As it deals with more than 3,000 article numbers and both retail and wholesale warehousing, Supermarco, Denmark's largest importer of Italian specialities, has integrated a simple IT solution that accurately records products and calculates excise duties. These used to be time-consuming manual tasks. In fact, staff and management regarded them as decidedly tedious. In connection with storehouse refurbishment at Sydhavnen (Copenhagen), management decided to eliminate these time-consuming tasks.
In the past, Supermarco manually recorded the goods forwarded from the main warehouse in Glostrup, either as wholesale sales or to the Supermarco retail store in Copenhagen. Essentially, the system worked well, except now and again when the hard copy of a stock count disappeared without trace from the warehouse. Such occurrences made it difficult to create an accurate and substantiated record of goods and duties. Accurate goods registration is important at Supermarco for several reasons. The company's Glostrup warehouse is a so-called "bonded warehouse". This means that no duties are charged on a product when it is imported into Denmark but payment is delayed until the product leaves the warehouse. Dutiable goods include beer, wines and spirits. A company that trades in dutiable goods is required to provide the authorities with documented and accurate calculations of excise duties. If they fail to do this, they may find that trading with these goods becomes prohibitively expensive.
"In the past, when our business was smaller, the challenges were easily overcome. However, with the refurbishment of our storehouse at Sydhavnen and significant increases in the number of customers and products, manual hard-copy registration had become burdensome. We asked our IT consultant, Johan Niordson from Genios ApS, for advice. He recommended Delfi Icons," explains Karsten Brinkmann, Project Manager at Supermarco and Ello Foods.
The solution proposed by Johan Niordson is a software application that records the barcodes on goods in connection with goods transfers, incoming goods, stock count, etc. – and optimises the work processes associated with these operations. Delfi Icons is a modular system. You can add more if your needs change. Via a simple application, the software is integrated into your company's existing ERP system. In Supermarco's case, this was Microsoft C5.
Delfi Icons provides documented data and clarity
Johan Niordson kicked off the Delfi Icons integration project early in 2016. The project had three primary goals: reliable goods registration, accurate documentation for purposes related to paying duties, and more flexible work processes for the people working at the warehouse, who manage the goods on a daily basis.
"I was responsible for identifying time-consuming processes that could be eliminated using IT. On several occasions, we discussed how best to reach our goals and everyone agreed that the solution we chose had to be simple. On the one hand, the solution should not require too much adaptation and, on the other hand, it had to be scalable, i.e. allow for subsequent expansion. Based on these goals and a large number of other criteria, we chose Delfi Icons," Johan Niordson explains. Niordson has been affiliated with Supermarco for almost 10 years.
The solution comprises numerous Delfi Nova hand-held terminals, each containing a Wi-Fi barcode scanner. The scanner simultaneously transmits data to the ERP system. Real-time data makes goods flows, picking lists and orders easier to manage. Moreover, the system produces data that can be used to calculated excise duties. The data recorded includes product no., quantity and employee ID. The data facilitates much more flexible and time-saving work processes
Additional benefits of the solution
At Supermarco, integration of the new solution has additional benefits. For example, there are now fewer picking errors, better qualified goods orders and much improved overview.
"The solution has met every single one of our expectations and gives us new impetus. We've begun to examine other time craving processes in our business. Right now, we have the practical task of testing the purchased Icons module 'Status'. Hopefully this module will help to eliminate other time consuming tasks and make the status task easier and more flexible than the long-standing manual status we know from earlier", says Karsten Brinkmann.