Warehouse management system increases efficiency at Hortiplan

Hortiplan, part of the Aveve group, is active in the horticultural industry. Currently, Hortiplan has around 48 employees and is situated in Sint-Katelijne-Waver and Roeselare. For many horticultural companies, Hortiplan is a trusted and innovative partner providing technical installations and related services. That means that there is constantly lots of material in circulation: for each installation the staff at Hortiplan need numerous parts. Customers can also come and exchange, collect or drop off parts at the site.  Keeping an overview of the material’s location and the stock situation is therefore a real challenge.

Efficiency and savings

Since material and parts arrive at Hortiplan for different installations at the same time, it was often time consuming to find the right part. Once material was received, it was often unclear where to find it. The material to be used for a project was recorded on paper vouchers. Since  it took a long time before activity was registered, it meant that material was often reordered although it was actually still in stock, or parts went out of stock without anyone being informed. In order to find a more efficient way of working and thus to save time and money, Hortiplan went looking for a partner with expertise in this area.

The needs were clear: Hortiplan required a system that offered an overview of all incoming and outgoing material, identification of the location of materials within the storage area and a record of the project for which the materials are intended. Also, the warehouse staff should be informed when materials need to be made ready. On top of that, it should be possible to register goods separately from the ERP system and customers and technical staff should always be able to receive a delivery note, even when the situation requires the order to be treated manually, instead of using the scanner.

The choice for PHI DATA

Hortiplan approached PHI DATA, the specialist in solutions for automated identification, localisation and data capture. As a solution, PHI DATA proposed to Hortiplan a complete package consisting of IDwms light, a warehouse management system from PHI DATA, and some terminals and PDAs from Intermec.

“We had been looking for a way to streamline our logistic processes better for some time. The solution offered by PHI DATA seemed to be the best one for the job”, says Thomas Ceulemans, Operation Manager at Hortiplan in Sint-Katelijne-Waver. “One of the goals in implementing IDwms light is to make life easier and more pleasant for our staff. By recording the inventory electronically, we can see much more quickly whether certain materials are still in stock and we don’t need to go looking for specific items. Now, we can see just with the touch of a button what has come in, what has been exchanged or what has gone out. That saves us lots of time and money, as we have dramatically reduced unnecessary orders.”

The order picking is going much better. The warehouse staff at Hortiplan are notified on their PDA of the material and the quantity that needs to be put ready for each project. Specific product knowledge is no longer necessary once the products are recorded in an order, which makes it much easier to replace staff who are off sick. “We have made serious progress. Control and logistics are handled systematically and can be monitored. The whole process is more streamlined, more efficient and cheaper”, says Thomas Ceulemans.

Hortiplan is delighted with the service provided by PHI DATA: “To give an example: at one point an update was carried out, after which the scanner ceased to work. That was a tense moment since, once you have made the switch to electronic stock control, you can’t go back. PHI DATA solved this issue quickly and effectively”, confirmed Thomas Ceulemans.

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