As a prominent, global leader in the industrial solutions sector, Rexel Industrial Solutions (RIS) offer tailored and innovative supply chain services spanning a diverse range of industries, including Pharmaceuticals, Food, and Technology.
Headquartered in the thriving business hub of Limerick, Ireland, RIS shares its location with some of the world’s most esteemed companies. Operating within both local and international networks, RIS, much like Industore is dedicated to delivering comprehensive service packages, meticulously customised to meet the unique requirements of each client. Rexel is renowned for their unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. It’s a large part of the reason that the collaboration between Rexel and Industore has been such a successful, long-standing one. Our joint ethos and desire to achieve more for our clients by implementation of innovative technology and future-proofed operational processes is unrivalled.
Rexel’s product procurement service represents one of their cornerstones of success. In the wake of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, RIS faced a surge in demand for accelerated order fulfilment. To meet these heightened client expectations, RIS needed to accommodate larger stock quantities. Faced with the typical constraints of highly successful businesses Industore deal with on a regular basis, Rexel struggled with the limitations of their warehouse capacity. The prospect they were confronted with, therefore, was costly of relocation – or significantly improving their storage options. Leveraging their experience of dealing with Industore and several existing Industore clients, RIS were extremely familiar with the results Industore could provide – thanks to the power of well planned, industry leading Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems [AS/RS] – such as the Hänel Lean-Lift.
Benefiting from a two-decade-long partnership built on trust and expertise, Trevor Elliott, Industore’s Irish Sales Director was invited back to the Limerick site to conduct a comprehensive audit. In collaboration with Rexel’s Commercial Manager, David Slattery, the two meticulously assessed Rexel’s existing setup, and the advantages brought forward by an existing Lean-Lift on-site – which had been in operation for some years. After much discussion – not only about existing requirements, but the future, David and Trevor were able to develop a clear, joint-vision of success, as David explains:
“Since the installation of our initial Lean-Lift some years prior, we have witnessed first-hand the remarkable enhancements and benefits brought by them. Rexel also has many clients who partner with Industore, and they all speak very highly of the technology and the relationship.
Financially, Rexel is a global player. We regularly take on big contracts, and work with an enormous range of industry leaders – and for that reason, we need prompt access to our enormous catalogue of SKUs [stock keeping units]. We need to know where the products are, how many we have, and we need to be able to access them immediately – without error, damage, or delay. The Lean-Lifts (and the general assistance that we’ve had) from Industore absolutely does that for us. It allows us to commit to delivering over 99.99% of our products within 24-hours, and usually within 12. It keeps us in the ‘best in class’ seat in our industry.
We’re also always improving. After a recent review of our warehouse logistics, it became evident that our business growth prospects would be jeopardised unless we addressed the constraints on our storage capacity. To expand and continue to provide the best possible service, we had to improve our warehouse – or move to a larger premises. In Limerick, floor space is at a premium. As well as the proven success of our existing system (an earlier Lean-Lift), the confidence we felt working with Trevor and Industore made the decision to remove an existing mezzanine and invest in additional lifts much easier. It was absolutely the right decision. To put it into context, one lift gives us 10,000 SKUs. We now have three, and that, combined with narrower aisles, has increased our warehouse capacity by 45%. Not forgetting, that was also achieved without any disruption or expensive expansion – and, really, the space saving is the tip of the iceberg. Yes, we’re able to store more, but we’re also faster and more accurate than ever before.”
100% stock transparency:
RIS made a strategic decision to integrate their Lean-Lifts with their existing ERP system, thereby improving inventory transparency and SKUs (stock keeping units) control. Historically, storing diverse, critical components and small parts in a centralised location had led occasionally to human errors, for example by over or understocking – or loss. The new integration has empowered Rexel to establish a digital, real-time catalogue of stock, enabling the retrieval of every item quickly. Where full orders are comprised of products within the lifts alone (the fastest moving, most picked items) there is a definite reduction in fulfilment time for even the most complex orders. If the items making the order up are in a mixture of locations including lifts and bulk racking, the expanded WMS system manages all items within the warehouse and therefore ensures the fastest possible fulfilment. Moreover, the wire-guidance, man-up trucks also ensure safer, and faster bulk retrieval.
Leveraging handheld scanning devices, pickers can access details when orders are placed online or even over the phone. If an order requires parts from general racking (bulk storage) as well as items from the lifts, the operator does just that – using one, familiar system on their hand-held device, which manages the entire warehouse and every job. On demand, Lean-Lifts automatically retrieve the appropriate shelf containing the required item(s), one shelf, one lift at a time. Faster, safer, more documented, and more accurate than ever before. For total accuracy, operators are guided by the Pick-to-Light LED bar, ensuring rapid processing and correct order fulfilment – no costly returns or unhappy clients. In record time, the picked items arrive at the goods-out station, which is located just a few feet from the Lean-Lift area, where orders are packed and processed through to delivery.
Since the introduction of the additional two Lifts, our productivity and customer satisfaction has soared. Not only are we improving on our service to customers, but we’re having clients enquire about visiting our warehouse for demonstrations of how our service runs so smoothly and quickly. It’s been absolutely incredible for our company image – it’s completely solidified our position at the forefront of our industry. Just as importantly, it’s identified new talent within our workforce, and allowed us to redeploy long-standing staff into new areas of the business, really making the most of their skills and knowledge. As a result of all of this, our operational efficiency has surged by almost 25% – and to be clear, we were already a market leading organisation, so the benefits are truly remarkable, and far beyond what we were expecting.”
Rexel recognised the pivotal role of training in their partnership with Industore. Industore’s Lean-Lifts are incredibly intuitive by design, but of course, comprehensive training is rolled out by Industore on installation of all our machines. Rexel opted for our most popular option, which is the in-person, “train-the-trainer” model. To ensure Rexel staff (existing and new) can keep their training topped up, Industore offers an extensive online repository, which RIS (and all other Industore clients) can access at their convenience.
In the very unlikely event of a Lean-Lift breakdown, forward-thinking Rexel also opted for an Industore aftercare plan. As well as offering peace of mind and ensuring they’re compliant with relevant safety regulations (for example as EN 15095), Rexel will now benefit from priority dispatch of a trained, qualified, Industore engineer to their site, getting them back online and fully operational as quickly as possible.