Preconfigured PSIwms system for an e-commerce warehouse - or how to benefit from the experience of others Putting proven solutions to work
11 May 2023 - Case study
Every e-commerce company knows how important it is to handle logistics processes efficiently. To ensure it, IT support in the form of a WMS system is essential. Until recently, launching such a system was quite a challenge. In the e-commerce warehouse of Hisert, PSI Polska implemented a preconfigured system ready to manage the warehouse, which significantly reduced the time and cost of implementation.
Hisert, a manufacturer and distributor of clothing, footwear and accessories via e commerce platforms, brought on stream a new warehouse in Szczecin in mid 2022. Covering the area of 11,500 square meters, the warehouse will handle the distribution of several thousand garments and accessories per week. 100% of volumes shipped from the new warehouse will be sent to customers of marketplace platforms, including Zalando, eBay, and Amazon. The new investment is meant to boost Hisert’s competitive edge, and the opening of a new warehouse provided an opportunity to completely digitalize the company’s logistics processes.
In the first months, the company’s legacy WMS system was still used. However, given the steep rise in orders, a decision was made to replace the legacy solution with PSIwms supplied by PSI Polska.
”The choice of WMS system provider for our first distribution center was driven by several key criteria. We were looking for a system that had already been tried and tested by companies with e-commerce sales operations, specifically in the fashion industry. Agile deployment was another priority, and the system itself had to offer the option to upscale our business in the future,” explains Wojciech Drobczyński, process management manager at Hisert.
PSI Polska’s track record features WMS system deployments in warehouses operated by CCC, Half Price, or LPP – owner of the Reserved, House, Cropp, Mohito, and Sinsay brands, to name but a few.
Putting proven solutions to work
The Poznan-based company offers various system rollout models. The pre-configured model draws on PSI’s experience from other deployment projects; whereas in the traditional model, processes are configured and tailored to a specific warehouse. Hisert opted for the pre-configured edition of the PSIwms Omnichannel system, designed to handle processes in the e-commerce segment.
“At every stage of the project, including in the post-launch phase, we could rely on the professional and fully supportive representatives of PSI. It was all the more important, because when we opened our first distribution center, we did not yet have all our logistics processes specified, which is what most WMS providers would expect. Luckily, opting for PSI’s pre-configured system meant that we could put to work tried and tested solutions,” emphasizes Wojciech Drobczyński, and adds: “We didn’t create anything from scratch, but merely adapted ready-made processes to our business. This stepped up system deployment significantly and minimized the risk of our project going down the drain. In projects like these, the key is to become real partners with the system provider and to draw on their experience,” explains Hisert’s process management manager.
How to speed up and effectively deploy a WMS?
It only took ten days for the system to go live under the watchful eye of PSI consultants. The complete process, covering the analysis, topology configuration, tests and the final system launch, took four months, including the integration of PSIwms with host systems. To ensure that the start-up goes smoothly, it was broken down into two stages. To quote Michal Tokarczyk, senior WMS consultant and the project owner on the PSI side:
“We allocated two weeks for the launch. In the first week, we agreed with the client to run the system at 10% of the volume, while in the second week PSIwms was fully brought on stream to handle the complete product range and all warehouse operations.”
As the expert points out, opting for PSIwms means that the client is fully supported at the pre-deployment stage, with a complete training package for the staff, setup of infrastructure, and tests of ready-to-go functionalities.
Minimum effort, maximum effect
The Hisert warehouse operates on a single-shift, Monday-through-Friday basis. When weekend comes to its end, workload shoots up, as several thousand orders placed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday need to be handled. Over 70% of orders are single-item orders. The picking and shipment process used to take 8 hours on Mondays; with PSIwms in place, it was down to just 4 hours already in the first week after system launch.
“Deployment of the WMS system boosted the efficiency of our warehouse processes and gave us more control over the movements of goods and stock levels. With the intuitive interface of MDT scanners, onboarding training time was significantly reduced. Given my previous experience with WMS class software implementations, it really caught me by surprise how quickly and smoothly we took hold of PSIwms,” says Marcin Rudziński, Hisert’s distribution center manager.
Hisert stresses that the company succeeded in a smooth analog-to-digital transition, which can pose a real challenge sometimes, especially in such large-scale transition projects. In January, right after PSIwms went live, the company’s productivity was close to the busiest time of the year, that is November and December. Two weeks after the launch, the inventory count of nearly 1 million items took place in the distribution center. The process was handled by the newly deployed PSIwms system and took 48 hours to complete. The inventory count involved many people who had never worked in a warehouse or used an MDT scanner before, yet they handled their tasks swimmingly.
Gartner’s analyses clearly show that IT deployments are a challenge, and a big one at that. According to Gartner, as many as 75% of projects fall flat, regardless of the company size. This illustrates the challenge faced by the system provider and the investor alike. Michal Tokarczyk emphasizes that Hisert’s openness and willingness to tap into the expertise and experience of the seasoned PSI Poland’s project deployment team made all the difference.
“The solutions implemented at the warehouse in Szczecin draw on all our previous experience and deployments in other warehouses handling complex operations. With the pre-configured version, system implementation can be much faster and less cost intensive in companies that sell (or plan to sell) products in the omnichannel model,” explains the expert and adds:
“Contrary to what one might expect, IT solutions do not always need heavy customization to offer non-standard functionalities to clients. Sometimes a standard system with basic but proven solutions will be the best choice out there. This is especially true for SMEs, which are given access to unique know-how – essentially, the outcome of many earlier IT project deployments,” concludes the expert.