In the current difficult marketplace, 3PLs are under increasing pressure to stay ahead of the competition and not only meet customer requirements but to also exceed their expectations. Panasonic Logistics Company UK are doing this by offering the highest levels of customer service by giving the customer truly bespoke solutions with the effective use of IT.
Panasonic is one of the worlds leading Electronic manufacturers has an annual turnover of $76 billion and staff of 300,000 worldwide. Its headquarters are based in Osaka, Japan, and its main UK headquarters are in Bracknell. The UKDC, based in Northampton distributes Panasonic products throughout the UK and Ireland and was opened in October 1997. It has undergone many changes since its conception, which is due to the ever changing needs of the electronics market where increased competition and price erosion have been major factors.
Within the DC Panasonic have a bespoke WMS for all its operations. It is an industry trend to install a WMS and let the business work to it, but this is neither proactive nor efficient. A customer requires a system that will identify their requirements and determine how best to achieve them in the most efficient way. To achieve this Panasonic uses St Peter WMS, a system which has been 15 years in the making, slowly adapted to meet Panasonics ever changing requirements. As St Peter is bespoke to Panasonic it can therefore be adapted to specific customer needs. The system is flexible and this enables rapid application development. The latest hardware and software technologies are used to host St Peter. It runs in a fully virtualised environment using VMwares ESX. EMCs Clariion hardware provides fast and efficient data storage. This solution gives the WMS the performance and resilience required for such a business critical function.
Customised reports can be quickly developed allowing the customer access to information as and when they require it. Developers work alongside Panasonic to create platforms for integration with other logistics systems such as SAP. Costs are therefore reduced as Panasonic are interfacing with them, reducing frequency of upgrades required. The system is fully supported by Panasonics in house IT support team, and it is constantly enhanced and improved upon by way of monthly user group meetings where changes, tweaks and enhancements are discussed. Jack Summerfield Operations Manager explains: We have used St Peter for a number of years now, which has been highly effective for all our operations. It is even more beneficial to our 3rd part contracts where customers can make use of the bespoke properties of the system. An idea from a customer is able to be taken and implemented in a relatively very short span of time compared to competitors who have bigger, more rigid WMS structures. The system is supporting the expansion of our 3PL business, enabling Panasonic to give potential customers the most cost effective, efficient, and productive services.