Nordic Nest outgrew the new warehouse (pre-move!)
Founded in 2002, originally under a different name, Nordic Nest has been delighting customers with its exquisite Scandinavian interior design offerings through its online shop. Nestled just outside Kalmar in Sweden, the company boasts a sprawling warehouse spanning 32,000 square meters, which is constantly evolving and expanding.
The growth and evolution of the warehouse have occurred in various phases, with the imminent completion of the third and ultimate phase.
"We initially moved in, only to quickly outgrow the warehouse as our sales and growth skyrocketed. Look over there, that used to be the outer wall of stage one, and now stage three stands proudly," reveals Johan Torudd, Operations Development Lead at Nordic Nest, as we stroll through the warehouse. With a gesture, he adds, "Right here, we've implemented an AutoStore, and we're now gearing up for the next phase of our automation journey in collaboration with Bitlog."
This remarkable warehouse, complete with a padel court, an AutoStore housing an astonishing 60,000 (!) plastic bins, and an upcoming two-story automation station, can accommodate over 40,000 unique items. From elegant candles and stylish drink coasters to grand sofas and exquisite dining tables, it houses an extensive range of products that cater to every interior design enthusiast's needs.
"Prior to discovering Bitlog, our warehouse operations were trapped in a mundane and inflexible system. We were heavily reliant on our ERP system, which required numerous manual processes and countless steps."
Johan Torudd, Operations Development Lead, Nordic Nest
Challenge: Streamlining and digitizing manual operations
Before implementing Bitlog, Nordic Nest relied on an inventory management module within their ERP system. While it initially served its purpose, as the company grew, it became clear that the system's functionality was no longer sufficient.
"Prior to Bitlog, our warehouse operations were confined to a rigid system that lacked the necessary support," explains Johan. "We were burdened with numerous manual processes that involved multiple steps."
Hampus Bergdahl, Warehouse & Logistics Developer, concurs, stating:
"Our operations demanded a significant amount of manual labor, particularly when it came to order picking and storage. Moreover, we faced substantial capacity issues, resulting in lengthy waiting times."
Nordic Nest encountered numerous challenges with their manual processes, particularly with regards to the time-consuming tasks of picking, packing, and returning items. The limitations of the ERP system's module hindered their ability to streamline and automate these processes, severely impeding their growth potential.
Solution: Bitlog WMS, AutoStore and automation
Nordic Nest opted for Bitlog for several reasons, with a strong emphasis on the system's user-friendliness. As a business with seasonal fluctuations and frequent additions to their staff, it is crucial for them to have a system that is easy to learn and allows for independent work.
Hampus states, "Training new colleagues and getting them up and running is a breeze for us."
On a regular shift, the warehouse is manned by approximately 100-130 individuals. However, during peak sales periods, this number can skyrocket to 200-250 people. Hence, Nordic Nest's decision to choose a WMS that is both easy to comprehend and utilize is of utmost significance.
Bitlog and AutoStore: The perfect integration
"Bitlog has been an invaluable contributor to our journey towards automation. It all started just over a year ago with the implementation of the AutoStore, and throughout the process, Bitlog has been there every step of the way, providing unwavering support," explains Johan.
"Together with Bitlog, we have developed a seamless flow that perfectly suits our needs and integrates flawlessly with our business operations."
The interaction and integration between Bitlog and AutoStore have revolutionized Nordic Nest's order picking process, significantly streamlining operations in the warehouse. This successful collaboration has inspired us to embark on further automation projects in the future.
Currently, our ever-evolving warehouse is undergoing the installation of a state-of-the-art automated packing station on two floors, powered by Bitlog's cutting-edge software. Looking ahead, we plan to expand and integrate this station with the existing AutoStore, ensuring a harmonious and efficient workflow.
The speed of the implementation project was a game-changer
Nordic Nest chose Bitlog not only because of the speed of the implementation project, but also because the lead time between signing a contract and deploying the WMS was remarkably shorter compared to our competitors. Johan himself attests to this, stating,
"We opted for Bitlog because their lead time for WMS deployment was significantly quicker than other suppliers."
At Bitlog, we take great pride in this achievement. Our team of knowledgeable professionals possesses extensive experience and meticulously plans and executes each step to ensure your WMS is up and running on schedule. We are committed to being present on-site when our customers go live, promptly addressing any queries or making necessary adjustments.
Bitlog's Suggest Inbound module
Another crucial aspect mentioned by Johan is the functionality of Bitlog's Suggest Inbound module; this remarkable module not only supports and simplifies the inbound process but also saves valuable time. It intelligently suggests the most suitable shelf locations for storing products, whether it's for picking, buffering, cross-docking, and more. Additionally, it provides insights on the optimal quantity of each product to be stored.
During our tour of the warehouse, Hampus reveals that the inbound process used to be a major challenge, demanding significant time and dedication. However, with the implementation of Suggest Inbound, they can now redirect their efforts and workforce towards developing internal processes and propelling the company forward.
Image: Nordic Nest's well-known birds.
Result: Just the start of an exciting automation adventure
With the integration of Bitlog WMS, Nordic Nest has gained the ability to take a comprehensive perspective on its warehouse operations. They have successfully eliminated the obstacles presented by the previous warehouse management module and are now able to concentrate on activities and initiatives that bring tangible business value. Bitlog WMS has truly served as a catalyst for their warehouse automation and will continue to fulfill that crucial role in the future.
"Bitlog will play a vital role when seamlessly integrating our entire warehouse operations."
Johan Torudd, Operations Development Lead, Nordic Nest
"In our future endeavors, automation will play a crucial role, and Bitlog will serve as the essential link that seamlessly connects all aspects of our warehouse operations," Johan explains. "Bitlog will not only enable automation but also enhance efficiency in the long run."
The implementation at Nordic Nest goes beyond the realm of tablets and mobile devices. Nordic Nest is constructing a warehouse of the future that incorporates advanced automation solutions, including AutoStore and other efficient systems.
"Our current success would not have been possible without Bitlog. We faced significant capacity challenges with our previous system, but Bitlog has elevated us to new heights. Despite increased order pressure, we can maintain our production levels," Hampus affirms.
Johan concludes, "With Bitlog, we have unlocked a whole new realm of possibilities for further development and meeting our envisioned growth, which we have experienced in recent years."