Logistics: With Optidock, Stokomani increases its warehouse teams’ autonomy

Logistics: With Optidock, Stokomani increases its warehouse teams’ autonomy

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Stokomani started using Optidock a year ago. As a result, the discount and destocking company has improved its delivery appointment management throughout France. Its management now wants to expand the Inetum solution for external use.

Founded in 1961 under the name Soldes NAMANI, the discount and destocking company Stokomani today operates 124 retail outlets in France, as well as an e-commerce platform, supplied through four logistics platforms. Some 3,000 employees handle over 5,000 orders a year, with 2,170 suppliers of 47 different nationalities. In 2019 alone, they scheduled more than 10,000 appointments and coordinated 2,000 containers.

Until recently, Stokomani used Excel to plan its appointment schedule for delivery receptions. “At the speed we were growing, Excel no longer met our needs,” says Brigitte Maratra, the brand’s Administration Supply Chain Manager. Since 2014, the retailer’s number of branches has rocketed by 118% to reach 200,000 m² of sales area and 175,000 m² of logistics space. “We wanted a reliable tool that would be easy to use, increase autonomy, and allow access to many more users than Excel did.”

A tool that’s tailored to users

Following a benchmark early in 2020 of offers on the market, the Stokomani management’s choice fell on Optidock. The Inetum solution’s distinguishing features are that it allows an unlimited number of users and is easy to get acquainted with. “Besides the technical aspects, it was important for us that users would feel at ease with the tool,” says Olivia Mortier, Stokomani’s Supply Chain project manager who oversaw the implementation of the solution. “Optidock seemed to us the easiest to use, and highly configurable. We were looking for flexibility without needing an expert to configure the tool.”

Optidock was integrated into their ERP and rolled out in a matter of months. After a workshop phase in February 2020, the teams became operational in May following 4 days of training – from a distance, due to lockdown. But the actual appointment scheduling tool was only launched after the summer break, in September. The Stokomani teams wanted to synchronise the kick-off with that of MyMetriks which was to be integrated over the summer. With this data visualisation solution by Inetum, purchasing teams can check their appointments without having to open Optidock. MyMetriks also facilitates decision-making for logistics teams – it provides them with workload tables to anticipate storage needs, as well as reporting tools to monitor shipping peaks.

“Optidock gives us peace of mind”

Optidock went live at Stokomani a year ago, and has gained popularity with the teams for the autonomy it gives them to configure the various locations of the company. Besides delivery timeslot management, users can increase reception load and thus anticipate workforce needs, know what the different unloading tasks are, handle delivery incidents more effectively, and optimise dock availability. This means that one person can alone organise the schedule for about fifty lorries and twenty containers a day. “There are so many good things about Optidock that it has brought us a certain peace of mind in managing appointments,” Brigitte Maratra rejoices. “Optidock really adds value to the supply chain service, and to our logistics in general.”

The arrival of the new tool has also led to improved communication between teams. By bringing all the information together on a single platform, Optidock has considerably reduced the amount of emails which used to be the predominant channel for discussing delivery problems. “Doing away with emails that bring no added value has streamlined communication between the various entities by eliminating the risk of errors in appointment slots and the time needed to correct these,” Olivia Mortier remarks. “Optidock saves us loads of time.”

Getting an overview of incoming and outgoing flows

Since it was launched, the solution has furthermore benefited from several upgrades. One of these is the option for transporters to schedule their own appointments for shop returns. Having been notified in advance, logistics operators can now prepare to receive deliveries. Previously, appointment information was poorly communicated, which meant that warehouse agents had to cope with offloading as lorries arrived. Another noteworthy addition that is currently being rolled out, is the possibility to manage shipments to shops and flows between logistics platforms. “By managing flows coming in to and out of the warehouse, Optidock gives us an overall picture,” Olivia Mortier explains.

The next step will be to open Optidock to certain suppliers so that they can schedule their own appointments. This option was also a factor that influenced the initial choice of the solution. “It’s fairly easy to do this in Optidock, although it requires a bit of preparation on our side if there are warehouse changes,” Olivia Mortier adds.

Monitoring quality is reassuring

Besides the built-in features of Optidock, Olivia Mortier also points out the quality of support and service they get from Inetum. “When we contact support, they often put me through to the project manager, Thierry Delagneau. It’s good to be able to talk with someone who knows the project so that you don’t need to explain everything from zero before they understand what it’s about. It saves a huge amount of time. It’s a great plus, and very reassuring.”

As proof of this trust, Stokomani is taking on board more services from Inetum. After Optidock, they have now opted for Chronotime Workplace, the IT services group’s time and activity management solution. A relationship of trust that looks set to continue between the company for years to come.

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