Antalis Deploys Ultramodern Warehouse
Challenge: Consolidate Business following a merger; design and build a state-of-the-art distribution center.
Solution: Leverage CSC’s supply chain and logistics expertise to implement a number of integrated solutions, including the SAP Warehouse Management Solution.
Results: With five warehouses consolidated into one, the new distribution center is able to handle increased volumes at a reduced cost.
Antalis at a Glance
- Headquarters: Paris, France
- Employees: 6,900
- Customers: 230,000
- Annual Revenues: $4.2 billion
Following a major acquisition, Europe’s largest paper distributor needed to consolidate operations and re-build its logistics infrastructure in the Netherlands. Using a combination of bytes, business and bricks, CSC helped Antalis implement a new SAP-based logistics system and create a single distribution platform at the new facility.
Since the core of Antalis’ business is selling and distributing tons of paper products, packaging and visual communications materials, their efficient warehousing and timely distribution are essential to operational success. When Antalis’ 2007 acquisition of competitor Map Merchant significantly increased the company’s presence in the Netherlands, it saw an opportunity, to combine and streamline warehouse operations in the country.
CSC has worked with Antalis for more than five years, and we have built a deep understanding of their business requirements, as well as a mutual trust. Following the merger, we mobilized resources across Europe to provide the right expertise and led the full transformation and consolidation of Antalis’ logistics system.
With annual revenues of more than $4 billion, Antalis maintains a complex distribution network spanning more than 50 countries. A rugged and flexible logistics backbone is required to keep products moving. CSC had been working with Antalis on technology and business projects since 2005 and was the logical choice to manage the post-merger IT integration.
Our familiarity with Antalis proved to be advantageous. Pieter Bundel, Antalis’ managing director, says, “CSC’s presence all over Antalis was essential for us. They know our business model. They know our systems, and I think that most of the time, they knew even better than we did.”
The close relationship built up between CSC and Antalis was also a key to the success of the project. Phillippe Menillet, Antalis IT director, says, “We can capitalize upon our mutual trust and valuable technical and business experience. CSC was able to mobilize the necessary competencies which, in addition to an excellent understanding of our business and culture, enabled us to always find solutions when we encountered problems.”
Resources from 12 different countries worked side by side to translate Antalis’ business requirements into an executable plan and oversee the building of the new warehouse. CSC’s Marc Sulmona, Solution project manager, says, “The biggest challenge was to gather a wide range of competencies. We needed business expertise, we needed ERP implementation experience, and we needed also quality and change management skills.”
CSC’s approach to the project was to use our experience and expertise to combine bytes, business and bricks:
- Bytes: We leveraged our global SAP expertise to implement the SAP warehouse management system, activating as well the SAP TRM (Task and Resource Management) tool. This was integrated with e-commerce technology, a CRM component, and the core data warehousing tools.
- Business: CSC coordinated business team management, change management and the streamlining of Antalis’ business processes into corporate-wide best practices. A key success factor was attaining ISO 9001 certification prior to the go-live date.
- Bricks: We coordinated construction of the new facilities, managed relocation of inventory, and oversaw closing of the old warehouses. The new facility stocks more than 60,000 items, and Antalis uses radio frequency and dynamic product selection to perform 1,500-2,000 product picks per day.
A huge undertaking
The warehouse was designed and built to be green, starting with narrower aisles for space consolidation. The building relies on 100 percent wind-driven energy, recycles water from rain collection and minimizes energy consumption through its smaller footprint. The facility has won several awards for sustainability and logistical excellence. When the project was finished, five warehouses totaling more than 45,000 square meters were combined into a single 27,000 square meter facility.
The floor of the distribution center is constantly buzzing with activity, with more than 200 tons of materials being shipped every day. To maintain order, the SAP system places a premium on automation and efficiency. Susanne Williams, CSC’s business project manager, explains, “When you look at the warehouse floor, it looks chaotic, but that’s because for every single picking or receiving job that comes up, the system automatically picks the next available truck that can do that job that is closest. This minimizes the time and distance, and it’s a huge undertaking.”
Antalis needed highly advanced logistics performance not covered by tools on the market. CSC worked with Antalis and SAP’s TRM tool team to optimize the picking process and customize the TRM module to include parameters such as prioritization of tasks and the integration of radio frequency equipment.
Building the new distribution center was just part of a major company-wide business transformation embarked upon by Antalis. This was also the first time that Antalis integrated its warehouse management system into its SAP back office.