20/03/2013 | Hardis Group

The women's fashion chain now manages all of its logistics with Hardis' warehouse management solution in an international and multi-channel context.

Logo Pimkie

Hardis Group has announced that women's fashion chain Pimkie has deployed Reflex WMS in all its warehouses in France and abroad to optimize its BtoB (to distribution warehouses and stores) and BtoC (e-commerce) logistics flows. Pimkie's employees were impressed by the tool's ability to continuously adapt to changing processes and by the quality of support provided by Hardis' teams.

Logistics to support major structural changes

Fast fashion chain Pimkie was set up in Lille over forty years ago. Its head office and central purchasing department have remained in the north of France while the brand has gradually developed abroad and now has five purchasing offices abroad and over 750 stores in 26 countries. In 2006, Pimkie moved into Internet sales by launching its on-line retail site for France and later for Germany, Spain and Italy.

In 2007, Pimkie decided to change its logistics organization to manage the restocking of all its stores throughout the world as well as Internet orders. Goods from suppliers will now be centralized in a 19,500m2 'consolidation' warehouse in Germany and then dispatched to four distribution warehouses in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Meanwhile, e-commerce flows will be handled internally from a French distribution warehouse. At the same time, a new IT framework plan was defined to support the company's changes. This aims to replace the specific applications, including warehouse management, with standardized and scalable market software packages and gradually withdraw from IBM AS/400 environments.

A single software solution for managing all logistics flows

As it met the requirements of the framework plan, it was the Reflex WMS warehouse management software package which was chosen by the women's fashion chain. Hardis' solution was first of all deployed to manage the logistics flows of the new consolidation warehouse created in 2008 to improve the distribution of stocks and optimize costs. "The opening of the consolidation warehouse led to a new organization of the logistics chain," explained Florine Follet, Logistics IS Manager at Pimkie. "We took the deployment of Reflex WMS as an opportunity to standardize processes in each of our warehouses." In just eighteen months, from March 2010 to October 2011, the solution was deployed for the four distribution warehouses in turn. Now all warehouses in France, Germany, Spain and Italy operate in the same way using the same software, hosted in the chain's data center in Lille and managed by Hardis Group.

Up until October 2012, the e-commerce activity was not managed by Reflex WMS but by another tool. But "Reflex is upgraded very regularly," continued Florine Follet. "So in 2012, we were able to implement it to also handle our BtoC flows in our Wasquehal warehouse near to Lille."

From service provider to partner: long-term collaboration

For Pimkie, the support from Hardis' teams during the implementation of the solution was crucial, particularly for optimizing its logistics flows and implementing them in the tool and for enhancing the skills of its teams. Since 2007 a real relationship of interaction has been established between the women's fashion chain and the software publisher. "Hardis' teams listen carefully to their customers and maintain constant dialog with them to upgrade their solutions. They are real customer-partners whose specific requirements are integrated as standard when they are likely to interest other customers," explained Florine Follet.

In the short and medium term, Pimkie aims to further streamline and optimize its incoming and preparation flows. For example, the women's fashion chain is testing voice control for picking teams and is working on automating incoming goods receipt in its consolidation warehouse. The implementation of the Reflex TMS transport management solution is also being considered to optimize the cost of transport between the consolidation warehouse, distribution warehouses and stores and also for e-commerce order deliveries.