Infor has announced that Esky.ru has successfully deployed its Warehouse Management Software (WMS) . The announcement came with some apparently astonishing facts. Once deployed Esky.ru improved its inventory accuracy by five times and its order accuracy by ten times. As well as improving warehouse labour performance by 50%. Esky.ru is one of the largest online mother and baby retailers in Russia. It deployed Infor SCE at both of its Moscow locations.
Petr Dyuba, Chief Operating Officer at Esky.ru commented: “The warehouse is an essential part of our business and our main working site. Prior to this, we did not control all the stages of order processing; now Infor SCE has made the order fulfilment process fully transparent. We have been able to increase the number of orders processed while maintaining high picking accuracy and service quality. Now we have the tool to expand our business.”
The project at Esky.ru was led by the Infor partner Exceed Consulting. Exceed has worked on projects at other retailers such as the X5 retail group and the Perekrestok supermarket group. They offered the systems integration expertise that Esky.ru were looking for when they implemented the solution.
ERP at Esky.ru
Esky.ru do not use the complete Infor ERP solution. When Alexander Pisknov founded the company in 2009 they selected 1C:Standard. The company growth and second warehouse meant that they needed to implement a WMS solution that would increase their efficiency. Integration with their local 1C and other solutions was critical to the success of the project. This was not without its risks. A spokesperson from Esky.ru commented: “The main challenge is to launch the system without stopping the working process.”
The scale of that challenge was impressive. The online shop offers more than 100,000 SKU’s (Stock keeping units). The warehouses process between 1500 to 2000 units a day. With the growing success of the company, Esky.ru needed to expand its storage space. It also needed to ensure that efficiency improved or it would risk customer dissatisfaction.
The six month project saw the second warehouse integrated into the existing ERP solution. This added an extra 6500m2 of space. The software enabled such tasks as manual counts to become automated which lessened the load on 100 warehouse staff. With 40 staff on shift at any time the approach to such a major change was interesting. The Esky.ru spokesperson commented: “We were quite cautious towards it as to any novelty. At the same time it provoked some interest. On the whole, we are proud that we could handle the period of adaptation of the new system with our employees, hand in hand so to say.”
Despite the project taking six months the handover between manual and automated systems delivered by Infor SCE was handled well. What helped was the inference that there were no jobs at risk at the company due to the expansion and there were added benefits.
The WMS solution now integrates into the technology that is also used in the warehouse. This ranges from barcode scanners and data collection terminals to mobile label printers. Integrating these into Infor SCE was important to the project and helped deliver the improvements that Esky.ru hoped for.
Before the Infor solution was implemented the error rate on orders was between 0.1 and 0.5%. Since implementing the solution in October 2013, that error rate has dropped substantially to 0.01%. This means that only around 1-3 orders are picked improperly, on average, in a given month, compared to 10 times that amount before the implementation. In a period of sustained growth that is an impressive change. For Esky.ru this is significant as the spokesperson commented: “So, it is not a very massive change, but it is a matter of reputation and customer experience that we care about.”
That they are now using the same staff to process 50% more orders will help the company growth further in the future. The cost base will have remained similar and saving on staff costs alone will have helped to deliver the return on investment. The integration to the existing ERP solution was fully implemented by Exceed. It is not known how this was done or whether Infor Ion was used as would be expected. Dmitry Martynov, Official Infor Representative in Russia and CIS for Infor commented: “Infor supply chain management products combine seamless integration and reliability of out-of-box solutions with the possibility to fine-tune it to the needs of specific customers and their businesses.”
In the future Esky.ru hope to extend the use of Infor SCE even further. The core functionality that they needed is now embedded in the organisations and the benefits delivered. They are now looking for other ways that they can benefit from the technology. While this implementation was completed some time ago it shows that over the intervening months the KPI’s of the project were measured and met. The question of what Esky.ru are working on now and whether they are looking to extend their use of the Infor software would be interesting to know. In the last year Russian businesses have been improving the efficiency of their operations and it will be interesting to see whether the expansion in Russia extends beyond their borders.
It is also curious that in Russia at the moment there isn’t the same adoption of cloud computing that there is elsewhere. Whether this is the next stage will be interesting to see. Infor is well placed as Russia starts its migration to cloud computing.