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Solchem ​​d.o.o.: The warehouse should be managed by Trace.WMS

At Solchem, with the introduction of the Trace.WMS system for warehouse operations, they achieved what many companies consider an unattainable ideal – the absence of inventory surpluses and shortages.

The company Solchem ​​d.o.o., the leading Slovenian distributor of products in the field of basic chemistry, introduced the software Trace.WMS for the management of warehouse operations in its warehouse in Kranje just over a year ago. This, in a modern warehouse, manages around 6,000 pallet spaces, a range of forklifts and the work of warehouse workers.

“Unfortunately, there are not many well-organized warehouses in Slovenia that the tenant could manage himself, similar to what the logisticians do. In the end, we just found a technically suitable facility in a good location in Kranj. Our desire was to establish the highest level of computerization in the warehouse. Namely, with hardware and software wanted to eliminate as many negative human factors as possible, especially errors that usually occur in the field of internal logistics. We completely succeeded in this,” Primož Mavrič, procurator of the company Solchem, remembers the ambitious plan.

The provider of a solution for the management of warehouse operations was sought through a tender, where, unlike many companies, the price of the solution was not a key or dominant criterion, its adaptability to the company’s environment was more important. In the last round, they chose the Trace.WMS solution among solutions from four providers. Appropriate functionality, the flexibility of the solution and the possibility of custom development prevailed in the decision.

Additional development of the functionality and range of logistics services

The implementation of the storage system was divided into two phases. First of all, the experts from Kvint d.o.o. and Logistar d.o.o. implemented control of goods from the point of entry into the warehouse, storage, internal logistics, manipulation of goods and ordering and issuing of goods for the needs of Solchem. This part of the project was completed in two months, and in the following two months commissioning and other tasks were introduced. i. 3PL services for external clients of Solchem. Among them, for example, is the company Merkur, which ships orders from its online store through the company Solchem, where all goods are also stored in a modern warehouse and logistically processed with the Trace.WMS system, with which the provider ensures short response times and timely processing and issuing of orders. Annually, more than ten thousand shipments are sent to Solchem’s warehouse in the name of Merkur alone.

After a few months of use, the implementation of the Trace.WMS solution was followed by the optimization of processes in the warehouse and the development of additional functionalities. In order to offer even better services to clients, the Solchem ​​company introduced the functionality of relegating the ownership of racks.

Fewer people handle larger quantities of goods

One of the goals of introducing an advanced information solution and other equipment in the warehouse was to manage a larger number of transactions with a smaller number of people than would be possible without the computerization of processes. Even otherwise, the ratio between employees and the quantities of goods they manage is enviable.

“A modern warehouse needs quality personnel, one that is technically proficient and information literate, as most of the work is done with computers and scanners. We strive for paperless business,” says Mavrič and adds: “We are satisfied with the Trace.WMS system, because already in the first year of use we have achieved results that only a few companies can boast of, and even these are generally much more experienced in the field of warehouse operations . During the annual inventory in the warehouse, there were no deviations, which completely surprised me, because until this year I thought it was a myth, something unattainable. But this is just additional proof that we have really well designed the work system in the warehouse.”

Information technology and storage are living things

As the interlocutor says, the work in the warehouse never ends. Informatics is a living thing, as it is constantly evolving. The warehouse never stands still, software is being developed, additional processes and functionalities are being introduced. Additional optimizations lead to even higher process efficiency.

Mavrič further explains: “Informatization of warehouse operations is based on a flawless IT environment, the warehouse must be technically flawless, as the IT infrastructure must not be compromised.” This is more difficult to achieve in an old warehouse. It is possible, but achievable only at great expense.”

They are thinking about (partial) robotization

Automation is already present in Solchem’s warehouse, as the company uses a marking system with barcodes, etc. i. guided rack forklifts, to which also the inter-rack spaces are adapted. It is the first step towards partial robotization of the warehouse, namely, according to Mavrič, it will not be absolute: “Absolute robotization of the warehouse is not foreseen, as the nature of the business cannot financially support it. Our business is characterized by a large heterogeneity of shipments, while automation prefers homogeneous packages and is more suitable for warehouses where the repeatability of the same events is high, there are no exceptions, and last but not least, the entire logistics chain is also adapted to this.”

Would you still work the old way today? “No way. With the growth in the number of dispatches, which is a result of hosting online retailers in our warehouse, we can no longer imagine managing goods without the Trace.WMS system.«

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