Mayborn Group, the parent of global superbrand Tommee Tippee, has invested in County Durham based Indigo’s warehouse management system to improve productivity at its Manfield manufacturing site and support global growth plans.
Mayborn’s purpose is to help more mums and dads enjoy and embrace the rollercoaster ride of parenting and its Tommee Tippee product range includes Sangenic – the nappy disposal system - which is a hygiene household essential.
Sangenic products are manufactured at the company’s Mansfield plant and shipped onto over 70 countries around the world. The site operates around the clock 5 days a week and 130,000 Sangenic bins are manufactured at the site each week, together with over 300,000 accessory items. This translates into over 250 pallets being shipped daily onto destinations in the UK and mainland Europe, the US, Japan and Australia.
Mayborn Group uses an ERP system from Infor to control its 24 hour manufacturing process, but found warehouse processes, which also run around the clock, to be lagging behind in terms of efficiency and productivity levels. With product demand at an all-time high, the company wanted to move away from running a paper-based warehouse and introduce a warehouse management system (WMS) to optimise pre and post production processes. In doing so, they could avoid a lengthy paper trail and make better use of existing manpower resources, whilst at the same time reducing the errors that are inevitable in a manual process and ultimately improving the customer experience.
“Picking for production was a prime example where our process wasn’t as slick as it could be. We were working with printed pick notes and an operative would walk around during the night shift, locating items in the order they wanted to pick, rather than the system generating single instructions according to what was most efficient. Being a manual process it was prone to mistakes, which could affect production the next day if items were incorrect,” says Helen Essex, Logistics & Materials Manager at Mayborn Group.
After a review of multiple WMS software suppliers, Mayborn selected Indigo WMS as its preferred solution. Not only was Indigo WMS functionally rich, the company has a strong track record in the manufacturing sector, supporting manufacturers with end to end process reviews prior to implementing their technology. Now live, Indigo WMS controls every operation in the warehouse, from goods in, picking for works orders, issuing stock to WIP, receiving finished goods, locating and putaway, dispatching sales orders, plus perpetual inventory counting.
Since implementing Indigo WMS, Mayborn has recorded significant improvements to efficiency, with a 55% improvement to the number of goods receipts being processed and an 80% improvement to the speed of stock counting.
Picking efficiency has significantly improved as a result of introducing Indigo WMS, which is configured for operatives to continue completing tasks throughout their shifts, picking raw materials for the next day’s production runs without having to leave the shop floor to source a new works order. In addition, bulk picking efficiency has improved by 77%. Indigo WMS enables multitasking and operatives can complete stock counts as they move about the warehouse doing routine tasks. The switch to perpetual inventory management alone has generated a significant return on investment for Mayborn, because the warehouse no longer needs to shut down for one day every month to complete the stock count.
Reducing the time required to pick for production means the team can then begin on sales orders for customers during the same shift, saving time and improving turnaround times using the same level of resource. Previously these could only be picked during the day because operators picking during the night for production would run out of time. In addition, Mayborn has gradually succeeded in reducing the levels of inventory they hold, improving cash flow and cost control in the business.
Another opportunity to improve efficiency came as a result of directly integrating Mayborn’s ERP system with Indigo WMS. This means every movement in the warehouse – whether a pick for production, sales or another stock movement - is automatically updated, without data having to be entered manually.
“Indigo WMS is ideal for manufacturers because it automates complex manual processes and gives the warehouse management team full control over daily operations, with an intuitive dashboard to anticipate shift resourcing requirements, plus spot trends and opportunities for further improvements. Operatives become more directly accountable and management can see a comprehensive audit trail of the entire operation,” says Helen Essex.
The final implementation of Indigo WMS went particularly smoothly, with no downtime whatsoever. The overnight warehouse team simply finished picking for their production run at 6 am on the Friday and were able to start using Indigo WMS by 6 am on the Monday morning. The cutover process also included a complete stock check, to enter current inventory levels onto Indigo WMS as a starting point for ongoing stock management.
“It was a very smooth switchover and everything was completed within the normal working day. We literally came back in on the Monday after what appeared to be a routine, month end stock check and could start using Indigo straight away,” says Helen Essex.