Grenoble, October 19, 2022 – Reflex Logistics Solutions (Hardis Group), a leading provider of logistics execution software, is using its warehouse management system (WMS) to help L’Outil Parfait boost performance across its logistics operations.
L’Outil Parfait manufactures hand tools for building and home improvement professionals. The firm, which has been serving bricklayers, tilers, plasterers, painters, and decorators for over 100 years, operates five production sites in France. It sells its 8,500-strong product line in 80 countries via a global network of more than 5,000 distributors and importers.
A new mechanized logistics platform
Products manufactured at L’Outil Parfait’s various production sites are transported to its logistics platform in La Monnerie-le-Montel, central France, which holds 4,500 items permanently in stock and manages an average of 5,000 order lines each day. In 2018, the firm deployed the Reflex WMS warehouse management system as it looked to optimize its logistics operations and replace its existing application, which was incapable of handling workload peaks.
In 2017, to support its growth, L’Outil Parfait decided to build a new 2,700 sq. m logistics center complete with a BOA Concept mechanized system to automate the order preparation process. The company’s aim was to have all client orders pre-packed in two carton sizes (60 x 40 x 40 cm and 40 x 30 x 25 cm).
“We chose Reflex on account of its scalability and its ability to manage all our processes, both pre- and post-mechanization, as well as the company’s long-term stability and local presence,” said William Seignol, Supply Chain Management Director at L’Outil Parfait.
A 50% productivity boost
In the spring of 2019, Reflex WMS was up and running, managing the new processes at the warehouse: orchestrating the storage of 4,500 items, plus 12,000 picking locations, and the mechanized system. “Before 2019, orders were prepared sequentially using a bulk picking method,” added Seignol. “These orders were then retrieved one by one for packaging. Now, orders are prepared in parallel: the operators fill the cartons in front of them, which are then taken by conveyor to a palletization area before loading. With this new system in place, we’ve boosted productivity by 50%, halved preparation time and, for some orders, slashed our delivery lead times to as little as two days.”
Aside from productivity gains and shorter preparation and delivery lead times, Seignol reports other benefits for L’Outil Parfait:
- A 10% cut in transport costs thanks to the carrier choice aid module
- A 90% reduction in order preparation errors, achieved in large part through the introduction of a weight control system
- A short learning curve for the Android-based application among temporary staff
- Optimized working hours, allowing the company to abolish the existing two-shift working pattern (5 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and replace it with a single shift (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for all employees.
“Our operators are happy with this new arrangement,” said Seignol. “They don’t have to move as much and now work during the daytime instead of in two eight-hour shifts.”
“Without this change to our logistics processes, we would never have recorded €55 million in revenue in 2021,” said Stéphane Marquardt, CEO of L’Outil Parfait. “We’ve achieved productivity gains while making work easier for our operators.”
L’Outil Parfait has continued to invest since 2019, with Reflex WMS now managing elevators and an automated carton forming system. In 2022, the company will add a new mezzanine to the warehouse, adding a further 1,300 sq. m of preparation space. It is also considering investing in an automated carton closing system, which will also be managed by the warehouse management system.