Padel Nuestro: match point for the omnichannel warehouse
With the help of Easy WMS, Padel Nuestro can distribute over 1,400 orders per day
Padel Nuestro, a global leader in the distribution of padel gear and accessories, has digitalized its supply chain to increase efficiency in addition to its business. The company has implemented Easy WMS, the warehouse management system by Mecalux, at its installation in Murcia, Spain. As a result, it can now distribute more than 1,400 daily orders to its shops in Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Italy as well as to its e-customers.
Devoted to padel
Founded in 2008, Padel Nuestro is a leading specialist in the worldwide sale and distribution of padel merchandise, including rackets, bags, trainers and all other kinds of accessories. Its portfolio of products, containing upwards of 30,000 SKUs, expands each season with the incorporation of new collections.
The firm has 30 stores located throughout Spain, Andorra, Portugal and Italy, and a website where padel lovers can buy everything they need.
The omnichannel challenge
The e-commerce boom has forced Padel Nuestro to adapt its supply chain to the needs of its e-consumers. Currently, online sales represent 70% of the company’s overall turnover. Last Black Friday, Padel Nuestro nearly doubled its revenue from the previous year, while its number of orders rose by 45%.
Customers have grown accustomed to this immediacy and to being served how, where and when they choose. Omnichannel retailing aims to provide customers with an integrated shopping experience and the chance to interact with the company, via multiple channels as they so choose.
For Padel Nuestro, this type of retailing poses a considerable challenge from a logistics point of view:
- Numerous orders (from the web, brick-and-mortar shops and other possible channels) need to be prepared.
- Some orders are made up of just a few lines, e.g., padel rackets, bags and a pair of trainers.
- Once purchases have been made, online order deliveries have to be fast, for this, agility and smooth organization are essential.
Padel Nuestro has a 2.47 acre omnichannel warehouse in Murcia (Spain). From there, it distributes around 1,400 orders per day (reaching 2,500 during the peak season). Primarily, these orders have two possible destinations: directly to users' homes or to one of the company's 30 shops.
“Previously, we managed all our logistics operations manually, without any IT support,” says Pedro Martínez, General Manager of Padel Nuestro. Operators had to write down the products received and the orders prepared, closed and shipped to customers.
To perform picking, these workers printed out the invoices and went all around the installation, locating the SKUs that made up the orders. Without any support, they had to be very familiar with the layout of the goods in the warehouse to find the products more easily. Once this process had finished, in the dispatch area, another employee would check the invoices, making sure that each order included the items requested.
With this way of working, storage and picking tasks proved to be extremely slow, and the risk of error was too high. “To distribute the goods in the installation, we depended on the criteria of each operator. The main drawback was the absence of product traceability, which left us open to stockouts,” explains Pedro Martínez.
The company had planned on computerizing its logistics, integrating digital tools in all its processes, with a view to boosting efficiency and cutting down on paper usage. It was clear to Padel Nuestro that a warehouse management system (WMS) would provide it with traceability, stricter control over warehouse processes and, as a result, multiplied productivity and profitability. This way, it could offer the level of service that the market demands.
After comparing various solutions, the firm opted for Easy WMS by Interlake Mecalux because, in the words of its General Manager, “it adapted to the particular features of our business. Thus, we felt it could best meet our needs.”
A competition-ready installation
Aided by Mecalux, Padel Nuestro has completely revamped its warehouse to cope with the challenges of omnichannel retailing. On the one hand, it has installed a racking unit for pallets. One of the particular features of this storage system is that it provides direct access to goods, facilitating storage and order preparation tasks.
On the other hand, the implementation of Easy WMS has made the company’s supply chain flexible and agile, able to respond to market fluctuations. “It ensures complete product traceability, adjusts to market changes and allows us to optimize operations,” stresses Pedro Martínez.
Every day, 28 workers across three shifts store goods received from suppliers and prepare orders without delay. Just like a padel match, warehouse operations are well organized: operators are on their marks, ready to give it their all. They receive instructions from Easy WMS on where to deposit the items that have arrived, where to locate the SKUs, etc. This tool is exceptionally useful, as it guides the workers at all times, guaranteeing that no errors are made.
As for some of the advantages gained by installing Easy WMS, Pedro Martínez highlights, “We have done away with manual operations; consequently, we have achieved greater efficiency in all areas of the installation, especially in order prep. The WMS optimizes movements when it comes to picking, so we are quicker and can put together many orders in a single run. Precise stock control has also helped us eliminate errors.”
In addition, the WMS communicates continuously and bidirectionally with Padel Nuestro’s ERP, which consists of in-house developed software. Data and information are transferred between the ERP and Easy WMS to raise the installation’s productivity.
Easy WMS intervenes in all warehouse processes:
Padel Nuestro’s installation receives a total of 30 pallets/day sent by suppliers. The ERP notifies Easy WMS in advance of the goods that are scheduled to arrive; immediately afterwards, operators must verify that none of them are missing.
The operators use radiofrequency terminals to identify each item and register it in the system. According to Pedro Martínez, “when they scan the barcode of a product we have just received, the WMS tells them if there is an order that needs it. This way, the workers know whether it should be moved to the picking area, cross-docked, or stored directly.”
For items that have to be stored, Easy WMS decides what location to assign them, in the case of both loose stock and complete pallets. Subsequently, it instructs the operators to deposit the goods in question in the corresponding slot.
Returned items are also received at this warehouse. For this merchandise, operators use the RF terminals to identify each item and check its condition; finally, Easy WMS decides on a location for it.
Coordination between Easy WMS and the ERP is indispensable for always having the necessary goods on hand and preventing stockouts. “The WMS has not only adapted to our way of replenishing stock but also enhanced efficiency. The system optimizes operator routes and eliminates having to work on the same pallet twice,” notes the Managing Director.
When the ERP notifies Easy WMS of the orders to prepare, the WMS springs into action to dispatch them in the shortest possible time. “We differentiate the orders by destination: to be sent to the shops or to customers. We also distinguish between which transportation agency will distribute each order,” comments Pedro Martínez.
The very first action the WMS takes is to classify the orders based on whether they are single-unit, multi-unit, or multi-big (for shops, which request over 10 units of one order line item).
Next, Easy WMS organizes the operators’ work and guides them step by step to carry it out. Thanks to the direction provided by the software, employees can concentrate on picking, thereby maximizing efficiency. This has yielded a much higher throughput and made it possible to prepare more than 1,400 orders per day.
“We have noticed a huge improvement in the preparation of single-unit orders, which is where most of the daily warehouse work is concentrated. Of all our orders, 70% are made up of a single line, while the others usually have an average of five lines; they can even exceed 20, though, for orders supplying sales outlets,” notes Pedro Martínez.
Operators walk the aisles, picking the products that comprise the orders directly from the shelves. They follow an order grouping system, which consists of picking SKUs for several orders on the same run. The WMS maps out a route through the installation that optimizes movements, “making it possible to pick SKUs for more than 200 lines,” notes the General Manager of Padel Nuestro.
Some orders are prepared for cross-docking, meaning that the goods are distributed the moment they are received, without having to be stored. This working method makes the shipment of goods more agile and frees up storage space.
Finished orders are sent to the consolidation area, which is equipped with work tables containing all the material necessary for closing orders: cardboard boxes, seals, computers, printers, etc. Operations are performed in two different ways, according to the type of order:
- Single-unit orders: the documentation and shipping labels for the orders are directly printed, and the items are immediately packaged.
- Multi-unit orders: the multiple orders that were picked are separated and checked one by one to verify that no mistakes have been made. Then, the documents for the carriers and shipping labels are printed. Finally the goods are packaged.
Once closed and packed, the orders are grouped by prospective transportation agency. Thus, they can be swiftly loaded onto the truck the instant the carrier arrives. “Every day, we dispatch 1,400 to 2,500 loose parcels to sales outlets and to our customers,” states Pedro Martínez.
A competitive warehouse
Easy WMS has strengthened Padel Nuestro’s supply chain. This system has enabled the company to increase productivity, reduce errors and carry out much more accurate management of its more than 30,000 SKUs.
Easy WMS has also boosted picking, and the firm now prepares far greater orders in less time. . Operations at Padel Nuestro are complex, as multiple orders are prepared simultaneously (for online purchases and for shops).
Optimal organization of the work and supervision by the WMS are instrumental in turning out all the orders in a timely fashion. “In the Black Friday and Christmas campaigns, we saw better results compared to previous years,” enthuses Pedro Martínez.
Pedro Martínez - General Manager of Padel Nuestro
“With Easy WMS by Mecalux, we have eliminated manual labor and increased efficiency in all areas of our warehouse, especially picking. We can now prepare and dispatch twice as many orders. Consequently, during the Black Friday and Christmas campaigns, we shipped more orders compared to previous years and without errors.”
Advantages for Padel Nuestro
- Speedier order prep: Easy WMS organizes picking and guides operators in dispatching over 1,400 orders per day (rising to 2,500 during peak periods).
- Efficient omnichannel logistics: the WMS has simplified order prep, regardless of channel (online orders or Padel Nuestro shops). As certain items are not in stock, once they are received, the orders are prepared for cross-docking.
- Business growth: the company used to manage its installation manually and without computer support. With Easy WMS, the warehouse is set up to operate more effectively.