June 2019 Automation Hero: Erwin van der Wouden of Araco

Erwin van der Wouden, supply chain manager at Araco, has automated the purchasing of more than 2000 SKUs.

Name: Erwin van der Wouden
Title: Supply Chain Manager
Company: Araco International

Congratulations on the award, Erwin!
Could you please tell me a little about your role and what processes or tasks have you automated at Araco?

Thank you! I am the Supply Chain Manager at Araco International, a fast-growing wholesaler of promotional business gifts, based out of Enschede, the Netherlands.

We have gone from manual to automated purchasing of our inventory, which consists of more than 2000 SKUs. Previously we had to determine order levels and order quantities manually. Now we have it all automated with EazyStock which has allowed us to get better control of our inventory, particularly seasonal items.

What was the “red flag” that made you realise it was time for a change?

We basically had too many non-moving stock items and the turnover ratio was really low. The service level for fast movers was not good enough either, mainly due to seasonality.

How has your role evolved since you introduced automation?

Before we introduced automation, I spent several hours every day on manual tasks which took a lot of effort. Now that we have an automation system up and running, it only takes a couple of minutes per day, which makes a huge difference.

How has Araco benefited from automation?

Our inventory level has decreased significantly while the turnover rate has increased and the service level improved.

What other automation tools do you use?

We use a number of different tools. Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Sumatra Intelligence software, PowerBI, Transmart, PIM, AgilesWorkflow and e-con to mention a few.

Where do you see the future of automation going?

Automation is supporting more and more of our daily business, from purchasing to production and delivery. It takes on the role of `pushing the orders through` our system which allows us to manage the business with more control.

Any final comments?
With the update to NAV 2018, we’ll also upgrade to EazyStock Global Planner. This will help us manage our two warehouses (in the Netherlands and Romania) and align the stock levels optimally. Looking forward to the outcome!

Thank you for your insight, Erwin!

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