”A good logistical foundation contributes to our increasing growth”, states Bjørn Håvar Falck-Andersen. Photo: Trond Schieldrop
Perfect Home AS, founded in 1995, has expanded into both Sweden and Finland in recent years. The company has a turnover of about NOK 100 million and is Scandinavia's largest interior decorating home party company.
"We are operating in a sector that is a little different than the traditional shop business inasmuch as we do not sell over the counter. To shop at a home party is both social and friendly, and many take advantage of this way of doing business, especially when you get a bit away from the big cities”, says Falck-Andersen, adding that the company has well over 1300 dealers handling orders for the products the customers want to buy.
“The orders are forwarded to our modern warehouse in Tallinn, from where they are distributed to dealers in Norway, Sweden and Finland. For this to work properly, it is crucial that we have a logistical foundation”, says Falck-Andersen.
Probed the market for WMS
Perfect Home probed the market looking for a warehouse management system that could handle the company's challenges and chose to take a closer look at those from Consafe Logistics and Denmark’s Apport Systems.
“We estimated that we should either choose one of these systems or develop our own solution, which would lead to greater IT, integration and ERP changes. Therefore, we decided to go ahead with the WMS vendors”, says Falck-Andersen.
Perfect Home had little knowledge of logistics.
“The only experience we had had was with third-party logistics solutions that left us unsatisfied. After an internal process we decided to go with implementation using a standard tool. In our opinion, Consafe Logistics had the best tool and good references. In the end, we selected the Astro WMS” says Falck-Andersen, adding that the dialogue with Consafe Logistics was productive. “We got to see and try the equipment and visited Enklere Liv’s warehouse outside of Gothenburg, which uses the Astro WMS. We got an inside look at the system and how it worked in a business of similar volume and quality standards to our own. This was crucial for the choice of Consafe as a supplier.”
The contract with Consafe Logistics was signed in November last year and Perfect Home went live with the solution at Easter this year.
“The system was up and running in the course of a week. It was a short implementation time, but with tenacious efforts from the supplier and our staff, the system was online over the course of a week. Throughout the project, Consafe delivered good quality that resolved all of our challenges. The deliveries from Tallinn reach customers two or three days earlier than our former third-party logistics providers could manage.”
“In Tallinn we rent a warehouse facility with a capacity of 5000 pallets, and we have our own staff of eight pickers. In downtown Tallinn we also have eight employees who take care of the administrative functions. We now have 3,900 pallets in stock and enough capacity to accommodate growth. In the course of a single week delivered six truck loads: two to three to Norway, one to Sweden and one to two for Finland.”
When Perfect Home started using voice-controlled picking, there was great skepticism about the solution. Today, it is the company's most important warehouse tool. Photo: Perfect Home
Perfect Homes’ 1300 dealers place orders that result from home party sales..
“They have their own CRM and order system they log onto and order items from our warehouse in Estonia. The warehouse manager in Tallinn releases the goods to pick depending on which country has priority. All of the orders that come in before the Sunday night are shipped from Tallinn to Norway, Sweden and Finland before the ensuing weekend", explains Falck-Andersen. He also expects increased growth in the Finnish and Swedish markets.
“Our warehouse capacity is sufficient for such an increase. We are now prepared for further growth and when the time is ripe, we will consider going into the European market. The priority is to get back to the 2012-level with over 100 million in sales. The Astro WMS with voice-controlled picking is helping to boost our sales expectations. We are already seeing increased sales because the goods are arriving at the right time and without damage. A good logistical foundation contributes to our increasing growth.”
Falck-Andersen describes how Consafe Logistics spent a lot of time becoming familiar with their logistics and warehouse routines and emphasises that they had never before known a supplier to go into such depth and help them to find the best way to benefit from the warehouse.
"We had professional help from day one, which was instrumental in having the system up and running in one week. We have streamlined the picking process and obtained high inflow. With the Astro WMS and voice-controlled picking, warehouse operators get information about what items they should pick. After the order has been prepared, there remain picking, packaging, quality assurance, loading onto the vehicle, notifying the transporter, updating information to the dealers and the driver. When we started using voice-controlled picking, there was a lot of skepticism about the solution. Now it is the company's most important warehouse tool” concludes Falck-Andersen.