Inhance Supply Chain Solutions: Warehouse Management System
Globepak Achieves World-class Manufacturing Efficiency with Warehouse Management System
Operation Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa
Inhance Solution: Warehouse Management System
Following its 2015 acquisition by USN, Globepak recognised the imperative need to streamline and upgrade its existing warehouse processes. The objective and vision were clear – to cultivate an environment that is not just nimble and scalable, but also resilient and error-free, consequently enhancing operational efficiency and setting a new industry benchmark for warehousing best practices.
Inhance joined forces with the Globepak team to scrutinise and remodel the existing warehouse processes and procedures, paving the way for essential alterations and the required WMS design and configuration to support these changes. This was a meticulously organised endeavour that called for Globepak’s total commitment to change management, persisting until new processes were fully embedded and the system completely operational.
Efficient inventory control resulted in a remarkable enhancement in stock accuracy, soaring to an impressive 98%, even amidst constant product movement in a fast-paced manufacturing environment. The system's implementation enabled end to-end batch traceability and trimmed waste levels down to as low as 2%. Moreover, it demonstrated exceptional operational reliability, achieving an uptime of an almost flawless 99.99%.
Quote: "Perhaps the most illustrative testament to the intuitiveness and efficiency of the Inhance system is the way it empowered us to relocate our R250 million factory, containing over 1500 pallets, within a mere weekend. Come Monday, we were back to picking orders. Coupled with the extraordinary 99.999% uptime delivered by the WMS, this experience just reaffirms that this is undoubtedly one of the best investments we've ever made in our business. Waldo van der Walt, General Manager at Globepak"
EXCEPTIONAL COMPLIANCE AND STREAMLINED PERFORMANCE AT GLOBEPAK
Globepak, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the USN Group, deploys agile and capable WMS to improve the effective management of their operations. Globepak provides expert product development and manufacturing services to leading brands such as USN, Biogen, Evox, and Muscle Junkie across the Southern African and international markets. The company was acquired by USN in 2015, marking a significant shift in the company’s growth and operations. USN is one of the fastest-growing sports nutrition brands in the world, servicing more than 70 countries, and it is the first multi-national supplements company in Africa to provide due diligence screening and HFL Sports Science testing programmes. Globepak, a manufacturing and packing powerhouse that forms the foundation of the USN South African operation, invested in effective distribution and warehousing capabilities to ensure the continuous availability of products and meet growing local and international demand. The company invested in a new facility on the same site as USN with state-of-the-art capabilities and capacity to ensure it could focus on growth and expansion alongside its parent company. The new facility is 6000m2 and has been a success story from start to finish – especially when it comes to how Globepak leveraged Inhance’s technology to move smoothly and efficiently in just one weekend.
“We moved our entire factory in one weekend – that’s 250 million rounds and 1,800 pallets moved from our old site to the new,” says Waldo van der Walt, General Manager at Globepak. “Within 12 hours of dropping the last pallet, we were able to raise the first big order directing us to the various bins purely because of the Warehouse Management System that we acquired from Inhance.”
“Our setup is intricate and has very rigorous operating specifications, so the solution had to align with these. The company providing the solution had to be prepared to stay with us for the long haul, providing ongoing support, uptime, and customisation capabilities. These were all critical touchpoints that we felt Inhance and the WMS platform met. They were committed to solving our problems and to our business, not just making a sale.”
A FRESH OUTLOOK
“With growth comes the need for optimisation. We felt that, as our company continued to grow significantly, we needed to find a better, smarter way of working,” says van der Walt. The Globepak team got the ball rolling in 2019 and set out to find the right fit for the business. It took a while – they had to go through several different systems before they found one that could be customised to meet their unique demands. For Van der Walt, the WMS had to be capable of withstanding the intense pressures of the Globepak environment, customisable to meet the unique intricacies of the warehouse, and intelligent enough to enhance much-needed efficiencies. The WMS solution also had to provide seamless integration within the existing Globepak enterprise resource management platform (ERP) – Sage Evolution – and be capable of delivering increased flexibility and scale throughout the organisation’s warehouse operations. The ability to reduce errors and measurably improve operational value while providing a robust structure and rigorous control within the warehouse environment was non-negotiable.
Globepak selected Inhance as its primary WMS service provider and partner for several reasons, but perhaps the most significant was the fact that Inhance kept its promises. As Van der Walt pointed out, it was a proven solution with a solid track record built on reliable technology and impressive results. But the product’s capabilities were only one-half of the equation. For Globepak, one of the key factors in their choice was the relationship that developed between the two companies.
“From the start, we clicked with the Inhance team and leadership,” says Van der Walt, “I knew they were not making empty promises and that they were in this for the long haul. They also showed an in-depth understanding of our business, the dynamics that influence it, and what factors affect it. They brought this innate understanding and expertise into the solution they developed for us and into our relationship.” It is a view shared by Stan Antonites, GM: Warehouse
Management at Inhance: “We don’t just customise systems for our clients, we configure them based on their very real needs and on the time, we spend getting to know them and their unique operating environments. I believe both Inhance and Globepak benefitted from this relationship as we stretched ourselves to meet what the customer needed and learned a lot more about what we could do with our platform and our engineers.”
IT WAS AN EVOLUTION
The Inhance WMS evolved with Globepak’s requirements and provided the software that managed and intelligently executed the operations of the warehouse and distribution centre. It ticked all the WMS capabilities of receiving, put-away, stock locating, inventory management, cycle counting, task interleaving, wave planning, order allocation, order picking, replenishment, packing, shopping, labour management, and automated material handling equipment interfaces. It shifted every one of its internal benchmarks to become a truly revolutionary solution within the Globepak environment. The Inhance WMS ensures that organisations can do more in less time by automating manual tasks and eliminating costly human errors. With integrated barcode scanning and imaging technology, companies can maximise productivity in the warehouse and improve inventory accuracy, stock traceability and overall customer service.
“Our solution is capable of comprehensive integration with Sage ERP and comes with multiple configuration options, functionalities and toolsets designed to help Globepak scale up with its growth while scaling down on its costs,” says Antonites.
As it is a cloud-based platform, it makes it easy to integrate existing business and information systems and to cost-effectively deploy the WMS across the entire distribution network. However, during the implementation of the Inhance WMS, gaps were uncovered in process flow across the Globepak system, and, as a result, the solution underwent significant adaptations to ensure that operations were smoothed over, and gaps addressed. It was not an easy time. Problems, gaps, unexpected issues – these had to be resolved as they came to light and required Globepak and Inhance to work together to find innovative ways of bringing resolution and optimisation to the system. Inhance brought a level of discipline and commitment that made a big difference to the process – the company did whatever it took to make the system work to Globepak’s expectations.
The Globepak warehouse required a reinvention of its existing structure and infrastructure to overcome legacy issues around the speed of picking, visibility into stock and employee expertise. With only one or two people well-versed in stock management, the team needed to smooth over operations and build a solid foundation from which all employees could handle the stock, the picking, and the environment. The entire process took two years and the teams collaborated to tick each box before moving on to the next.
“We worked together, tweaking the system so it worked best for everyone, and maintaining a fine balance between making operations functional and not too rigid,” says Van der Walt. “We constantly refined and assessed and tweaked the system to ensure that it met our non-negotiable requirements and, as a result, it has exceeded our expectations.”
Step-by-step, they refined inventory management and dispensing and translated legacy complexities into smoother operations. On the receiving side, the solution was integrated into the Sage ERP, so everything flowed smoothly from purchase order to receiving, labelling, packing onto pallets and putting the items into storage. In addition, the company had to find a way of managing multiple products with multiple batches in the same bin because products had to be tested, taking up to a week before they were picked. This took up floor space and time and added to the admin burden.
“We’ve optimised the system to the extent that we can put items away on their benches in their storage locations across multiple products and batches in a lot-controlled system,” says Van der Walt. “We have batch control storage with each lot allocated according to their status. This made it easier for us to manage the goods within the warehouse.”
THERE WAS A MEASURABLE FINANCIAL GAIN
The new WMS was designed to fit seamlessly into the existing ecosystem while giving the company a much-needed boost in stock keeping, inventory control, picking and service delivery, and cost savings. The results were beyond what Globepak had anticipated. Stock control, quality control and stock management processes were significantly streamlined and refined, allowing for the company to improve service delivery and storage speeds. The company experienced financial gains across procurement, waste forecasting and waste reduction, and stock age management.
On the procurement side, cash flow has improved as the WMS ensures accuracy across storage and stock preparation. This has been further enhanced by the significant time and admin savings that came with the platform. In addition, the platform has also augmented auditing.
“Our annual compliance and mandatory industry audits have been transformed,” says Van der Walt. “The auditors have reported that they’ve never encountered a system so user-friendly and efficient, and they remain impressed with how it has reduced their time spent on the process and their access to critical data.” The system has delivered a 15-20% increase in production efficiencies, a more than 3% decrease in waste, and an overall pick accuracy of 98%. It has reduced human error while simultaneously providing employees with new opportunities and roles. Although there was pushback with fears that people would lose their jobs, the results have been the opposite, with many employees using the technology to gain skills and promotions that previously may have remained out of reach.
“The impressive 99.999% uptime delivered by the WMS simply reinforces the fact that this is one of the best investments we’ve made into the business,” Van der Walt concludes.
The WMS has helped the company optimise its stock levels with high-end inventory management. With a greater need for compliance and traceability, the WMS is providing end-to-end tracking and traceability of products, enabling Globepak to identify and address any quality or compliance issues quickly. In addition, the new system has streamlined order fulfilment through its efficient picking and packing process, reducing the time it takes to process orders – a significant benefit for the Globepak team.
“Our annual compliance and mandatory industry audits have been transformed. The auditors have reported that they’ve never encountered a system so user-friendly and efficient, and they remain impressed with how it has reduced their time spent on the process and their access to critical data.”
AN ADVANCED SOLUTION FOR THE MODERN WAREHOUSE
With its flexible setup and configuration, the WMS has proven remarkably user-friendly and easy to integrate, ultimately helping Globepak to provide better customer service. And, as the WMS can easily scale to support increased throughput and warehouse complexity, the platform continues to evolve alongside the needs of the business.
IMPROVEMENTS REALISED SINCE IMPLEMENTATION:
- Improved inventory management
- Enhanced order fulfilment
- Increased productivity
- Better tracking and traceability
- Improved customer service
- Cost savings, ·Scalability and Better decision-making
- Regulatory compliance