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3M Greece, a subsidiary of diversified technology company 3M, has installed a new warehouse management system (WMS) in its distribution centre located near Athens.
The WMS from 3M Supply Chain Solutions, the international operating arm of HighJump Software, went live in just one day and has already brought innovation to the distribution centre (DC) by enabling fast inventory cycle counts, as well as optimised batch order waves, reduced manual workload, increased inventory control and improved lot traceability.
3M Greeces building lease was coming up for renewal and, as a lean organisation with a warehouse team of 18, the 6000 sqm of warehouse space was too big for them to manage. The HighJump Warehouse Advantage system presented the ideal solution; it would allow them to maintain their own warehouse, modernise operations for the subsidiary, utilise the extra space and apply their experience in logistics services to launch their own 3PL business.
The entire project from conception to board approval, design and installation took eight months, yet the go live was completed in just one day with few resources and minimal disruption or problems encountered, commented Christos Baracos, HR, Logistics & IT Manager, 3M Greece. Although we moved from a completely manual system, when we went live with the HighJump WMS the users did not have any problems whatsoever. We didnt stop operations, not even for a day.
The 3M Greece DC has now entered a new era, and our WMS has received highly positive feedback from both warehouse staff and customers, said Leo Valentin, General Manager EMEA, 3M Supply Chain Solutions. New processes for picking, packing, inventory counts and labeling have resulted in great improvements in terms of productivity, speed, accuracy and overall warehouse visibility.
The inventory location capability of HighJump Warehouse Advantage has optimised cycle counting in the DC. Previously, staff had to shut the whole warehouse down for two days and bring in extra staff to run a stock count manually. Now staff can scan inventory on the spot using radio frequency (RF) guns and conduct reconciliation of discrepancies on a daily basis without any interruption to the operation.
The HighJump WMS has not only enabled the DC to launch its new 3PL business, which is already up and running with numerous customers. It has also allowed the DC to remain lean and more streamlined in its operations. Staff numbers have not increased despite going from 400 order lines per day two years ago to an average of 650 per day today, with peaks of 900 to 1000 order lines per day. Furthermore, the new system has enabled smaller batch order waves that staff can prepare during the course of the day in a more efficient timeframe.
3M is a $24.5 billion diversified technology company which, since 1902, has been creating innovative products that help make the world smarter, faster, healthier and safer. Well known 3M brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate and Scotch-Brite.
3M employs 75,000 people worldwide, producing thousands of innovative products for customers in dozens of diverse markets in some 200 countries. Its 40+ technology platforms touch nearly every aspect of modern life - the company has applied its expertise in RFID technology to deliver biometric passports; it is using its understanding of the healthcare industry to provide hospitals with infection prevention and detection solutions; and its digital signage offerings are revolutionising the way businesses communicate with their customers, their employees and the general public.
The UK and Ireland is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing 3850 people across 17 locations, including 11 manufacturing sites. Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, respirators, adhesive tapes, industrial microbiology products, drug delivery systems, high-performance coatings, secure documents and passport scanners.