Hemmakväll is Sweden’s largest and sole nationwide entertainment chain with 98 shops in 43 towns and cities from Luleå in the north to Trelleborg in the south. The product range consists of films, games, confectionery, and other goodies for a cosy evening at home.
Hemmakväll runs a mixture of its own shops and franchise shops. They are all supplied by Hemmakväll’s central warehouse in Landskrona.
Warehouse and logistics situation
In 2011 Hemmakväll was facing huge expansion in the number of shops. This was in the light of the fact that in 2010 Hemmakväll realised that the warehouse could become a bottleneck in the implementation of the company’s expansion plans. All warehouse activities were manual and warehouse employees picked according to paper picking lists.
In order to leverage the warehouse for growth, Hemmakväll decided to move into new warehouse premises and invest in new warehouse technology.
The new warehouse solution is designed to enable Hemmakväll to service the growing number of shops Hemmakväll is well equipped for the future and for the continued growth.
In the context of moving to new warehouse premises in Landskrona, the warehouse layout was redesigned, and product flow and processes were optimised. In some order lines, Hemmakväll’s customer orders were very similar, but in others very different. A subdivision of the range in alphabetical order was very pertinent and played a central role in the choice of warehouse technology.
‘A’ items are new films and games, which need to be dispatched in large quantities to all shops, starting on the day of release and during the following weeks. Demand then descends to a totally different level. At this stage (which spans ‘B’ and ‘C’ products) there are a great many films and games for a long period of time. The life cycle of a product is a decisive factor in how to handle it most efficiently and where in the warehouse to place it.
In addition to games and films, Hemmakväll also distributes the whole range of confectionery. That means large quantities, in terms of both weight and volume: very different from films and games.
Hemmakväll’s new warehouse solution includes:
- 4 Compact Twin vertical storage lifts
- Pallet storage for ‘A’ films and games
- Pallet storage for confectionery and other goods
- The LOGIA WMS warehouse management system
- Integration with Hemmakväll’s ERP
LOGIA WMS manages the entire warehouse and divides the orders into the three storage areas, so orders can be picked in parallel. After picking, LOGIA WMS controls the consolidation of the orders prior to shipping.
All warehouse employees are online on LOGIA WMS. The vertical storage lifts are equipped with touch screens, which display placement and picking jobs for the warehouse employees. In the manual pallet storage areas, the warehouse employees are online on LOGIA WMS via “Wearable Terminals”, which have touch screens and an associated finger scanner. The terminals are fastened like watches on their arms, so employees have both hands free to work, but always have information at their fingertips.
Regardless of where someone works in the warehouse, s/he is guided by LOGIA WMS and everyone has access to relevant information. All employees report back on an on-going basis in LOGIA WMS (via the touch screens or “Wearable Terminals”). This means that the current status of the warehouse and the progress of the day’s orders are constantly visible.
Vertical storage lifts with picking tables
The four Compact Twin vertical storage lifts are reserved for ‘B’ and ‘C’ category films and games. Each of the 7.5-metre-high vertical storage lifts is equipped with a touch screen. LOGIA WMS controls placement and picking, and ensures a high rate of filling in the lifts. To maximise picking efficiency, picking is carried out in batches of up to 40 orders at a time. LOGIA WMS controls the automatic activation of the shelves from the vertical storage lifts, and on the screen the warehouse employee can see the total number of goods that need to be picked for the entire batch, along with a display showing where items are placed on the shelf.
Once the item has been picked from the vertical storage lift, the employee receives visual information on how the picked quantity should be distributed in orders and where the orders are placed on the picking table. The information is displayed on a touch screen placed next to the picking table. The screen image displays the location of the orders, specifies from which vertical storage lift/s (in this case Lift H and Lift I) the picked items should be distributed and how the picked quantity from each lift needs to be distributed to the actual orders.
Once the picked items have been distributed to the orders, the warehouse employee signs for the completed picking by pressing on the touch screen, opposite the picking order/s, where goods have been delivered. Once a picking order has been completed, this is illustrated on the touch screen in red and with the symbol *. Completed picking orders are removed and LOGIA automatically activates one or more new picking order/s on the basis of the defined priority sequence.
If, during the work process, the warehouse employee is in doubt whether the article has been delivered to the right picking orders, he can access the content of the individual picking orders on the screen using the Information key.
The screen image of the picking table is a new feature in LOGIA, and Hemmakväll is one of the first customers to use it. The experience has been very positive. For Hemmakväll it is indispensable, given that they have to pick so many orders at a time. It also eliminates the many steps between the vertical storage lifts and the picking table by virtue of the fact that each item number only needs to be downloaded once in the lift. The information for the warehouse employee is graphic and easy to understand, and errors are virtually non-existent.
Two manual pallet warehouse areas
Hemmakväll’s ‘A’ products (new films and games) are stored in one manual pallet warehouse area. Here, employees access their placement and picking jobs via their “Wearable Terminals”. Picking is carried out in batches of 4 orders at a time directly to shipping packaging.
The other manual pallet warehouse area is exclusively for confectionery. Here, picking is only for one order at a time for pallet loads.
In both of the pallet warehouse areas, picking routes have been optimised, so jobs can be done as efficiently as possible, and packing is done taking into account the characteristics of the item (mainly weight) so the most stable items are placed at the bottom. The employee is guided around and, for each picking, scans the item’s bar code and the bar code of the customer packaging/pallet. This ensures that the error rate is kept to a minimum.
As the picking orders are completed in the three warehouse areas, they are consolidated in the consignment, where it is possible to collate the orders prior to shipping.