Warehouse management system for ECONOFOODS

Issue 8 2022 Asset Management

ECONOFOODS, a successful provider of frozen and chilled foods plus a wide variety of grocery products, has selected warehouse management software (WMS) specialist, CQuential Solutions to fulfil its warehouse management needs as it expands its distribution network.

ECONOFOODS currently has seven distribution centres and 27 retail outlets that span six provinces in South Africa, plus a cross-border operation in Lesotho. “The company employs 1500 people and services approximately 1000 food service customers monthly from the distribution centres,” says Jan Hendrik Buchner, operational financial manager, ECONOFOODS Gauteng & Northwest.

He notes the company was founded in 1996 with the goal of supplying top quality products at wholesale prices and all accompanied by a superior service experience. “We required a state-of-the-art system that could optimise our warehouse operations, drive greater efficiencies, and support our growth plans as we expand our distribution network. CQuential’s warehouse management system (WMS) fulfilled our requirements, and was deployed in our Johannesburg warehouse,” he says.

He confirms the deployment of CQuential WMS will serve as a pilot implementation that will eventually see roll out to all ECONOFOODS warehouses over the coming 18 months.

CQuential CEO, Shaun O’Brien, says the implementation has moved swiftly and successfully and they are now past the initial setup stage. “We have now moved into a space where the WMS functionality is being tailored to meet ECONOFOODS’ specific requirements.”

O’Brien says the implementation was not without challenges including:

• Change management.

• Understanding the warehouse requirements.

• Change in staff roles on a continuous basis.

• Availability of master data.

• Working with a WMS champion within the ECONOFOODS’ business.

The CQuential team proposed the following strategic approach to overcoming these hurdles:

• A phased approach instead of big bang.

• Review of the warehouse organogram with suggested solutions.

• Greater time allocation to go live support.

• Improved communication and defined responsibilities for each stakeholder on the project.

Buchner confirms the relationship is ongoing. “CQuential is an integral part of our operation in Johannesburg and thus we view them as a business partner. Moreover, we are looking to build on it with further system developments. This requires frequent interaction between both companies as we continue to roll out CQuential’s WMS to our warehouses throughout the country.”




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