Our mechanized system is managed by Reflex WMS. This organizational change has delivered significant operational performance improvements and helped raise the standard of service that we provide to our members.
The project at a glance
After deploying a new stacker crane and conveyor system for containers, managed by the Reflex WMS warehouse management software, Covap, a 500-member trade cooperative in the Vendée region of western France, can now process 60 orders at once—compared with eight previously—on two preparation tables, and has recorded a 95% reduction in order preparation errors.
Context and objectives
Covap is a pooled procurement cooperative founded in 1982 and based in La Chaize-le-Vicomte in the Vendée region of France. It provides heating, electrical, plumbing and kitchen supplies, as well as household appliances, to a network of 500 tradespeople (electricians, plumbers, appliance repairers, and more).
In 2016, Covap acquired Reflex WMS for its 12,000 sq. m logistics platform, where it stores 20,000 products. Then, in 2019, the cooperative deployed a stacker crane and conveyor system for containers, coupled to a weight control system, in order to cater to growing demand and to more efficiently process the 3,000 order lines—representing 300-500 orders on average—it receives each day. Covap’s miniload system handles the storage of 10,000 smaller items, which are automatically routed to the order preparation tables.
Having deployed this new mechanized system, the cooperative overhauled its logistics processes. Now, orders placed by members on its e-commerce website are transferred to the ERP system, and then to Reflex. The WMS distributes the preparation tasks by product type, either calculating operator pick routes (“person to goods”) or sending a pick order to the right containers on the stacker crane in the warehouse’s two order preparation workshops (“goods to person”). Once the pick tasks are complete, Reflex WMS and, in turn, the ERP system, are updated automatically. Orders are then consolidated and routed to the loading docks, with a 6 pm cutoff for next-day delivery.
Covap plans to invest in two new miniload and pallet stacker cranes to prevent musculoskeletal injuries and disorders caused by lifting heavy loads. After merging with Copagir, a cooperative in neighboring Gironde, it will also open a second platform in their region. Reflex WMS will manage logistics processes at both sites
- Higher standard of service for members
- 95% reduction in order preparation errors
- Productivity gains: 30 orders can now be prepared simultaneously on each of the two tables, up from just four previously
- Improved stock information for smaller items with the introduction of a perpetual inventory process