Shad chooses the Mecalux software to expand internationally
The Mecalux warehouse management software is in charge of running Shad’s warehouse for motorcycle luggage
Easy WMS is a warehouse management system designed by Mecalux that adapts to each company’s specific needs, no matter the kind of business they run. Shad, a leading European maker of motorcycle seats and luggage, has implemented this solution in one of its warehouses in Barcelona. The company’s idea, with unprecedented growth in the pipeline, is to integrate all its warehouses through the Easy WMS to take advantage of the performance and functionalities this WMS offers.
Open for business on five continents
Shad is a brand from NAD Inc., a company founded in 1973 and which designs, makes and distributes luggage, bags, backrests, seats and other accessories for motorcycles and quads.
Its headquarters is based out of Mollet del Vallès (Province of Barcelona) and its sales network extends across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Oceanic region. It has a technical office and a showroom in Shanghai, which it uses to coordinate the manufacture of some of the items it sells globally, as well as offices in Jakarta (Indonesia).
Here in Spain, NAD Inc. designs its merchandise shoulder to shoulder with big-time motorcycle manufacturers like BMW, KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, Suzuki or Kymco.
From its Barcelona offices, Shad’s operations director, Marina Xicola, explains “we make motorbike luggage that is sold throughout the European market, besides supplying more than 80 countries worldwide with products like expandable cases. Our central offices also serve out items made in the production plants in Asia, from our distribution centre.”
Inside the Shad centre in Barcelona
This is an ideal location for an internationalised company like Shad, since it is set up close to the country’s most important highways and the airport.
Shad’s Barcelona headquarters fills an expansive 17,000 m2 and comprises:
- he main business offices (with departments like engineering, design, operations, IT and marketing, etc.).
- A traditionally built warehouse allocated, for the most part, to storing motorcycle luggage.
- A 2,000 m2 automated warehouse set aside to house smaller sized products and which represents many SKUs like fixings, luggage accessories, mobile phone cases, belt bags and waist packs, etc.
According to Marina Xicola, “Before this, we would palletise our luggage and store these pallets in our pallet racking.” This system was very impractical and, in truth, the company was not exploiting its warehouse’s full space potential. For this reason, it has counted on Mecalux to design a warehouse ready to manage all the finished products more efficiently.
The result is an installation that is composed of two physically separate warehouse buildings: one of which holds both pallet racks and push-back racks (with four-pallet deep storage) and, in the other, three-pallet deep push-back racks and a block of live racking.
“The push-back racking, in particular, is more practical for the SKUs we house. Plus, we have eliminated aisleways and accelerated storage tasks with our merch,” points out Shad’s operations director.
Every day, one of these warehouses can receive more than 30 pallets flowing from the production centre without advanced notification from the company’s ERP. Then, the operators ID the stock using handheld RF devices and, instantaneously, the WMS registers the item in the system.
It comprises two aisles with double-deep racking along each side that yield a 1,350 container storage capacity. Here they deposit luggage accessories, motorcycle seats, as well as GPS and mobile phone supports, etc.
Before erecting this automated warehouse, Shad had standard pallet racks and workers managed the goods using forklifts.
Now, a stacker crane in each aisle is tasked with input, output and slotting functions. “With this solution, we have raised our storage capacity compared to before, while also eliminating errors stemming from manual management, so mistakes are almost nil,” states Xicola.
The automated warehouse receives more than 40 SKUs a day, and can, likewise, ship out more than 400 order lines in the same day.
Where it all started: Easy WMS Basic
Initially, Shad managed its traditional warehouse with Easy WMS Basic from Mecalux.
Easy WMS Basic is a special system suited to very small warehouses, with less than ten operators and where either paper management or electronic RF devices are used to organise storage and picking work like was the case in Shad’s production warehouse. On the other hand, the automated warehouse is fitted out with ThyStore –Easy WMS’s predecessor–, that is in permanent, bidirectional communication with Shad’s ERP to properly run all its logistics operations.
Despite the economic crisis (which hit the automotive sector the hardest), Shad has continued to flourish and, in the last few years, has also incremented sales in Spain. According to Marina Xicola, “In 2018, the Shad-NAD group sold around 52 million euros worth of goods.”
Shad has reached all its set objectives thanks to its hard work and firm commitment to innovative tech, as well as quality. Over the next few years, the company has plans to strengthen its business presence in North and South America and Asia. Considering all this, Shad saw fit to deploy a software that would leave room for customisation and support a multi-warehouse structure, i.e., that was able to direct all Shad’s warehouses at once, although they might be located in different locations (even in different countries).
Marina Xicola - Operations director at Shad
“For the Shad team, having permanent control over the goods that we have stored is a top priority. We needed to apply some location-based rules to our work methodology and Easy WMS Basic just couldn’t handle these parameters and strategies. This was the main reason that we had to update the WMS. Using this new version, we can expand our warehouses and keep managing them down the road through the same WMS.”
The solution: the latest version of Easy WMS
The best option for Shad pointed towards setting up the latest version of Easy WMS by Mecalux to manage all its traditional warehouses.
Compared to the Basic solutions, this is a customised, multi-warehouse facility and has greater potential storage-wise. At present, ThyStore still governs Shad’s automated warehouse in Barcelona.
Updating the WMS was very fast, simple and done progressively to not interrupt any operations in its centres. “First, we switched over one of the warehouses as a test run and, after checking it was working well, we decided to deploy the solution in our other warehouses,” specifies Shad’s operations director.
This version of Easy WMS offers a much broader range of functionalities to respond to the company’s current logistics needs, as well as to satisfy the planned growth, and medium- and long-term expansion. This WMS controls all the warehouses’ inventories in real-time, directs order fulfilment and ensures that packages are delivered on time and error-free, optimising resources and handling costs, etc.
Mecalux has customised stock inputs. Location assignments in the racks are based on the pallets’ features, sizes and origins. Moreover, Easy WMS has notably simplified logistics processes so that operations flow better and faster.
In the words of Marina Xicola, “deploying Easy WMS has helped us to organise our goods better and detect where we have partially full containers that, honestly, were wasting storage capacity.”
Advantages for Shad
- Precise stock control: the software is aware of the real-time status and location of the goods, which prevents end-of-life (EOL) products from being stored and any potential errors from being made.
- Customised system: the WMS adapts to the company’s characteristics and leaves room for future expansion in production when the time comes. The SaaS solution (cloud-based) is set up to manage all Shad’s warehouses worldwide.
- Most efficient software: Shad runs a much more high-tech WMS and one with many features, ready to reflect any changes in business flows and future expansion of its logistics centres.