Marcel Bucher, Warehouse Manager, Komax AG, Switzerland
Komax Wire develops and produces innovative wire processing systems and solutions for international customers in the automobile, electronics and household appliance industry. In production, we used to work directly with our C-parts suppliers using the two-bin Kanban principle. To optimize operational workflows and better supply employees on the production line, we decided to modernize C-parts procurement.
Before, we were constantly running into glitches such as manipulation, handling, ordering, and replenishment errors. We knew one thing: If we wanted to largely eliminate those issues, we needed a system independent of people. The logistics specialists at Bossard suggested a fully automated solution based on SmartBin. Now procurement of approximately 2,200 B- and C-parts from nearly 50 suppliers has been combined at Bossard. That means that parts are delivered to Bossard, picked there, and then replenished on site in our facility as demand rCL-equires.
Better availability – reduced inventory
The advantages were immediately obvious. Availability is much better, we have the ordering process under control at all times, and there’s an express channel available for the occasional exceptional case. Initially, however, the end consumers were a bit disillusioned concerning availability. The reason was quickly discovered. The same individuals were still picking up their materials from interim storage. We had to effect a change in behavior internally and decided that the warehouse personnel would deliver the materials to the assembly workstations and thus control quantities as well.
In the meantime, everything has worked out wonderfully and the parts deliveries have been integrated into our just-in-time process. Inventory has been reduced to a minimum, and transparency prevails. Using the ARIMS software, we know when the material will arrive, and the ordering and delivery processes can be tracked at all times. Stock-taking is a thing of the past. One positive side effect is that, along with the order and supplier information, our part numbers are more visible on the new electronic SmartLabel, thus significantly reducing setup errors.
We save 10,000 orders per year thanks to changing our C-parts procurement. The employees involved in procurement, invoicing and warehouse management are now able to focus on processes that create value for the company, thus boosting efficiency and productivity.