UNILIN produces laminate flooring, composite hardwood floors and luxury vinyl flooring under the Quick-Step and Pergo brands, as well as wood-based panels (chip boards, MDF boards), decoration panels, roof systems and insulation boards. UNILIN has 4,800 employees and generates a turnover of 1.4 billion euros. The 20 production sites are spread across the world. Since 2005, UNILIN is part of the American quoted Mohawk Industries. It is the world’s biggest flooring company, with production sites in North and South America, Europe, Russia and Asia. The Group is listed on the stock exchange (NYSE), has a turnover of 8.1 billion dollars and has 34,000 employees worldwide.
Stock management of IT equipment
The UNILIN IT department was looking for a way to improve the stock management of IT equipment. “Our stock mostly consists of hardware and computer equipment, such as PCs, keyboards, mice, cables, smartphones, etcetera”, Ludovic Six of UNILIN explains. “We noticed that whenever equipment was taken out of the stock, it wasn’t always documented correctly. During the biweekly or monthly manual counting of the stock, we would find that products were missing. These counts were also rather time-consuming and, as all products had to be counted one by one, not always accurate. Therefore we searched for a solution to automate the stock management. We were already working with PHI DATA, as they provided our forklifts with computer terminals. We asked them for help and they immediately suggested a RFID solution.”
This solution includes RFID technology and the accompanying IDasset solution by PHI DATA. Whenever the supplier delivers new computer equipment, all packages are immediately given an RFID label and placed in a fixed stock location in the cabinets. When it’s time for a stock counting, it suffices to walk past the cabinets with a RFID reader and immediately register all products. Thanks to the IDasset solution, the collected information is immediately registered in an excel file, providing a clear overview of the stock.
“Since we’ve installed the new system, we conduct a weekly stock counting. The frequency of the counts might have doubled, but the total time spent on them is four times less. Not only does it save us a lot of time; as the counting is no longer carried out manually, the number of mistakes has been brought back to a minimum. And whenever there’s a shortage of a certain product, we can immediately act upon this.” Since the project has been implemented, almost one year ago, it is regarded as a success: “Since it’s become operational, almost no equipment gets lost anymore.”
“PHI DATA is an excellent partner with very open communication, and we have a great collaboration. During the installation they were always available for questions. Moreover, since the implementation of the system we haven’t had a single minute of downtime. It works exactly as we’d like it to”, Ludovic Six concludes.