capability for business expansion.”
LT Management is continually working with EUROLOGIC to ensure that the processes are continuously improved. Maximising the use of the SCE software for the benefit of the company. Having a partner that continues to work with clients is important. Historically channel have often installed solutions and then walked away towards the next implementation.
While account managers will hold the hand of clients and offer support they will not always proactively improve the solution. Part of this fault lies with the purchaser though. Once installed the last thing a company wants to do is spend more effort on improving its solution. This is a mistake, especially when the solution supports the core business functionality.
EUROLOGIC are working with LT Management to create a mobile workspace. This will use an RF terminal to check the correctness of picking and conduct output order control closer to the point of shipping. It seems likely that this is being used to further reduce errors and to ensure that the correct goods, once picked, are shipped to the right location.
What is interesting about this implementation is that LT Management has taken the standard functionality from Infor SCE and applied it in a new way to reduce a risk within EUROLOGIC. Companies will often talk about delivering business process improvements with their software, as Infor has done in their press release. It is the reduction in fraud however that is most interesting. Taking a specific business problem, LT Management has been able to implement Infor SCE to deliver a solution. Even if it doesn’t solve the issue completely it at least highlights the full extent of occurrences.
Dmitry Martynov, official Infor representative in Russia and the CIS commented: “Today, companies are forced into a continuous search for the ways to reduce costs through effective logistics management, increased warehouse performance and capacity, and reduced stocks. Infor SCE improves transparency of warehouse processes and increases resource utilization efficiency and shipment accuracy. Using this single information system, managers can track goods movement and be certain about accurate delivery.”