Flooring leaders have efficiency covered
A follow up with international carpet and flooring company Belgotex, two years after implementing MYOB Greentree WMS/Mobility
Belgotex (formerly Irvine Flooring) design, make and distribute high-quality broadloom, carpet tiles and needlepunch with custom solutions available. They are a member of the multinational Belgotex International Group, and have outlets in Auckland and Christchurch, and a Distribution Centre in Auckland.
When Endeavour and what was then known as Irvine Flooring initiated their working relationship in 2011, it was to move from their previous software solution to MYOB Greentree. The outcome of this implementation provided significant benefits in terms of gaining measured efficiencies and streamlining processes.
In 2015, Belgotex installed warehouse bin management for improved stock location identification, and in 2017 took this even further by making use of the WMS’s scanning technology.
Lead Consultant from Endeavour, Tom Howard, paid a recent visit to the Belgotex Distribution Centre in Auckland and was very impressed with the business benefits achieved over the last couple of years. "Of particular interest was the measured efficiencies they have gained since actually using the WMS system, and implementing other systems like freight integrations," Tom says. "They gave me a presentation, and the concepts and the efficiencies that they have achieved are very impressive."
From hold-outs to advocates
Although there had been some very real, tangible and impressive benefits from go-live, staff buy-in wasn't all it could be. Not long after the solution was implemented, Belgotex's new Head of Logistics, Yogesh Natali, joined the team. "There were a group that didn't take to it," he recalls. "They were of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' mindset, or they were worried about learning a new technology. What I needed to do was explain to them that embracing technology was actually going to make their jobs easier, that it was a tool designed to streamline their tasks and help them to be more accurate. The challenge for me was shifting their mindset from that unwillingness to being open to the potential. I had to convince them that the technology was an enabler."
When the staff began to realise how much easier the system would make their working lives, they all came on board, with even the fiercest hold-outs now enthusiastic advocates.
Literally from the first day that Yogesh came on board, he noted that the company wasn't making use of the scanning features in Greentree. "It wasn't being used for Inwards Goods, stocktaking or inventory checks," he recalls. "So with Endeavour's help, we got it up and running. Stocktakes that had been taking anywhere from 3-5 days can now be completed in a day and a half, using this scanning technology."
Getting the most out it
The WMS solution has meant that Belgotex are now experiencing improved accuracy and efficiency with their freight integrations. "We're now able to feed them all the necessary information in a faster, more accurate way," says Yogesh. "Weight, cube, where it's being picked up from, where it's being delivered to. Previously our dispatch office had to key all that information in, and the manual process meant there was more room for error. A classic example was goods being delivered to Whakatane instead of Whanganui." In terms of inventory, every single item in the sample division has been entered into the system, which means that a great deal of information that had previously been stored only in someone's head, is now accessible to everyone. Again, this is an example of eliminating out-dated or manual processes that were susceptible to inaccuracies and were time consuming.
Stocktake performance has also improved. Belgotex does monthly stocktakes, which as previously mentioned have been considerably sped up. "The stocktake accuracy is 0.4%, which is pretty world-class," says Yogesh.
Not only have there been efficiency gains that have strengthened their stocktake integrity, there have also been benefits to the Inwards Goods process. "In the old days, we'd receive a container of goods and put it away," Yogesh recalls. "It would take 3 or 4 hours to unload and then we'd provide the information to the Inventory Controller. That person would key in where the goods physically were in the warehouse. Again, this was subject to error, meaning there were data accuracy issues. There were also time delays in terms of getting orders out the door. The scanning technology has eliminated all that and provided us with a process that's fast and accurate, and happening in real time."
Other areas that have noticed significant improvement include:
- Invoice dispatching - there's been a 20% increase in the number of invoices going out
- On-time delivery performance has been greatly enhanced
- The culture of the company has changed, with staff feeling like they can make changes that will improve their productivity
A successful working partnership
From the day of Yogesh's arrival, he has been in contact with Endeavour. "They were key to helping me make the changes here I needed to make," he says. "In terms of efficiency gains, they were invaluable at helping me find them, as well as offering advice as to how to get our people on board." Yogesh goes on to say that Endeavour's responsiveness, combined with our willingness to come up with modifications and to help him tailor the solution to Belgotex's needs has been key to the overall success of the WMS. "Endeavour understood our requirements, but they would also question us, always looking for improvements," he recalls. "They'd put our requests into development, they'd assist us in the testing, and then they'd implement the modification." These included the freight integration, the stocktake process, and the scanning technology.
"They were also great moral support when I was running into roadblocks," Yogesh says. "I would come up against frustrations and they would help me deal with them, and that was key to getting everyone on board."
Endeavour have also been instrumental in helping Yogesh build a sampling demand profile. "Because we know what we've got, we know what we need to re-order," he explains. "We know what our slow-moving items are, and which move faster. As a result, we're building our sampling stock levels based on demand." What this means for the company is that they're operating on a proactive basis, rather than having to react when something runs out or there's not enough to satisfy demand. "I'd rather prevent fires than fight them," says Yogesh. "What Endeavour has helped me to do is work in a proactive way so that I'm not running around putting out fires."
In keeping with the culture of continuous improvement, Yogesh says there a number of things he has in mind for the future. "Currently, we use the scanning feature for everything except picking, packing and dispatching," he says. "I'd like to address that. Project number two is increasing our freight integration; we have it with two of our main freight suppliers; I'd like to bring on a third. That would make me a happy camper. And I'm starting to work with Endeavour on it now."
When it comes to recommending Endeavour as a partner, Yogesh doesn't hesitate, and he has some words of advice for any business seeking a similar solution, with a partner. "They're not a bunch of IT geeks," he says. "They're fast and flexible, with good market intel and they're solutions-oriented. And they want to get inside your business and truly understand it. If you allow them to do that, they become truly a part of the solution."
If you’d like to learn more about how Endeavour and our range of business solutions can help you find efficiency gains and enhance the culture within your team, drop us a line and we’ll start a discussion.
Endeavour is a supplier of enterprise software to the manufacturing and wholesale distribution sectors. Our offering includes ERP, business planning and business intelligence solutions. These solutions enable our clients to ‘join the dots’ in their businesses – helping them grow by empowering them with quality, real-time information.