Less is more when it comes to complex logistics processes. SSI SCHAEFER has equipped numerous premises of the Swiss retail and wholesale company, the COOP Group, with a single logistics software system, WAMAS.
Since 2001, COOP has been placing its trust in the competence and expertise of SSI SCHAEFER. COOP uses SSI SCHAEFER’s proprietary logistics software WAMAS to manage its stock.
“We made a conscious decision to opt for a decentralized solution for availability reasons,” explains August Harder, COOP Group CIO. “This means that, instead of everything being controlled from a central location, it is done individually at the respective warehouse locations.”
Scalability is key
At the start of the project, SSI SCHAEFER carried out a thorough review of the existing process and identified any additional requirements. Ultimately, this is the only way that logistics software can be designed to meet individual customer challenges. Additionally, at COOP, the scalability of the solution and a modern software architecture needed to be taken into account. The diverse range of company sites and stakeholders with varying logistical processes made this software modernization project a major challenge. In production, distribution, and e-commerce alike, a standardized WMS solution is gradually being introduced at many sites for manual, semi-automated, and fully automated logistics processes. New customer demands mean that this project is undergoing constant development. The result is a version of WAMAS with custom COOP elements. Management of the existing WAMAS versions in operation and in development proved to be extremely challenging. One element that proved particularly challenging was the need to replace several connections to external partners and existing subsystems with new interfaces during normal operation.
Setting new standards
Pilot projects were held at five warehouse locations throughout 2016. By April 2017, SSI SCHAEFER had managed to support five further rollouts, and, by the end of 2019, 20 modernizations will have been implemented – along with 50 more to soon follow.