SAP EWM implementation for new build automated CPG distribution centre
Supporting the UK growth and sustainability strategy for LDH (La Doria) Ltd, the leading own-label supplier (CPG) of canned products and other ambient foods to the major UK supermarkets.
As part of their continued UK growth and drive for efficiency and sustainability, LDH (La Doria) Ltd commissioned a new distribution centre, built in Suffolk, UK. The warehouse is highly automated, including a Swisslog ASRS (Automated Storage & Retrieval System), high bay cranes, monorails, automated checks (pallet structure) and pallet wrappers. A state-of-the-art distribution centre with an impressive operating capacity of 45,000 pallets of ambient storage and a daily output of over 2000 pallets per day.
An integral part of a greenfield build programme covering the warehouse construction, fit-out, warehouse automation, warehouse management system and mobile technology.
LDH (La Doria) Ltd, who are an existing SAP Business Suite (SAP ECC) user, were keen to retain the benefits of an integrated SAP landscape and selected the SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) platform to control the entire operation at the new distribution centre.
A partner who could bring valuable supply chain process, SAP systems, operational technology (mobile & warehouse automation) and integration expertise was required, a role for which Rocket was selected and a close, trusted partnership with LDH (La Doria) Ltd was quickly formed.
The Solution & Approach
Rocket was responsible for the full lifecycle of SAP EWM aspects of the programme, orchestrated using the Rocket Mission Control Methodology for SAP supply chain and technology intensive projects.
Project management was critical to the success with such an intensive programme. Close coordination and collaboration with the warehouse automation provider Swisslog was a key success factor throughout automation integration and to ensure the Key Operational Performance Targets were both met and sustainable.
So how did it work?
“Communication and visibility were key. Regular conversations, transparent project plans, and alignment to the strategic objectives driving the project forward were what made this development a success.”
Helping the LDH team quickly adapt their existing SAP warehouse management understanding was a huge benefit to the people involved. The Rocket SAP EWM Overview Training was deployed to accelerate LDH project understanding of SAP EWM.
Designing the supply chain and warehouse processes and future ways of working was achieved during business blueprint design phase with the help of Rocket Prototype & Demo Landscape that allowed process owners to quickly understand how things would work in the new SAP EWM platform.
SAP EWM was used to meet an extensive scope including the following highlights:
- Goods Receiving Palletised and Slip Sheet Goods
- Production Integration
- Value Added Services
- Picking, Packing, Staging, Loading
- Batch Management
- Quality Inspection
- Yard Management
The project includes fully integrated mobile execution utilising Honeywell CK75 handheld devices for the 25 mobile workers supporting the receiving and final despatch processes. This was successfully deployed by Rocket as a turnkey SAP mobility solution based on the native SAP EWM RF Framework and ITS mobile.
When looking back to those initial strategic project objectives of increased throughput, increased storage capacity and rationalised operating costs, LDH (La Doria) Ltd has succeeded, and crucially they can keep on succeeding, due to the ability to monitor key performance indicators at both a macro and micro level with complete visibility. A complete digital platform allows for full analysis, and decisions can be made based on the right information and in real time, to consistently meet targets.
“It is true testament to the team commitment and original top-down approach. LDH (La Doria) Ltd have now entered a new era of operational visibility and control, facilitated by sustainable and efficient automated warehouse processes to drive growth. They have developed systems and processes that support in excess of three mission movements per year in a cost effective and efficient manner via highly automated and innovative technology.
Simply put, it means that retailers get what they want, when they want it. And so do customers.”
Sustainability was a key driver for the project, and in 2021 year a ‘very good’ status was achieved in BREEAM.
Key success criteria of the new-build DC were achieved:
- Capacity to handle in excess of 3m pallet movements per annum
- Integrated design with low total cost of ownership
- All business logic in SAP EWM, one controlling system
- Harnessing state of the art solutions
- Remaining on the SAP roadmap
- Brexit Ready design
LDH (La Doria) Ltd are not stopping here. With a solid footprint of an automated warehouse, they can look to the future and the next steps of innovation. As Mark Anson says, “we’re moving into the future now.”
"In dealing with Rocket I took great comfort in that they understood my industry and my business instantly. I felt that Rocket listened and were experts in their business understanding, speaking my language, taking the time to understand the goals and business outcomes I needed to achieve. Even before we made our formal partner selection Rocket were very willing to go the extra mile to help, they have become a trusted sounding board.
Rocket have a mature approach to multi-vendor projects and very strong warehouse automation knowledge. Their methodology helped us establish a clearly defined and effective collaboration between Rocket our EWM partner & our automation provider Swisslog.
Since starting the project in July, Rocket have lived up to their promises, having put in place a strong, experienced team who are very aligned to the ‘Rocket’ ways of working that we expected from the pre-sales engagements with them. The Blueprint workshops are running well, to a very good level of detail and the consultants are all extremely knowledgeable.”
- Mark Anson, IT Director, LDH (La Doria) Ltd