Based in Zagreb, Croatia, Atlantic Grupa is a leading regional consumer goods manufacturer serving customers in over 40 countries. The company operates 19 distribution centers and 19 production facilities in six countries, employs more than 5,000 employees and has five brands in the region’s top ten. Its production facilities are located in Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia.
Atlantic Grupa needed a warehouse management system that could scale to support its 19 distribution centers and wide portfolio of products with categories ranging from beverages, coffee, snacks, savory, and gourmet to baby food, sports food and nutrition.
Atlantic Grupa’s warehouse operations teams faced several key challenges:
- Imbalance in sales channel structure and warehouse labor – Half of orders picked represented only about a fifth of net invoice value
- Multi-level picking – The majority of orders managed by the warehouses were small. More than a quarter of active SKUs were being picked at the item, box, case and pallet level. This four-level picking created significant strain on warehouse teams
- Deliveries – Atlantic Grupa made both central warehouse and direct store deliveries to large urban areas and small and remote retailers. As shipments varied from very small to exceptionally large, there were challenges to optimize loading
When evaluating systems, several criteria had to be met, from ability to scale to ensuring product availability through improved service levels at a low cost-to-serve.
Atlantic Grupa initially implemented Symphony RetailAI’s warehouse management in its four distribution centers in Croatia, consisting of 24,000 square meters of storage space and 2,400 active SKUs. The rollout was then expanded to the Serbian distribution centers.
To improve productivity further, Atlantic Grupa introduced multi-level picking. Within the first year of implementation, the company gained a 7% overall increase in productivity and 50% decrease in picking errors.
The company then added warehouse voice operations and gained a 15% productivity increase and a further significant decrease in pick errors. A further advantage for Altantic Grupa was the speed and ease of use of voice picking. For example, one of the first operators to use the voice picking software was an employee who had never worked in a warehouse before. After two hours of training, the operator out-performed more than 50% of her co-workers who were still using the old process. And after two days, she was able to train others.
- Ease of learning and use for warehouse voice operations – A very flat learning curve enables maximum effectiveness of use by all workers in a very short period of time
- Multi-picking and voice-picking implementations led to a 22% increase in productivity and more than 50% decrease in picking errors