Honeywell Logistics Solution provides tailor-made solution to improve customer’s logistics centre operation efficiency

With more than 3,500 retail outlets through franchise and direct sales channel, our customer is a “lifestyle marketing leader” and the first high-tech listed company in China’s apparel industry. This pioneering brand provides customers with high-quality and diversified lifestyle apparel products.

To ensure that they have a competitive edge over their competitors when it comes to product quality, customer experience and after-sales service, they have adopted an agile supply chain and rely on the accumulation of information.

What were our customer’s requirements?

With a logistics centre based in Xiang’an that has a storage area of 48,000 square feet, our customer required a solution that would meet their needs for regional distribution and e-commerce consumer multi-channel order delivery.

This solution also had to be able to provide a range of picking strategies to meet different order structures like stock orders, stores, replenishment orders, and e-commerce orders for over 3,500 offline direct sales and dealer stores and its large number of network distributors.

Reverse logistics was also a pain point for our customer as they had to manage returning goods from in-store and online sales. The returning goods needed to be quickly sorted and put-away based on the SKU and quality status, so the qualifying products could still be sold later.

How did we meet our customer’s order?

By choosing Honeywell Logistics Solutions Warehouse Management System (HLS WMS) as their core operational management system for their logistics centre, our customer had a solution that met their needs for regional transfer, distributor, store terminal and e-commerce consumer multi-level order execution. Adding on to this, it also enabled their logistics centre to efficiently respond to omnichannel orders through intelligent optimisations.

To further enhance the efficiency across the large working areas of the logistics centre, HLS WMS implemented wave planning and pre-picking for our customer. Orders were split into waves and assigned to a specified location to focus the operation in the area, optimising movement and output of operators. Tasks were intelligently combined in each work area to increase even more. HLS WMS also directs the picking route and guides the sortation operation while the picking tasks are carried out to minimise worker downtime and maximise output.

HLS WMS supports combined return order processing for returning orders with unordered SKUs and this proved to be the solution our customer needed for reverse logistics. The number of returned SKUs is calculated through the return order, and the put-away location is determined according to the SKU return quantity. The returned goods are then sorted with guidance by voice message and then combined with an electronic label to sort the returning goods based on SKU. The implementation of this method reduced the returning operational time by 60% compared to the manual sorting method.

Last but not least, our customer also implemented the Supplier Packing System (SPS) feature in HLS WMS to standardise packing management from the production side for more than 100 production partners in the Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian regions. Packaged products are individually scanned through the system and it guides, records, verifies the packing information and then generates a unified carton barcode.

With HLS WMS, product and packaging details are shared right at the beginning fo the supply chain. This ensures the accuracy of the information and also makes the subsequent warehouse operations such as inbound, break, bulk, cross-warehouse and outbound more efficient and convenient.

What was the end result?

After implementing HLS WMS into their operations, our customer is now working to reform their organisational structure from a production-oriented structure to a retail-oriented one. Over the years, they have established five new business divisions: marketing, branding, e-commerce, supply chain and IT. The logistics centre will be the profit centre of the supply chain business, and they have appointed Honeywell Logistics Solutions to support them with this transformation.