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The Man-Dirk group specializes in the supply of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products to mining, industry, power generation, municipalities, and government departments. Man-Dirk’s extensive branch network, product range (primarily, proprietary brands), catalogs and e-catalogs, IT network and highly experienced staff have enabled the company to deliver the right product at the right time, at the right price directly to customer operations.

Over the past five years, Man-Dirk has experienced business growth to the point where the physical operations and existing IT systems had become a constraint on future growth and an operational barrier in the existing operation. A Special Projects Unit was created to focus on IT and the business impact such that an optimized warehouse layout and an advanced WMS barcoding solution were required to further springboard growth.

Man-Dirk went through a very detailed WMS selection process with six prospective suppliers. DATASCOPE WMS was chosen, despite the costs being on the higher side.

Tina Angelos, Project Sponsor of Man-Dirk explains why:

“In order to evaluate solutions in the market, you need to be clear on your criteria for success that will drive bottom line business results. At Man-Dirk, we understand the importance of considering all aspects of our business. Hence cost was only one of our 7 key criteria we evaluated; those being Integration with SYSPRO; Technical ease and user friendliness; Cost; Local support; Evidence of local implementations; overall company presence and case studies; and the ability to assist Man-Dirk’s Warehouse Design and Layout. We had confidence in DATASCOPE from the start as they took the time to understand our business, our anomalies that made us different, and our focus on our customers and how their solution ties directly into SYSPRO.”

After completing a detailed warehouse layout optimization process with DATASCOPE Consulting and ILS (Industrial Logistics Systems), Man-Dirk made the decision to create two distinct warehouses at their Randfontein facility and implemented best-practice racking and warehouse equipment as proposed by the team, splitting their bulk warehouse from their main warehouse.

Once the suggested physical changes of the warehouse had been executed, the DATASCOPE WMS software was implemented early this year. A go-live stocktake was done towards the end of March and looking back over the past two months; Man-Dirk was able to implement this significant project with minimal negative business impact to their branches and customers.

For the very first time, Man-Dirk has an open and transparent window into the operations of their warehouse. They have, in a short space of time, already executed the ability for their internal sales teams to view exactly where a picking slip is in its current status. This immediate benefit allowed the customer-facing staff to engage their customers to assist with access to information to know exactly where the stock is. Due to the increased accuracy of picking, there has also been a reduction in credit notes on the basis that the right stock is sent to the right place.

The software is assisting Man-Dirk in achieving a higher level of order picking turnaround times; improving stock accuracy levels; giving the ability and visibility to manage increased order volumes; optimizing picking from pick face locations and bulk storage areas; smoothing replenishment movement between warehouses; improving customer delivery times and providing the ability to cycle count and correct inaccurate stocks quicker.

Man-Dirk plans to implement improved picker performance through the use of WMS picker performance detailed analysis tools and reporting, over the coming weeks and months. This will ultimately drive improved customer satisfaction and ensure that Man-Dirk staff sees the benefits related to improved performance.

It is manifestly clear that upfront planning and vendor selection is vitally important, as is getting the warehouse operationally up to speed prior to the software implementation. Setting up the right composition of the project team that includes warehouse plus business representatives is an important consideration as part of your planning. In our case, the Managing Director was our ultimate project sponsor such that sales, operations, warehouse and IT all came together.

Furthermore, the detailed level to which DATASCOPE assisted Man-Dirk with the training of the users prior to go-live was a huge success factor. Onsite go-live support is a major success criterion, which should not be underestimated or under-budgeted for – this will be your best investment in a WMS implementation.

Tina, also comments:

“At the end of the day, we needed to show business benefit and improved customer satisfaction and impact. This is something we strive to improve on a daily basis. We have gone live with WMS and survived through our biggest sales month ever in an accurate way and in a way that delivered to our customers as well as showing on the bottom line.”

Yet another business grows to the next level with DATASCOPE WMS!

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