Case study: An engineering firm in need of swift relocation
When a global electrical engineering client needed to consolidate their sites following a merger, they called Retonomy Industrial to move their stock and close down some of their warehouses. The timescales were short and access to client staff restricted due to it being an exceptionally busy time in their business.
Our brief was to pack the existing stock in preparation for shipping to the new site. This included small parts (from screws to wiring and electrical plating), to electrical components, product racks and finished products. At the new site, we prepared the warehouses, reconfiguring and installing new racking where needed to optimise the space available. A key deliverable was to undertake a stock count as we packed but as many parts were not barcoded, this was done manually.
This project was unusual as it included a portion of old warehousing which when surveyed included old and redundant parts and stock. Using the Retonomy RinaB framework we were able to methodically work through the stock and provide a precise picture of what was contained in these warehouses.
Our framework enables us to effectively deliver projects, from scoping, to planning and managing the operational delivery of picking, stock counting, packing, preparing for shipment and decommissioning warehouses. RinaB also includes a project closedown phase which provides the opportunity for all parties to learn from the experience.
We surveyed the new site and advised the client on getting the most from the available space, reconfiguring for optimum space usage including putting up racking and preparing the warehouses for the arrival of the new stock.
There were various aspects that made this project more complex:
- Many of the parts were extremely delicate and high value, so extra care was needed in packing to prevent damage or loss.
- We packed the stock in finished product kits to enable easier picking for assembly at the new site, however the parts were not stored in this order at the original site. We tackled this by working in small teams and conducting ‘intelligent searches’ to locate the necessary parts – even when they were not in the expected location.
- Live picking continued to take place during the project and in some case, involved boxes already packed by Retonomy for shipping. Using RinaB, Retonomy was able to efficiently update the client on the stock changes.
As this was a manual count, we provided a .csv file to the client to upload to the in-house stock control system. This ensured an accurate handover to the client and avoided the need to manually input from paper sheets.
During the project, priorities and objectives changed but Retonomy’s flexible ethos meant we worked closely with the client to accommodate many of these changes.
As with all of our projects, we provided a mix of resources appropriate to the task:
- An experienced warehouse management specialist oversaw the scoping and planning of the project and was involved in status meetings
- A team leader was on site at all times to liaise with the client, ensure the project was kept on track and deal with issues as they occurred
- The team was made up of pickers with specialist electrical knowledge and those with more general picking experience
By using Retonomy, our client was able to run their business as usual whilst we dealt with everything else and provided them with up-to-date stock counts, prepared stock for efficient storage at the new site and a clear warehouse ready for closedown.