Thanks to virtual reality, Danone and Generix Group have developed in Russia a methodology allowing the synchronous implementation of remote Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) in several sites
Generix Group, a global provider of collaborative SaaS Software solutions for the Supply Chain, industrial, and retail ecosystems, and Danone Russia, which has set high standards on its sites to guarantee the health and safety of its employees, have jointly developed a methodology for the remote implementation of warehouse management systems (WMS). Thanks to virtual reality, the operational start-up was successfully completed at the Danone site in Lipetsk, the first of the warehouses planned for deployment by Danone in Russia.
The partnership between Danone Russia and Generix Group Vostok started in 2018 with the implementation of a WMS in SaaS mode in a warehouse in Samara. To respond to the rapid growth in production volume as well as the expansion of the range of products with different storage needs, the decision was made to replicate the system on 15 additional sites across Russia. Taking into account the high safety standards of Danone's facilities and the project's deadline - end 2021 - Danone and Generix Group developed a methodology for remotely bringing several warehouses into production in a synchronized manner.
The project to deploy Generix Group's WMS solution in SaaS required extensive preparatory work during which, based on the results of the audit, three functional models (core models) were developed to be deployed depending on the type of warehouse: factory warehouse, distribution center or hub.
Each core model covers both the functional solution with the basic warehouse processes (various processes for acceptance, shipment of goods, placement and picking selection strategies, inventory processes) and the tools for implementing the local specificities of each site (warehouse typology, management of promotional flows, types of equipment and corresponding movement rules, etc.).
An important part of the model includes process change management: drawing up of instructions for the new operational incident self-resolution processes, preparation of a staff information and training plan, and proposal of a specific support plan by Generix Group.
Thanks to the definition of these three core models, both Danone Russia and Generix Group Vostok teams can now launch up to five warehouses in parallel, 4,700 km apart and with an interval between launches of up to two weeks.
"The world is changing rapidly and no company can develop sustainably without state-of-the-art technology. Danone's capacity for innovation is confirmed every day, both in the production of foodstuffs that meet the latest consumer preferences and in the daily use of ever more advanced technologies. Thanks to the excellent work carried out by the Generix Group Vostok teams, we will be able to continue to develop our business successfully," says Natalia Grekhova, Director of Logistics and Customer Relations, Russia, CEI, Danone's fresh dairy and vegetable products division.
The methodology developed provides many advantages:
- Standardization of project phases and reduction of deviations from the core model allow for more flexible and rational management of resources;
- The standardization of warehouse processes simplifies the management and support of the implemented solution;
- The on-site presence time of the project team during the deployment phase is reduced;
- The total duration of the systems implementation is reduced to 3-4 months instead of the usual 6-9 months.
The launch of the first warehouse in Lipetsk coincided with a period of strict lockdown. The main Danone WMS users with access to the warehouse and production during the containment period were provided with virtual reality goggles and advanced training, both theoretical and practical, on the system's functionality and processes. The glasses made remote working possible: Generix Group experts were able to access what Danone employees could see on site and were thus able to put the warehouse into production, in line with the project schedule originally adopted.
"The projects we are developing jointly with Danone are particularly ambitious in terms of analysis, development of new methodologies and use of cutting-edge technologies. In a context of pandemic and containment, we have confirmed our willingness and ability to solve the most complex missions in the most unpredictable conditions. Thanks to this approach, the country's leading manufacturers, distributors and logistics companies have been placing their trust in us for over 12 years," added Ghislain Vathelot, Managing Director of Generix Group Vostok.