Configurability and robust piece-picking capability establish strong competitive framework for future growth.
Benny Winther, the founder and owner of SKANLOG had a bold vision when SKANLOG opened its doors as a logistics provider. That was 20 years ago, and that vision is now a reality. Today, SKANLOG is the largest independent Scandinavian Third Party Logistics (3PL) solutions provider across Scandinavia.
The family-owned and independent nature of SKANLOG has resulted in a business known for decisive and streamlined operations. “Often, once a company reaches a certain size, it becomes sluggish,” notes Winther. To avoid this, SKANLOG shuns unnecessary hierarchy and instead creates a work environment where its employees can work directly with management to get things done.
Consistently putting the customers’ needs first has paid off. The company successfully operates in logistics with mainly two core lines of business – spirits and white goods – from 13 warehouses across three countries. “Our customers are the reason why SKANLOG has always remained independent,” explains CFO/CIO Troels Nedergaard. “This independence allows us to maintain our flexibility and complete customer focus.”
With its focus on efficiency, SKANLOG’s IT systems became a concern. Kim Sorensen, the company’s IT Manager, explains: “SKANLOG’s success and ongoing organic growth as well as growth through acquisitions had resulted in an IT patchwork of six different warehouse management systems (WMS) and at least five different ERP solutions.” SKANLOG’s management recognized that if it could find a single WMS solution, it would once again be able to increase efficiency in its customer relations as well take advantage of potential savings.
Downtime is not an option for an industry leading service provider, so SKANLOG would need to find a WMS that was based not only on best practice processes, but also one that would require very few modifications, if any. This was further complicated by the need for a WMS that could handle each customer’s specific requirements for shelf space, shelf-life of beverages, and FIFO/FEFO rules. Balancing one customer’s specific requirements in this industry is complex, but balancing all customers’ requirements is almost like an art.
Never one to walk away from a challenge, SKANLOG’s management team threw itself into the task of selecting the right WMS for its business in Q4 2012. The team identified 21 different criterion and then weighted each of these. From there, seven different WMS solutions were assessed against these weighted criteria.
Iptor’s WMS was the solution. Dan Ejlertsen, one of SKANLOG’s most experienced and knowledgeable warehouse managers was pleased: “My expectations for a new WMS solution were very high. To live up to our customers’ needs and to continue to maintain our strong position in 3PL, we needed a system like Iptor’s. We were committed to working closely with SKANLOG and creating a real partnership approach,” says Bill Tomasi, SVP Product Management at Iptor. “We hand-picked consultants for SKANLOG that not only had in-depth WMS expertise, but also a high-level of industry-specific knowledge. I believe this was a key element in the smooth on-boarding process.”
Troels Nedergaard, agrees. “Iptor’s solution is a comprehensive system, and the journey so far has increased both our local IT skills and IT departments’ ability to maintain and support the system internally. This will definitely help us achieve our goals faster.”
We offer ‘structured flexibility’ and this is exactly what Iptor’s solution has provided for SKANLOG.
Jørn JohansenCEO, SKANLOG
Indeed, SKANLOG has achieved many of the expected goals and are experiencing many more as they roll the solution out to other facilities. “It offers advanced functionality, and yet we’ve managed to internally adopt the system really quickly,” says Sorensen. “In fact, we completely set up the warehouse operation at one of our facilities on our own in only 5 days.”
Benny Winther and the SKANLOG management team are certain they made the right decision in selecting Iptor’s robust but flexible WMS. The return on investment to date has included improvements in efficiencies, reduced labour costs, an ability to proactively manage invoicing, and cost savings from the elimination of manual processes. “We have reduced our end-of-month invoicing time from three days across three resources to less than half a day for one resource,” says Troels Nedergaard.
Quick decision making continues to progress and drive efficiency across the business with the streamlining of IT solutions in SKANLOG’s warehouses. Iptor’s platform allows the company to pull out live data, which in turn allows management to make reliable analyses and preserve its nimble operations. “I like to tell our customers that SKANLOG will allow them to drive on not just the highways, but to navigate all roads,” says Jørn Johansen, CEO of SKANLOG. “We offer ‘structured flexibility’ and this is exactly what Iptor’s solution has provided for SKANLOG.”
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Structured Flexibility with Iptor’s WMS