Production logistics

Duracell deploys Reflex WMS in its factories and logistics warehouses worldwide

Factories and warehouses in Belgium, the United States, and China
Reflex WMS

Reflex WMS offered the flexibility to be able to handle and dispatch not only pallets but also parcels. It also gives us an overview of our entire stock in our factories and our warehouses. Its short learning curve is a key feature for Duracell’s packing and distribution warehouses, where we employ a large number of temporary workers during busy periods.

Alban Fleury
Director of IT Europe, Africa, Asia and Global B2B, Duracell

The project at a glance

Duracell has deployed Reflex WMS to replace a 30-year-old logistics management application developed in-house. The company initially rolled out Reflex at all its factories and logistics warehouses in Belgium and the United States, and plans to follow suit in China. The battery manufacturer chose the application on account of its wealth of features, the fact that a core model could be developed for faster deployment across its many sites, and Hardis Group’s ability to provide worldwide support.

Context and objectives

Duracell was acquired in 2016 by Berkshire Hathaway—Warren Buffet’s holding company—after a decade under the ownership of Procter & Gamble. Following the acquisition, the battery manufacturer became an independent company once again, and was able to start making its own choices about modernizing its logistics operations. The company decided it was time to replace a 30-year-old logistics management application developed in-house with a new, off-the-shelf WMS, which would be deployed at all its sites in Belgium, the United States, and China.

The solution

Duracell explored several warehouse management systems (WMS) from leading global software vendors. However, they turned out not to be feature-rich enough to meet the complex requirements of the company’s factories and packaging facilities, so Duracell refined its search to European suppliers.

After reviewing the options, the company chose Reflex WMS for reasons including:

  • The ability to configure a core model, which meant that all sites could work with the same version, and made support and global deployment a lot easier.
  • The application’s wealth of features, which avoided the need for specific developments and therefore kept maintenance costs lower.
  • Hardis Group’s ability to provide both local and global support via its in-house teams and through its partner integrator, ITOrizon.
  • The guarantee that Chinese-language support would be added to the application.
  • The option to switch to a cloud-hosted version at a later date.

To begin with, Reflex WMS was deployed at three sites in the United States and two in Belgium. Eventually, it will be rolled out across all of Duracell’s factories and warehouses in China.

The benefits
  • A modern logistics information system
  • Optimized logistics flows and warehouse management processes
  • Automated management of mechanized systems, including automated guided vehicles
  • In logistics warehouses: ability to dynamically reallocate resources on the fly
  • In factories: ability to check incoming raw materials on pallets, and to check finished and packaged product flows, from storage to dispatch