Brafab goes from paper to perfect with Astro WMS®

Swedish Brafab has gone from using an older system of Excel sheets for warehouse management to Astro WMS®. The result? Twice the speed of picking order lines with 100% accuracy. As well as more satisfied customers and happy salespeople.

Brafab sells furniture for outdoor living in patios, garden, poolside and balcony, including tables, benches, outdoor kitchens, recliners, umbrellas and accessories.

No real-time working

Previously, Brafab had no dedicated WMS. Instead they added extra functions to their Navision ERP system. During this time, pickers would work with paper and pen, then progressed to hand units. But the system never worked in real-time.

This created several problems, especially with inbound goods. There never seemed to be enough space, and warehouse operators had a hard time locating stored goods. As picking was paper-based, a picking round could take days in the 355 meter-long, narrow warehouse.

Goods were randomly stacked, lacking logic, and warehouse dimensions were not used to their full potential. This gave the impression that the warehouse was full, reducing its capacity.

The answer – a dedicated WMS system

Brafab contacted a consultant who looked at flows in the warehouse. He suggested a dedicated Warehouse Management System (WMS) and recommended Consafe Logistics as the best supplier, and Astro WMS® as the best WMS for their purposes. After a couple of reference visits to other Consafe Logistics customers, Brafab was convinced.

The first thing Consafe Logistics suggested was a pre-study about where to find savings. Together, the companies looked at how to optimize flows, types of hardware and where to find efficiencies.  

By concentrating on the pre-study and spending time on the analysis phase, implementation was trouble-free.

Now, Brafab uses Astro WMS® for everything from inbound goods, to creating article numbers and outbound deliveries. The company continually accesses reporting in real-time, managing everything in the warehouse.

All pickers use handheld devices and hand scanners, while every forklift has a TraffiCom terminal, scanner and printer.

The warehouse has been rebuilt, taking advantage of full pallets and multicycles.

Efficiencies everywhere

Results have been impressive. Astro WMS® allocates locations for incoming goods, and forklift drivers know exactly where to put goods. And as the system controls both inbound and outbound flows it optimizes forklift use. They never drive empty. Delivering on pallets rather than loose goods offers much greater delivery security.

Warehouse staff can now deliver far more quickly. They pick more order lines by working smarter than before. Previously it could take a person a day and a half. The number of order lines per day has doubled, from 60-70 to 150, and everything is measured, making it easier to set and achieve KPIs for each part of the warehouse process. 

Salespeople quickly noticed their work had become easier than before. Coming from a situation where the ERP wasn’t updated, they couldn’t trust the inventory to be accurate when selling. Similarly, with outbound goods, they can sell and deliver much quicker and with 100% accuracy, offering greatly improved customer service.

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