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How do you ensure error-free management of 6,000 different references from the automotive industry?

Centres AutoEquip are now able to manage a multitude of different car parts, and provide any single one within minutes, thanks to Mecalux’s Warehouse Management Software EasyWMS.

Video transcription

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
Success always begins with good ideas, good management and plenty of hard work.
However, the key to solid growth depends on our ability to manage success.
That is why Autoequip entrusts its logistics operations to Mecalux's Easy WMS software.

CENTRES AUTOEQUIP is a company devoted to providing quick vehicle care and maintenance services, and is a specialist in tyre distribution.
You have to multiply the five basic tyres on a standard vehicle by all the possible brands, models, sizes, functions... Van or estate car? Land rover or taxi? Sports car or lorry? Mountain or city? Snow or sun? And so on...
That is why Autoequip manages a database with 6,000 different articles and more than 1,700 tyres in day-to-day use.

Javier Niño (Director of finance and operations Centres AutoEquip)
Autoequip began in a village very near here, Premià de Mar, with great hope and an obsession: to sell tyres at the most competitive prices and to provide the quickest service.
Today, we are leaders in Catalonia. Autoequip has 16 centres and operates two important new business lines: national distribution by Internet and international distribution—trading.

In 2009, in order to absorb demand and improve service, Centres Autoequip opened a new logistics distribution warehouse. The new facility has a total of 3,100 square meters, of which 2,700 are devoted to warehouse space.

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
The challenge was to find a system that would ensure optimum logistical management of the warehouse, integrating it into all the processes managed by the company's ERP.

Centres Autoequip set itself an objective: to automate warehouse processes in order to increase efficiency and achieve three goals:
- Ensuring that all orders are prepared as quickly as possible
- Capacity to manage a high and variable number of article types (more than 6,000)
- Optimisation of space and storage.

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
Thanks to its multiple functionalities, ease of communications between systems and simplicity in performing complex processes, our Easy WMS software was the option selected.

Javier Niño (Director of finance and operations Centres AutoEquip)
Because a customer can call me and say: I need just one wheel, and in five minutes I know where the wheel is, I go and get it and have it ready. Only Mecalux can give you that.

The warehouse was divided into seven different areas, and the system needed to manage these according to the processes defined at the study stage: conventional storage areas for containers and large cages; peak area with tyre picking shelves; floor area for cross-docking management; large amount of stock and quick reception buffers; car audio product storage area; and dock area.
The site is fitted with conventional shelves, tyre picking shelves and floor areas, with a total of 8 storage aisles, 2 reception docks and 5 dispatch docks.

Carlos Tamayo (Warehouse Manager Centres AutoEquip)
We have 7 forklift trucks that we use to move around 3,000 wheels a day.

Easy WMS operates on 8 radio-frequency terminals with a single workstation in the warehouse.
Once the study, configuration, launch and training stages had finished, an inventory was completed and the warehouse opened, performing the following operations:

Juan Carlos Astasio (Integral logistics manager Centres AutoEquip)
Operators unload the lorry and, as the unloading process continues, one calls out the following information: reference, number of units and the container we are going to put the goods into. Once a container is full, we make a report from our ERP system to the Mecalux SGA system. The operators then take the Radio Frequency Terminal (TRF) and read the type of container. Once this has been read, they are known told where to place it.

The system performs cross-docking if there are lines of orders pending.

Juan Carlos Astasio (Integral logistics manager Centres AutoEquip)
If not many units enter, what we do is, we consolidate it in another type of container and the TRF tells us where we should put the tyres,

They will be placed in the peak or full container zone through an article replacement or consolidation process, when these containers are filled up again with the same product. In this way, Mecalux's Easy WMS optimises container capacity and, in this way, warehouse space.

Carlos Tamayo (Warehouse Manager Centres AutoEquip)
It tells us exactly where to place and where to pick each type of tyre on all customer orders.

- The ERP sends orders automatically.
- The warehouse manager assigns orders to operators according to their workload and capacity.
- Waves of orders are generated so that orders can be prepared in blocks, optimising the route.
- The operator's route is optimised, beginning with the orange zone on, to create a natural route to the dispatch docks.
- The warehouse is divided into zones according to the down-up rotation of articles in order to minimise goods movements and ensure that operators have direct access to goods.
- Once the order has been served at the dispatch dock, the dispatch is automatically closed and confirmation of the prepared and dispatched order is sent to the ERP.
Easy WMS also allows other processes to be performed:
- Permanent inventory.
- Automatic product rotation calculation
- Generation of container and location labels
- Generation of customised reports and statistics

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
But results are the important thing. Let's see how Autoequip has benefited from Mecalux Easy software.

Javier Niño (Director of finance and operations Centres AutoEquip)
We have increased our capacity by 100 per cent, from 15,000 to 30,000 wheels.

Carlos Tamayo (Warehouse Manager Centres AutoEquip)
At first, we were handling a couple of lorries a week, more or less. Now, it's one or two a day.

Juan Carlos Astasio (Integral logistics manager Centres AutoEquip)
We have increased dispatches by 60 per cent, from 150 a day to 240.

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
Mecalux Easy has helped Autoequip to consolidate the company's success.

Carlos Tamayo (Warehouse Manager Centres AutoEquip)
The amount we have grown is... awesome.

Ignasi Mallol (Head of the software Technical office Mecalux)
The system has enormous potential, enabling us to increase the complexity of our warehouse management, opening up to the future.

Javier Niño (Director of finance and operations Centres AutoEquip)
We plan to increase the capacity of our warehouse here by approximately 70 per cent.

Carlos Tamayo (Warehouse Manager Centres AutoEquip)
In a year or less we will be moving double the number of tyres.

Javier Niño (Director of finance and operations Centres AutoEquip)
We could easily be talking in terms of 120 per cent growth in three years.