Elektron Technology improves customer service levels thanks to WMS from BEC

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Delivering solutions to more than 7000 distribution partners worldwide with over 100,000 end users across all seven continents, Elektron Technology designs, manufactures and markets innovative technology products which form a highly diverse collection of brands.

From ground-breaking ophthalmic screening, to connectors that carry power and data signals through hazardous and challenging environments, Elektron Technology's products are created and developed to solve pressing problems, thanks to the combination of lateral thinking, practical engineering and cutting-edge technology.

Andrew Briggs: “Our eSmart Warehouse solution was able to fulfil all of Elektron’s data collection needs and requirements – and more.”

The problem

The legacy system which Elektron was using to pick products and packages for shipment was starting to fail. It was error-prone, which was not only costly, it also didn't fit with the company's strong emphasis on the provision of complete customer satisfaction.

Sunil Solanki, group infrastructure manager at Elektron, explains: "As a business, we are entirely committed to providing excellent levels of customer service. Our previous picking solution was paper-based, whereby workers would operate from a paper pick list to build up the packages for shipment. They would then manually record the quantities and serial numbers. These were subsequently transferred from the paper pick lists into our IFS ERP system using the IFS Shipment screens, which was not only very time-consuming, but also tended to present us with a relatively high number of errors, which was something we needed to look into and ultimately improve upon."

In an effort to significantly reduce the errors which were occurring in its picking and shipment process and enable fast, real-time, accurate and consistent transaction processing across the group's companies, Elektron approached a number of data collection solution providers. After considering several options, Elektron chose a Warehouse Management Solution from BEC.

The solution

After conducting a thorough process review, which involved carefully analysing Elektron's previous data collection methods and its subsequent requirement with regard to a new data collection and processing solution, BEC recommended its eSmart Warehouse solution for IFS, running on the Motorola Workabout Pro handheld computer.

The solution was then developed and tested at BEC's headquarters, with implementation taking place soon afterwards at Elektron's Tunis site, which was fully deployed after four days on location, and also at its Torquay site, which was fully deployed after two days on location.

Andrew Briggs, technical director at BEC explains: "Our eSmart Warehouse solution has the ability to automate warehouse picking and packing operations, allowing for increased accuracy and productivity. It eliminates the need for paperwork and has the ability to seamlessly integrate into any ERP backbone. It also provides support for multiple warehouses and is fully customisable to suit individual business needs, so for Elektron's purposes it was the ideal solution, as it was able to fulfil all of their data collection needs and requirements – and more."

The result

Loaded onto the highly ruggedised Motorola Workabout Pro, which is designed for use within harsh warehousing environments, the solution has transformed Elektron's picking procedure, allowing for high levels of accuracy and a great improvement in the service it is able to offer its customers. Pickers can now work much more quickly and accurately, helping Elektron to save money, thanks to a reduction in errors.

Solanki explains: "The new solution from BEC has completely changed the way that we work. Picking errors have been significantly reduced and our overall warehouse processes now run much more smoothly and efficiently across our entire organisation. We are currently enjoying even greater relationships with our customers since we are now able to provide improved levels of service."

Solanki continued: "In terms of BEC as a solution provider, we have been highly impressed with their consultative approach and process-driven analysis. Thanks to their strong track record within the warehousing and distribution sector, we felt safe in the knowledge that they are a highly experienced one-stop-shop who would supply, manage and support IFS integration, the mobile hardware, the printers, the infrastructure and the software. I was particularly impressed with the fact that we could call BEC at all hours to receive technical assistance if required. We are currently looking to roll out the solution to our other sites in the UK and the USA, and we very much look forward to working with BEC again to achieve similar successes throughout the remainder of our organisation."

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