LED Group ROBUS is an Irish owned company, manufacturing and marketing innovative domestic, commercial and industrial light fittings to the electrical wholesale trade throughout Europe and globally. Founded in 1984, the company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China.
The company’s Dublin location includes its headquarters, showrooms and a 100,000 sq ft purpose built warehousing and distribution centre stocking 25,000 pallets of over 1,000 leading products, distributed to 40 countries worldwide.
LED Group ROBUS received the prestigious Best Companies to Work for in Ireland award 2006 and in 2015 it was named one of Ireland’s best managed companies in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme. It was also singled out for a special recognition prize for Excellence in Commitment prize.
The company embraces emerging technologies and creates enduring products with low energy, low maintenance, outstanding performance with return on investment top of mind. The ROBUS range continues to evolve in line with the fast pace of innovation in lighting technologies, in particular the new generation of low energy lamps and light fittings.
LED Group ROBUS’s fundamental business challenge was to keep track of the thousands of items passing along the supply chain and received into, stored in and despatched from its central distribution centre. The group’s ERP system was SAP Business One. It controls sales order processing (including the automated backend systems for ROBUS Direct online) and other aspects of order fulfilment and financial administration.
Within the distribution centre, the requirement was for a complementary Warehouse Management System that would optimise performance by controlling inventory, order picking and assembly. The primary location would be in Clondalkin, Ireland and any solution would need to interface with other sites holding stock at any given time.
After a strategic and operational review of available systems, the LED Group ROBUS management team decided on In-DEX WMS Warehouse Management Software from Principal Logistics Technologies. Following a three month analysis and preparation period the original installation was carried out over a single weekend, effectively as a stock taking process. Principal Logistics Technologies worked with LED Group ROBUS on a detailed analysis of all aspects of the client’s warehouse operations, supply chain and ERP systems. Consideration was given to the integration and functionality elements to be tested.
Order picking and assembling is now done by a warehouse team using handheld RF devices incorporating a barcode scanner. They are supported by other In-DEX WMS users on desktop PCs while, at the server level, the Principal Logistics Technologies’ Event Processor and Integration Framework software mediates between the warehouse management and the SAP ERP systems. Detailed order information, including the customer purchase order, is pulled down from the sales order processing system into In-DEX WMS and pushed to an individual stock picker’s device.
Because In-DEX WMS optimises the pick list, LED Group ROBUS is able to make the process more efficient in a somewhat constricted environment.
Picking check and route optimisation: The company’s distribution centre processes up to 250 orders a day, usually involving multiple products, including variations in sizes and other specifications, and in various warehouse locations. The warehouse had 55 racks of two metre wide storage, each four bays/shelves 5-high with narrow aisles. The company uses articulated forklifts and now encounters minimal problems, even at busy periods, because In-DEX WMS plans the picking routes for maximum efficiency with no traffic jams.
Issues flagged: The system also picks up on any variations between the purchase order and the assembled order before dispatch. Anything that was unavailable in the warehouse, for example, automatically goes on backorder. Stock discrepancies due to damaged product or packaging are immediately flagged and audited.
Product change flexibility: A first in, first out stock rotation policy was implemented across the product range. This is highly valuable where products are modified from time-to-time as part of the company’s renew & refresh product development cycle.
Product traceability: LED Group ROBUS now has in-built product traceability across its systems, with a unique code identifier for each purchase order and each batch or shipment. On the few occasions when a product fault is reported, a hold can be put on further deliveries by product and other criteria such as production dates or colour.
Achieving targets: The company is now consistently reaching targets for 48-hour delivery to its customers. With few exceptions, if an order is received by 1.00pm it is despatched that day and delivered the following day almost anywhere in the world.
In-DEX WMS controls all actions in the warehouse, with system-driven operator instructions optimising every process flow while ensuring full business rules adherence
“Our old warehouse management system was too restrictive. For example we could not have individual locations for products. We looked at a number of packages but In-DEX WMS seemed the best fit, especially in its ability to integrate seamlessly with SAP Business One.”
“All in all, the In-DEX warehouse management system has contributed to a higher level of efficiency with greater control of the stock and of LED Group ROBUS’s fulfilment processes. It has functioned as specified and combines with the SAP systems to offer the group a smart and stable platform on which to build related functionality, such as its supply chain management and business intelligence applications.”
Liam Mahady, Operations Manager, LED Group ROBUS