The large German furniture retailer POCO with a nationwide network of stores and regional warehouses has switched inventory to the sampling method. This step was made possible by the REMIRA STATCONTROL software solution.More about STATCONTROL Cloud
Planning once “on a greenfield site” and building without compromise: For Wilhelm Houben this wish has come true. The graduate engineer is responsible for materials management at Kiesel GmbH and managed the construction of the new logistics centre in Stockstadt am Rhein. The building completed in 2012 is used for the storage and distribution of around 25,000 different spare parts with a total value of over 10 million euros. Previously, stocks of V-belts, screws or lamps were distributed among the company’s 28 own locations. With centralized stockpiling, the retail and service company has reduced its inventories by 70 percent, cut inventories by around five million euros in capital, and at the same time significantly increased availability and delivery quality.
The logistics service provider Panopa, which has a long-term contract, ensures that the ordered parts are shipped quickly. The freight forwarder has rented premises in Kiesel’s central warehouse and organises not only the transport but also the order picking. Every day, 1,000 items are assembled here into 250 orders and delivered to the branches and end customers. Houben only used the sampling procedure for the first inventory scheduled for January 2014. Houben knew the alternative to the time-consuming and cost-intensive full count from his time as a management consultant. For 15 years, he had convinced several customers of the advantages of inventory sampling and saved companies a lot of money. When switching from full inventory to the sampling procedure, a cost saving of 95 percent is quite normal.
"The cooperation with the experts from STATCONTROL works very well and the first inventory was successful right away."
Fast selection procedure
If, like Houben, you do it right from the start and rely on random sampling when setting up a new warehouse, there is of course no such before and after effect. On the other hand, Kiesel was able to complete the introduction of the software required for inventory sampling particularly quickly. It was not until October 2013 that Houben started the selection process, in which the three largest suppliers took part. The STATCONTROL was awarded the contract with the Stasam solution. The software enables inventory sampling with all four permissible extrapolation methods and is suitable for warehouses with more than 1,000 storage positions and a computer-controlled warehouse management system. Here, Kiesel relies on a solution integrated in the “Top Log” merchandise management system, which is linked to Panopa’s SAP-based warehouse management system. TopLog is a development of Logis GmbH and Kiesel GmbH was one of the first customers over 25 years ago.
“STATCONTROL was the only supplier that focused exclusively on the development of inventory software and could demonstrate a correspondingly high level of competence in implementation and support,” says Houben, explaining his decision taken in November. The installation of the software shortly afterwards went just as smoothly as the first count in January. “The cooperation with the experts from STATCONTROL worked out great and the first inventory worked out right away,” Houben recalls. Of the 25,000 items, only 581 items needed to be counted. This meant that ten Panopa employees from the logistics centre were only busy for half a Saturday.
Less counting errors
In Stockstadt, there is no direct comparison with the effort involved in a full inventory. It is certain that the counting effort would have been much greater, especially since most of the items are located in an automated small parts warehouse. For Kiesel, however, the higher quality of the inventory sampling is even more important than the pure counting effort. “A person who spends days counting small parts inevitably makes mistakes,” says Houben. Inventory sampling, on the other hand, is “much quicker and therefore more reliable”.
Now that Kiesel GmbH has concluded a maintenance contract with STATCONTROL, Stockstadt is looking forward to the coming annual accounts with confidence. Stasam’s adaptations to the updates of the corresponding systems such as TopLog are automatically taken over by STATCONTROL.
- Inventory reduction of 70% thanks to central stockpiling
- Cost savings of 95% with the sampling procedure
- 581 counted positions of 25.000 articles
- Less errors, higher quality