How to succeed online with Mecalux e-commerce solutions

Tradeinn: an example of e-commerce growth and success

Tradeinn started its journey in 1997 as an online store specializing in deep sea scuba diving. Since then, they have not stopped growing year after year, becoming one of the biggest retailers internationally in the online sale of sports equipment. From the beginning, they have relied on Mecalux as a provider of integrated storage and software solutions, in order to steadily adapt to increases in sales and stock.
Easy WMS tells the operator the location where the requested product is found for each order, optimizing their movements

Customer’s needs

Tradeinn currently has 13 online stores specializing in different sports, one million clients spread over 220 countries, more than one million SKUs for sale and an average of 2,000 orders per day.

As a company with an entrepreneurial vibe, Tradeinn has been incorporating numerous changes and improvements to be able to evolve. From the first warehouses Mecalux equipped with picking racks, where order preparation was done in a more traditional manner, they have grown to fully occupy the current 75,347 ft2 modern facilities in Girona, Spain.

With the aim of equipping the new logistics center and efficiently managing the awe-inspiring increase in the volume of sales, data and stock, Tradeinn yet again confided in Mecalux, who raised the following essential logistics needs:

  • Optimize the storage capacity of their new logistics center.
  • Minimize the number of movements necessary for order preparation.
  • Real-time inventory.
  • Prioritize cross-docking.
  • Preparation of orders in waves.
  • Management of the Tradeinn point-of-sale store, located next to its new installation.

Mecalux’s proposed solution

The project Mecalux developed for Tradeinn is comprised of two different types of complementary solutions. The first is the installation’s optimal storage system that facilitates the housing and preparation of orders from their numerous SKUs. While secondly, the Easy WMS warehouse management software, developed by Mecalux Software Solutions, was implemented allowing stock management and control of all the warehouse processes from reception to end customer delivery.

The Tradeinn ERP communicates with Easy WMS reporting on all input orders that will be received. Data logging is carried out automatically thanks to label reading via RF terminals. Then, the system tells the operator if the product must go directly to cross-docking (because it is already assigned to an order) or to the storage area. It also provides constant, real-time stock updates.

Storage area
The location method used by Tradeinn is chaotic storage, i.e. there are no pre-assigned locations and SKUs can be located in any vacant space according to their size, resulting in space savings. To streamline this system, Easy WMS assigns the best location for each item and tells the operator its exact location and how many units there are of each SKU in each space on the shelves.

On the other hand, this area has been equipped with wide span shelves for picking and Mecalux pallet racks. This is where spare product and heavier or bulkier goods are located. The multiple distribution possibilities and the many wide span shelf add-ins provide the versatility needed to adapt to the different sizes and types of products (skis, hanging garments, fishing rods, sports shoes, etc.). Smaller articles are deposited into plastic crates of various sizes. The shelves are 184’ long and 29.5’ high per aisle, although in anticipation of future growth they can be easily extended to be up to 47.6’ high.

Order preparation and dispatches
With an average of 2,000 orders per day, all being via e-commerce, the speed and precision of order preparation is the most important process for Tradeinn, since the objective is to deliver the order at the place and time of the client’s choosing. In this regard, the help of Easy WMS was essential. Parceling operations have also been reconfigured, distributed among ideally sized Mecalux prep tables with accessories suitable for facilitating the massive preparation of orders. The picking shelves in this area incorporate vertical dividers to create multiple spaces allocated to deposit the products corresponding to each order.

The control of locations with Easy WMS has streamlined the movements of the operators, so that each one can prepare several orders at a time.  The RF terminals tell the operator the location of the requested products and the optimal collection order is picked in the shortest possible time. Once the product is collected off the shelf, the terminal itself subtracts the stock and shows the system how many units are left.

When the operator collects the last product requested, they communicate the order closure and take it into the output transfer area indicated by the system. In the event that the order comes from the point-of-sale store that Tradeinn has next to its logistics center, it is treated as a customer, using the same stock as the online stores.

Likewise, the implementation of Easy WMS has allowed Tradeinn the possibility of working with orders in waves: currently, it can roll out 600 orders at the same time, which represents a significant boost in productivity.

As mentioned by Ramon Alvarez, logistics director at Tradeinn, "the integration of Easy WMS at Tradeinn has meant being able to know at all times what we have, where we have it and how we have to prepare it. The entire 2011 order intake was equaled in a single month in 2015."

Advantages for the customer

The dependability of e-commerce solutions by Mecalux has brought Tradeinn the flexibility and capacity to quickly adapt to all the changing processes both technologically and consumer wise. This has proven to be an essential resource in a sector like e-commerce, unveiling a constant flow of innovations.

These have been some of the immediate benefits garnered by Tradeinn:

  • Enhanced productivity: the streamlining of the order preparation processes, the control of stock and the virtual elimination of errors are some of the factors that have enabled them to deal with the increasing number of orders per day. 
  • Maximum versatility: the shelves, the prep tables and the Easy WMS have been configured to the needs of Tradeinn, offering a broad degree of customization and total flexibility for future growth. In addition, Tradeinn relies on the Easy S app, with which you can easily design, configure and simulate warehouse performance, changing, for example, the distribution of the shelves at any time.
  • Space optimization: both the management of locations with Easy WMS and shelf distribution according to the diverse types of product allow an effective use of space.
  • Management and monitoring of all processes: the deployment of Easy WMS provides the tools to optimize and control warehouse processes. On the other hand, Tradeinn depends on 24 h, remote maintenance services by Mecalux Software Solutions, which offers immediate technical support for all queries, updates or incidents.

In the words of David Martin, CEO at Tradeinn, "Mecalux has been a very important partner in our growth. Both the shelves in each of the warehouses we have been in and the Easy WMS software have helped us to reduce the costs of package preparation, which is extremely vital within e-commerce."

  • Easy WMS tells the operator the location where the requested product is found for each order, optimizing their movements
  • Aerial view of Tradeinn, with a reception area and heavy-duty wide span shelves for picking
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