LEROY MERLIN - IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPLEX WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Leroy Merlin, a mass retail company, specialized in DIY and hardware sector, is part of Groupe Adeo, a French player who placed themselves at first place in Europe and third place in the world.

Founded in France in 1923, it has about 561 points of sale in 12 countries with over 73,450 employees.

 

In Italy Leroy Merlin arrived in 1996, with the opening of the first sales point of Solbiate Arno (Va) and today it can count on 47 stores distributed throughout the country for a total of about 6,000 employees and a turnover of over 1,3 billion euros.

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The points of sale are served by a single outsourced deposit of approximately 80,000 m2 at the Rivalta Scrivia (AL) logistic village, where they manage:

  • all the stock, equal to 15% of the stores incoming flow, involving import suppliers, other European suppliers (weekly delivering complete trucks) and the cross-deposit transfers (arriving from the other European distribution centers)
  • cross docking, representing about 50% of the goods sent to stores.

The remaining 35% of the volumes is made up of direct deliveries by the suppliers to the stores that are supplied daily with flows from 1 to 4/5 articulated lorries.

In order to support the growth of the business, considering the increasing complexity of its supply chain supply chain, Leroy Merlin Italia decided to implement a new and more performing warehouse management software at Rivalta: the Warehouse Management System (WMS) by Manhattan Associates.

Among the main goals declared by LMI for the new WMS:

  • have a single IT tool to manage the different circuits
  • improve storage service to stores
  • manage an increasingly complex distribution network in an integrated way
  • quickly and efficiently produce reports on the main warehouse KPIs.

The complexities linked to the activation of the software, among the best and most advanced ones in the world, gave birth to the creation of a working team including representatives of Leroy Merlin Italia, French supplier, and Simco to develop a parameterization that could interface with other supply chain management tools.

In particular, the involvement of Simco occurred both during the testing phase and for the training of warehouse employees.

As for the tests, the activities were divided by flow: STOCK, XDOCK, TIE (cross-deposit transport) and LDD (direct deliveries), in order to verify the correctness of all the WMS functions expected.

For each flow we proceeded in the following way

  • identification of the test scenarios for both the part related to integration (WMS upstream and downstream) and the operation part (the latter, according to the functional specifications, splitted into the various areas such as reception, storage, order preparation, loading etc.)
  • the draft of a summary document reporting for each test scenario, the test code itself, the description, the methods and the execution date, the status (in progress, suspended, completed, etc.) and the person responsible for the execution
  • the execution of tests and the record of the outcome;in the event of a negative result, after the appropriate resolutive actions (at software or functional level), the test has been re-run until it has succeeded.

All the tests were initially performed on a test environment installed software, completely off-line, then in a "pre-prod" environment, that replicated the actual operating conditions, and - once succeeded - we proceeded with its final installation in production.

Together with the tests, considering the introduction of the software into production, Simco was involved in a training program for the deposit operators with the preparation of records and training sessions to different professionals starting from supervisors to operation staff, in two different class, theorethical and operative.

The introduction to production of the WMS took place progressively starting from the Stock flow (from April 2013) to the reaching, through the X-DOCK flow (August 2013), of the LDD go-live flow in January 2014.

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