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xTrack WMS – The software solution that helps you optimize your warehouse

Axes Software » xTrack WMS – The software solution that helps you optimize your warehouse

What is a WMS?

In a nutshell, a WMS (Warehouse Management System) is a software solution that helps you optimize your warehousing activities by providing the information support needed for a good modern warehouse management, staring from receiving, putaway, picking, packing to delivery or inventory. The main benefits you will get are mainly:

The xTrack WMS application we have developed is innovative because it promotes the SDS (System Directed Solution) concept. What we have achieved by implementing this concept has been to reduce human interaction as much as possible in the decisions that need to be made so that the tasks may be carried out faster in a warehouse.

If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of using a WMS application, we can tell you this: immediately after implementing this system, elefant.ro has seen a 1000% optimization. There is no mistake here, we didn’t write any extra zeros. After we completed the implementation of our application, one of their employees could do the work of ten others without any problems. Elephant.ro has been our customers for 10 years, during which time we have also done custom optimizations for the company, which resulted in an increase in productivity by another 50% compared to the initial optimization.

The particularities of online vs. offline trade from a WMS perspective

During the video conference organized by the Tranzit Magazine at the end of June 2020, we talked at length about the differences between the WMS application implemented for an online store and the one implemented for a brick-and-mortar store. When we  optimize processes we always take into account a few key aspects:

  1. the number of orders received by an online store. (The online orders are many and customers request few articles, as opposed to those of an “offline” brick-and-mortar store, which are larger, but fewer;
  2. the increasing number of order lines that are processed by the e-commerce store compared to the traditional retail store;
  3. the online shop’s record of large increases in the number of orders in certain periods;
  4. the dynamics of stocks, which needs to be carefully managed, as products are accessed from both directions when a shop operates both online and offline – picking is done from both the “online” and “offline” shelves;

The WMS application (and not only this solution) integrates into a software ecosystem, because our solutions are designed and connected in such a way that they interact with each other and/or with other applications the customer has so as to respond to all requests extremely quickly, i.e. in milliseconds, maximum a few seconds. For example, generating an AWB or an invoice cannot take more than 2-3 seconds, any delays would otherwise cause disruptions in the warehouse processes, which would ultimately lead to an increase in the time required to fulfil orders.

Complementary solutions

In addition to the WMS application, some of our customers ask us for solutions to streamline deliveries and optimize transport routes to reduce delivery times and costs. All the applications we design and deploy ultimately translate into resource savings (of time, people, money) and consequently increased profitability.

Most online stores have outsourced delivery services and use courier companies. However, some of our customers are also interested in optimizing processes outside the warehouse. An example of a complementary application is xTrack POD (Proof of Delivery) – a useful solution for drivers, which they utilize to confirm deliveries and receipt of payment in the system.

Evolution of WMS demand during the Covid-19 crisis

Migration of traditional shops to online ecommerce

Demand for some applications has decreased since the pandemic began, while it has increased for others. Certainly, the greater demand has come from retailers, old and new customers alike, who have realized that they really need to go digital and sell their products online if they are to survive this period of social distancing. Even large traditional retail chains have announced their intention to do so, as their customers have been forced by circumstances to change their behavior and make more purchases online. That’s why optimizing activities through WMS applications in warehouses “besieged” by an increasing number of orders has become a necessity.

The Covid-19 crisis has also led to a change in demand characteristics, which used to be predictable by season. In addition to the large and predictable food orders, demand for building materials and furniture increased, unexpectedly for the period, as many decided to invest in their own houses or bought desks and chairs to work from home. Demand for electronic products has also increased, as companies have bought laptops for employees to enable them to work remotely. Many retailers are now considering developing their online business, although before the crisis they were more active on the traditional “offline” market.

Stock management

One specific request we received from our customers focused on the inventory management. Why? Because nobody could rely on any pre-pandemic statistics as the  consumer behavior changed overnight in ways that were impossible to predict.

Contrary to their own predictions, distribution companies, which were expected to go into technical unemployment, did not, becoming extremely active during the pandemic. The unpredictable consumer behavior during this period contributed to their continued and even increased activity.

Thanks to the stock management module in our WMS application, distribution companies (for example) were able to have tight control of their stocks. Our application provides complex information that helps managers to accurately determine replenishment needs. If the algorithms are well thought out and implemented, the WMS application signals in 2 or 3 days if there has been an unexpected increase in demand that requires replenishment of stocks.

Increased transport volume for couriers

In the early months of the crisis, the need for digitalization and the introduction of government restrictions put pressure on the transport and delivery sector. Logistics has been one of the biggest challenges as transport companies have, at least initially, lacked the courage to work. Fear of infection, quarantine restrictions or problems caused by the temporary closure of borders in many EU countries have discouraged carriers. That’s why couriers have remained on the front line, taking over some of the work carriers generally carry out.

Thus, when the COVID-19 crisis erupted, courier companies were faced with delivery volumes well above their expectations. Practically overnight, queues at supermarkets and hypermarkets turned into orders pending delivery. For this reason, it was necessary to optimize the supply flow in order to correctly determine the needed number of vehicles. It was also necessary to optimize not only outbound but also inbound flows to ensure sufficient stocks. So, during the first few months of the pandemic, we provided companies that turned to us with xTrack WMS and support so that they could easily track the products from the moment of receiving to delivery to the end customer.

WMS implementation for retailers choosing to operate online

The digitalization process involves going through three stages (“steps”). The first step in going online is the launch of a web platform and this is where everyone does it as best and as fast as they can.

We come in at step two which focuses on logistics. If you do not want to outsource services, the WMS implementation takes on average 3-4 months, depending on the volume of stored goods and the range of articles, the type of business, the size of the warehouse, etc.

As an aside – if the retailer wants to outsource services, there are companies (such as Fan Courier) that offer fulfillment services (3PL services, usually in online store warehouses). Naturally, we provide customized WMS applications for those offering 3PL services as well.

The third step is represented by the deployment of a ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution with which the financial aspects can be managed efficiently.

As far as logistics is concerned, after these initial steps, we continue to collaborate with our customers  by periodically optimizing processes as changes in the client company (new products or services, scaling of the business, etc.) inevitably occur.

Watch the full discussion here …

26 June 2020

Over 250 successful software deployments

Our customers come from various sectors of activity that have a common denominator: the need for logistics software solutions.

+ 30%

Optimization of warehouse processes

+ 25%

Increase in transport performance

+ 30%

Improvement in production efficiency

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Antim Mogos
Sales Manager
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