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Supply Chain, Warehouse
April 16, 2020

Brivio & Viganò: the efficiency of the food logistics chain during the Covid-19 outbreak

What does it mean for a 3PL specialized in integrated food distribution and logistics to guarantee an excellent level of service despite the difficulties due to the ongoing health emergency? We discuss it with Brivio & Viganò, the logistics hub of Pozzuolo Martesana, that manages over 23,000 square meters with the Generix Group’s WMS in temperatures ranging from negative (-25°C) to positive.


“The health crisis that broke out the last weekend of February – says Mauro Brivio, CEO at Brivio & Viganò – has generated a high peak in volumes with critical issues in the management of drivers and travel planning. Throughout this period, everything has been managed, maintaining constant and high attention to the safety of workers and citizens. The impact generally occurred on all the large-scale retail chains served throughout the country, obviously more so in Northern Italy, but the increase in volumes was generalized. We are talking about a total of +30% increase similar to the Christmas period, in which companies like ours record the highest volumes of work that can be achieved with months of preparation and planning, while in this case everything was done within 48 hours.

In order to meet the increased demand, we made use of the availability of our drivers and our people (operating under staff shortage) and by referring more strongly to our network of partners, among which Generix Group also stands out. We have put our hands on all the direct and indirect resources at our disposal. “.

With over 650 customers, 145,000 square meters of managed warehouses and a proprietary fleet of over 700 vehicles, Brivio & Viganò is one of the main Italian logistics operators in the food distribution industry.

In this extraordinary emergency situation, Brivio & Viganò can count on the Generix Supply Chain Hub – WMS of Generix Group with which the processes related to all references on the Pozzuolo Martesana site in the Milanese hinterland are managed. The logistics hub was launched in mid-2018 and covers a total surface area of 23,150 square meters, equipped with new generation storage cells with temperatures ranging from negative (-25°C) to positive. It is 55% dedicated to the “frost” section and the remaining 45% to the “fresh” section and has a total of 31,000 pallet spaces and 50 tippers.

Maximum flexibility and responsiveness: a must!

An essential requirement of Brivio & Viganò in the choice of warehouse management software for the logistics hub was maximum flexibility, in other words the ability to quickly activate new customers, to manage a high heterogeneity of processes and to deal promptly with specific requests. A need that can be traced back to the very mission of Brivio & Viganò, which is to offer a wide and diversified range of tailor-made services at a higher level of quality.

Three characteristics of the Generix Group solution for warehouse management proved to be fundamental in the orientation of their choice:

  • The availability of the platform as a SaaS (Software as a Service) service which, by reducing the average time typically required for the implementation of a WMS solution, has allowed Brivio & Viganò to bring new customers’ goods into storage within 2 weeks for smaller companies and in about a month and a half for those with more complex operations.

There are currently 12 clients managed on the warehouse, including two of the main brands of the large-scale retail trade and some of the most famous brands, also at international level, in the confectionery production.

The SaaS mode also offers the advantage of scalability and cost flexibility, as it is linked to consumer pricing, based on the volumes handled.

  • Multi-client management allowed by the heterogeneity of business models made available by the solution. For example, it is possible to differentiate by customer the ways of receiving (with DESADV, EAN128, EAN 13/14, item selection), stock management (storage rules, setting automatic blocks when the saleability period is exceeded, multi-criteria inventory management) and goods preparation (whole pallets, layers, packages, with static or dynamic picking management).

The ability to set up separate management by area, corridor, site allows to treat the information flows of each customer completely separately and independently, eliminating the risk of promiscuity, also setting different visibility profiles for customers/users (e.g. some users have visibility only on certain customers and not on others).

The system also allows the constitution of multi-customer shipments if desired, in order to optimize the saturation of vehicles.

  • The breadth of functional coverage of the warehouse management software and the powerful basic parameterization, which can be further extended through specific developments based on the needs of the customers (for example: the development carried out to assign an internal batch code to customer, or the processing of a specific one that allows, at the creation of the pallet, to certify that the EAN13 code is correct).

To complete the project, the adoption of Generix Supply Chain Hub – TradeXpress made it possible to integrate the input flows into the source formats, without having to impose file transformation interventions on Brivio & Viganò’s clients. The same technology was also used to provide the output stream files in the formats requested by customers.

The choice of 3PL also weighted in favor of the over twenty years of experience that Generix Group boasts in the food distribution and logistics services industry, with numerous domestic and international references.

Some key logistics hub numbers managed with Generix Group WMS

  • Activation of 12 clients in the large-scale retail and FMCG markets in 22 months. The average time was 2 weeks for small customers and 1.5 months for large corporate customers.
  • About 225,000 order lines per month prepared
  • 8,900 references managed

Brivio & Viganò how they see it

Marco Possa, Information Systems Director

“In order to offer our customers, the higher level of service, we have chosen the Generix Group WMS solution in SaaS mode, which allows us to guarantee our customers high standards of safety and quality.

Generix Group’s SaaS platform has also greatly simplified and speeded up the integration and communication between the information applications at stake, thereby increasing agility both internally and with our partners.

Among the various Generix Group WMS features that we use, the ability to dynamically manage priorities through a simple drag & drop action allows us to reprogram missions in real time, based on the actual needs of the repository at any given time, and to more efficiently integrate the management of unexpected events. This, together with the activation of the lowering of dynamic automatic priority, has resulted in a significant increase in productivity of repository”.

Paolo Berto, Sales Director

“Generix Group’s WMS supports us on a daily basis at an operational level, enabling us to increase the responsiveness and agility of our warehouse, and consequently to maintain the commitments made to our clients. The availability of Generix Group solution in SaaS mode has been crucial in this regard, because it has allowed the project to see a steadfast completion.

Given the ambitious objectives we set ourselves, first and foremost the high quality of the service we want to guarantee our clients, it is also essential for us to be able to rely on a vendor who, thanks to the experience and maturity acquired over years of work in the markets in which we also operate, is able to support us in projects with a consultative approach and also in the evolution that we are already anticipating for our business”.

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