SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) — Arla Foods

SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) — Arla Foods

Annual operating costs reduced by £1 Million, transportation costs reduced by 15% and traceability of goods improved by 1000x.

Winner of the Gold Award for Innovation from SAP Quality Awards for UKI.

The world's largest dairy. Arla is a consumer products business producing and selling dairy-based beverages, infant nutrition, cheese and desserts in many European countries, in Asia and in Africa via its own subsidiaries. As well as fresh milk, Arla now produces in the United Kingdom, both the Lurpak and Anchor butter brands.

Working as Arla Foods's implementation partner, Rocket Consulting helped create an award-winning state-of-the-art dairy using SAP's Supply Chain Execution software that has helped Arla Foods support its continued growth and success in supplying a full range of fresh dairy products to the major retailers and food-service customers. The business has an annual turnover of £2 billion and is the UK's number one dairy company.

Arla UK has an ambitious growth strategy and the new one-billion litre fresh milk dairy was directly in line with the company’s growth and environmental ambitions, and its commitment to support British dairy farming. In addition, a new distribution centre was planned for Hatfield.

The Challenge

Initially, Arla had implemented WM in their SAP ERP system, later moving on to a decentralised version of SAP WM. Demand for new functionality increased so a new solution was needed to support their strategy of standardisation.

The company decided to go ahead and invest in a new SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) system at both greenfield sites. Part of the reason for this was to make use of the ‘built in’ Material Flow System (MFS) functionality to control the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) which handle the movement of milk trolleys in the cold store.

The Solution

Arla had worked with Rocket when implementing Warehouse Management at another location. Rocket worked with Arla at the early stages of the project lifecycle, initially to help them understand the benefits of using EWM.

As the chosen EWM implementation partner for Arla, Rocket was responsible for the configuration and build of the entire EWM solution under their project management and implementation methodology. This was successfully achieved with a diverse team of experienced EWM solution architects and consultants, specialist developers and mobility experts responsible for the provision and deployment of the various mobile aspects of the solution including RF, Voice, RFID, and Mobile Device Management.

Business Outcomes

  • Visibility of information through warehouse monitor – ‘one stop shop’ for reporting
  • Clear management information - who is doing what, where and when
  • Integrated warehouse for 3PL activities
  • Flexible warehouse – use of activity areas allows different sort orders for different activities
  • Resource Management – allocation of work to the right person at the right time
  • Wave simulation – custom solution to enable better decision making at wave release
  • Enhanced use of Warehouse Monitor to integrate custom reports and make it the central point for all processing by enhancing the views with new methods and functionality
  • Pallet Cubing – maximising pallet fill keeping haulage costs down
  • Leveraging MFS – a significant saving on labour
  • Dynamic control of voice v RF
  • Template labelling
  • A strategic platform for future expansion

"I can’t say enough good things about Rocket. They understand the business and our processes. Some of the vendors we’ve used in the past have been good at the technical stuff, but they don’t really think about the impact to the business process. Rocket are much more of a solutions consultant package than just a technical consultant"

— Colin Fearon, Senior Solution Consultant for Warehouse and Distribution at Arla