Volvo Group Logistics Services employs 5,000 people worldwide, in over 60 different locations and 81 distribution centres. The department designs, develops, manages and optimises the supply chain for all brands under the Volvo Group. It ensures that parts are available all across the world, are sent to production facilities, in the right packaging, and that the vehicles arrive at the dealers. There are around 800 staff working in Ghent, in Volvo’s biggest logistics centre in the world.
Acceptable technical solution
Over 300 forklift trucks drive around the 120,000 square metre warehouse, and approximately 100 of these are fitted with a cradle to carry a mobile printer. This is part of the voice picking system used by the department. The printer is removed from the cradle at the start of every shift, or when print rolls need to be changed or when staff have to go on foot to parts of the warehouse where forklift trucks are not allowed. It was soon clear that the connection between the printer and cradle was very fragile, breaking off or damaging easily, meaning that lots of repairs and new parts were required.
PHI DATA, who already worked with Volvo Group Logistics Services in the area of printing and labelling, came up with a solution: LabelEasy. This solution combines purchasing, maintenance, repairs, software integration, labels and total peace-of-mind in a single formula, whereby the client pays a fixed fee per label.
“We seized this opportunity with both hands”, said Kris Van Cauwenberge, Engineering & Support Manager at Volvo Group Logistics Services in Ghent. “The solution we had was the best on the market, but we struggled with shortcomings which were hard to resolve. Luckily PHI DATA took it upon themselves to solve the problem. The team contacted the manufacturer and created an acceptable technological solution.” In the first instance, PHI DATA bought back all eighty mobile printers from Volvo Group Logistics Services. Then, together with the manufacturer of the printers and cradles, PHI DATA got down to designing a sturdier connector.
“It is tricky to put a figure on how much we are saving by choosing LabelEasy”, says Kris Van Cauwenberge. “Our printer park didn’t come into play on one particular day, but grew gradually. We started with 15 printers, and extra appliances have been added over the years. Currently we are using around 80 devices, which makes it hard to keep track of the life cycle of each appliance. Changing everything at once is not only expensive, but also generates a whole heap of administration. With LabelEasy we’ve also got rid of that problem. PHI DATA does everything and monitors each device closely. I can now concentrate on my core tasks knowing that PHI DATA is there, keeping an eye on things. Besides that, it’s also very interesting from a financial point of view.”
“We are delighted with the service provided by PHI DATA. Staff focus on the needs of their customers, roll up their sleeves and help look for solutions, even when it’s tough. This story goes to show how PHI DATA found the right solution for the printer park at Volvo Group Logistics Services.”