ECONOFOODS™ a highly successful provider of frozen and chilled foods plus a wide variety of grocery products has selected leading warehouse management software (WMS) specialist, CQuential Solutions to fulfil its warehouse management needs as it expands its distribution network.
ECONOFOODS™ currently has seven distribution centres and twenty-seven retail outlets that span six provinces in South Africa plus a cross-border operation in Lesotho. “The company employs fifteen hundred people and services approximately one thousand foodservice customers monthly from the distribution centres”, says Jan Hendrik Buchner Operational Financial Manager – ECONOFOODS™ Gauteng & Northwest.
He notes the company was founded in 1996 with the goal of supplying top quality products at wholesale prices and all accompanied by a superior service experience. “We required a state-of-the-art system that could optimise our warehouse operations, drive greater efficiencies and support our growth plans as we expand our distribution network. CQential’s warehouse management system (WMS) fulfilled all of our requirements and was deployed in our Johannesburg warehouse,” says Buchner.
He confirms the deployment of CQuential WMS will serve as a pilot implementation that will eventually see roll out to all of ECONOFOODS warehouses over the coming eighteen months.
CQuential CEO, Shaun O’Brien, notes the implementation has moved swiftly and successfully and they are now past the initial setup stage. “We have now moved into a space where the WMS functionality is being tailored to meet ECONOFOODS’ specific requirements.
O’Brien says the implementation was not without challenges including:
- Change management.
- Understanding the warehouse requirements.
- Change in staff roles on a continuous basis.
- Availability of master data.
- Working with a WMS champion within the ECONOFOODS business.
The CQuential team proposed the following strategic approach to overcoming these hurdles:
- A phased approach instead of big bang.
- Review of the warehouse organogram with suggested solutions.
- Greater time allocation to go live support.
- Improved communication and defined responsibilities for each stakeholder on the project.
Buchner confirms the relationship is ongoing. “CQuential is an integral part of our operation in Johannesburg and thus we view them as a business partner. Moreover, we are looking to build on it with further system developments. This requires frequent interaction between both companies as we continue to roll out CQuential’s WMS to our warehouses throughout the country,” he concludes.