Barcode solution has made room
for several thousand new item numbers

AX

Bredana’s Pocket solution has made the work quicker and easier – and as an added bonus, the number of packing errors has plummeted

Things are moving fast at JP Group’s giant warehouse in Viborg, Denmark. Almost symbolic of the fact that the company delivers exhaust systems for lightning fast Porsche cars, goods reception, storage, picking and dispatch are run at a fast pace, and with a level of order, efficiency and quality which ensures the right goods reach the right recipients at the right time. For German customers, this means goods ordered before 15.00 on a given day arrive no later than 14.00 the next day – anywhere in the country.

One particular tool is a fixed item of inventory for the employees criss-crossing the warehouse – no matter what their job title may be: the Axcite Pocket hand-held terminal with built-in bar code reader. This is the core of the Axcite Logistics warehouse solution, and works with the system’s own data so that warehouse management is constantly based on real-time registrations and full traceability.

The introduction of Axcite Pocket has had an almost revolutionary effect on warehouse operations. Without the system, it would have been very difficult – if not impossible – for the warehouse to keep pace with the company’s considerable growth:

“By running the ‘chaos warehouse’ concept based around Axcite Pocket and Dynamics AX, we have freed up 20 per cent warehouse space, allowing us to store thousands of new item numbers in the same physical premises,” relates Flemming Andersen, IT Manager at JP Group.

“At the same time, it has become much easier and less time-consuming to position the incoming pallets, and we have speeded up our picking and packing work as well,” he continues.

Kurt Fuglsang Hansen, Operations Manager JP Group.

Kurt Fuglsang Hansen, Operations Manager, adds:

“Packing errors have plummeted since we introduced Pocket because we now have tighter control of the entire process. Previously, when customers called to say something or other was missing, it was impossible for us to check so we had to issue a credit note,” he explains.

As the person responsible for aspects such as staffing the packing area, he has noted another significant benefit of the Axcite Pocket solution:

“The time it takes to train new staff has been slashed from days to hours, because now all they have to do is follow the instructions on the screen – either on the hand-held terminals or the large touchscreens fitted to our fork-lifts. If we had to work with as many temporary staff using the old system, it would be an absolute nightmare. But we have now achieved such flexibility that we can put temporary staff to work on packing assignments. We never dared do this before,” says Kurt Fuglsang Hansen.

Moreover, he is delighted that there is “no more running around with a scrap of paper, trying to find an order”.

“Pocket keeps track of everything, and at the end of the day it has raised the level of service we provide to our customers,” he says.

It also means that stock-taking has become much easier because a count is registered every time a pallet/location ‘hits zero’ and the count thus runs continuously.

“There’s hardly any waste or losses. Things don’t go missing anymore.”

Efficient warehouse management keeps jobs in Denmark

The family-owned enterprise JP Group was founded in 1975 by Johannes Pedersen, who was a bus driver. His son Martin has accelerated the growth of the business, and in 2013 he was presented with the award for ‘Business Manager of the Year’ by the Viborg Region Business Council. The council also awarded JP Group its annual prize in recognition of its having created 90 new workplaces in Viborg.

“Exports account for 98 per cent of our turnover, and 30 per cent of the business is based in Germany, where pay levels are much lower than in Denmark. So you would think that it would make more sense for us to run operations from Germany. We consistently plan and optimise to stay competitive, however, and Pocket is making its contribution in the warehouse,” says Kurt Fuglsang Hansen.

Flemming Andersen, IT Manager JP Group.

Pocket keeps track of 33,000 item numbers

JP Group operates with 27,000 active item numbers – and 33,000 item numbers in all – distributed across 15,000 m2 of warehouse, involving 21 warehouse vehicles with 30,000 locations. A total of 43 people are employed in goods reception, picking and packing. They work a two-shift system: one from 07.00 until 15.00 and one from 21.30 until 07.00.

Every week, the company receives eight containers and up to 100 pallets packed with parcels.

Immediately on the first scan of an item, Pocket reveals the strength of its integration with Dynamics AX.

“The unit displays a picture of the item and, if relevant, a quality note. For example, it may say ‘remember to check there are two bolts’ or ‘make sure to take a photo of the item’ or ‘quality assurance required’,” relates Kurt Fuglsang Hansen.

The pallet of goods is allocated a pallet ID bar code and is registered in Dynamics AX. It is then positioned in a vacant space in the warehouse – suggested by Dynamics AX – and a scan of the location is performed. The system makes sure to guide fast turnover goods to places close to the packing area, and ensures that heavy items are positioned so as to eliminate the need to bend down during picking.

The entire operation is paperless – except the bar code labels themselves.

Optimal picking routes

When the sales department releases an order, a picking list is generated and the system makes sure to provide the picker with the most straightforward route through the warehouse. With the opportunity to consolidate orders for different customers in a single multi-pick operation, the system likewise helps eliminate unnecessary time consumption on the picking route by only visiting each location once.

The dispatch routine is divided into picking and packing, so a picking pallet is selected and the route started. Receipts are issued continuously for each pick, and the completed pallet is delivered to the packing area.

The packing routine is based on the contents of the given pick pallet. The pallet delivered to the area is scanned, so the packer can see all the picked items on a hand-held terminal. Boxes are extracted continuously for packing and each item is scanned in the box to ensure maximum traceability.

“Once all picking routes have been run and there are no more pallets to deliver, a covering note is printed containing all the data necessary to ensure optimal packing in the container, including considerations of height and weight. And the covering and packing notes are printed when the employee presses ‘OK’ on the terminal.”

No data exchange

In contrast to other WMS set-ups, the entire process is visible in Dynamics AX in real time.

“Having all system functionality on the hand-held terminals eliminates the need for data exchange,” emphasises Flemming Andersen.

It also means that if a customer calls to say that he has only received nine rather than ten units of a given item, it is possible to track the entire process immediately and establish where the pallet in question came from.

“It’s very easy to look into the matter and we can answer customers very quickly because Axcite Pocket ensures that everything’s up to date in Dynamics AX,” says Kurt Fuglsang Hansen.

He and Flemming Andersen have nothing but praise for the working relationship with Bredana on implementation of the Axcite Pocket solution:

“The consultants were quick to familiarise themselves with our business, and when we need hotline support, the help is there right away,” says Flemming Andersen.

Read more about Axcite Pocket

Facts about JP Group

JP Group was founded in 1975 by Johannes Pedersen, a bus driver who was actually much more interested in manufacturing spare parts for cars.

Today – almost 40 years later – the company is headed by his son Martin and has become a major player on the market. JP Group employs around 190 people and generates annual turnover of DKK 375 million.

JP Group deals in spare parts for all car models. Exhaust pipes constitute a core product, and the company’s range includes more than 1,000 different exhaust products for cars, vans, sports cars and motorbikes.

JP Group also delivers original parts to VW and Porsche factories and to the biggest exhaust system factories in Europe and North America.

In recent years, the company has grown through initiatives including corporate acquisitions. In 2013, for example, the group took over enterprises in Germany and the United States.

Martin Pedersen is also owner of the QuickPot chain through the company Euro 2000 Holding.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about Axcite Pocket – to see a demonstration or hear what it costs – please fill out the form and we will call you.

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