Wyckaert is a Ghent-based construction firm that has been implementing projects for industry, utilities construction and the residential market for over 125 years. The company enjoys a solid reputation for reliability and is seen as a dependable reference point, with great consideration for doing business sustainably.
Wyckaert aims for long-term relationships with staff, clients and partners. Each construction project is a partnership. Through continuity in the collaboration with subcontractors, suppliers and service providers, they assure the client of quality and they seek to ensure that every project could be a reference project.
The wide experience in numerous sectors has given them a portfolio that testifies to successful collaborations all across Flanders and Brussels. The project database on their website www.wyckaert.eu gives a great overview of the achievements. They also have the necessary experience in collaboration formats such as Design & Build. For example, they implemented the new police station in Eeklo, a care hotel with assisted living homes and an underground car park in Ghent, as well as the design, construction and funding for a number of schools, etc. With a turnover of 77 million euros and over 140 employees on their payroll, Wyckaert has become a healthy medium business with huge growth potential.
No growth scenario without more efficient logistics
In order to help achieve this growth, Wyckaert built its own new, sustainable head office and warehouse. Keeping their plans and ambitions for the future in mind, Wyckaert came to the conclusion that the existing solutions for warehouse management would not suffice for the long term.
Wyckaert was in need of a solution that could ensure the digitalisation of logistical actions in a reliable manner, and could effortlessly provide a link to the existing management software. Scanning, barcodes, RFID tags: the solution needed to come at it from that angle, and needed to meet the specific requirements. After searching for some while, the company got in touch with PHI DATA, and they were able to provide an answer to all the requirements that Wyckaert was struggling with. “Not only because they have the full range of potential solutions in-house, but also because they listened sincerely to what we needed, instead of pushing us in the direction of one particular solution,” clarifies Pascale De Backer, Financial Director and a director at Wyckaert construction firm.
All the parties on the same page
Once Wyckaert had chosen PHI DATA, the project could begin. Not without thorough preparation and evaluation of the objectives that Wyckaert had in mind, though. PHI DATA’s IDstock® solution needed to bridge the gap between the physical reality and the existing management software. In order to make this link as seamless and faultless as possible, it was essential to get all the parties involved around the table first: Wyckaert, PHI DATA and Van Meijel Automatisering, the supplier of the ERP software Metacom. “That collaboration went smoothly and productively,” says Robby Van Nieulande, Head of Technical Support and Logistics at Wyckaert. “You could tell at some points that the PHI DATA team had wide experience of integrating solutions into other environments.”
The implementation itself was also a success. After a few months, the entire environment had been implemented and the first pilot project could begin. The teething problems were soon worked out and the general impression was highly positive: the anticipated time savings and simplified administration seem to be well within reach.
The right solution was chosen for each application. A barcode is affixed to consumables due for sale, making them easy to identify, so that stock management and sales data are automatically updated. Tools, which are lent out for a specific construction site, are equipped with an RFID tag, for frequent reuse. “Each choice was carefully considered, including the placement of the tags. Ultimately, they’re on devices in some really harsh conditions at times,” says Robby Van Nieulande.
After the initial pilot phase, it is clear to everyone: Wyckaert now has a much better grip on the logistical process, without needing to bring in extra personnel, is Robby Van Nieulande’s satisfied assessment: “That has a lot to do with how user-friendly the PHI DATA solution is. Scanning machines and linking them to the right site takes place in a heartbeat. They’ve developed a solution for back orders too, whereby the products not in stock are included on an updated order form with a clear reference to the first one. It seems so simple, but it makes a huge difference for us.”
After the successful pilot phase, Wyckaert can roll out the solution widely in 2021. Only then will the benefits really become tangible, as Pascale De Backer knows: “Quicker and more accurate delivery to the sites, fewer errors in the administrative processing, real-time information on stock at the warehouse and financial information available … Calculating an RoI for this project really isn’t something we need to do: we know this new infrastructure arms us for the challenges that our growth ambitions will involve.”
PHI DATA solution in detail
- Combination of technologies: barcode on consumables and RFID on the tools (for the picking & the returns)
- IDstock® solution is linked to the Metacom management software (from Van Meijel Automatisering) for following consumables and assets in real-time.
The power of Smart Edge
With this solution, PHI DATA is offering Wyckaert Construction Firm the power of Smart Edge. Smart Edge is the ‘missing link’ between the physical world in warehouses and production environments and the digital management environments. By bridging the gap between both worlds, the company can optimise business processes and workflows and get a better view of the state of affairs on the shop floor from the same digital environment that also manages and monitors the rest of the business.
PHI DATA has all the hardware a company needs to digitalise physical components in all possible scenarios, and the software and know-how to integrate that information with the client’s existing infrastructure.