Bleckmann expands Yazzoom warehouse technology partnership to enhance operational efficiency

08 May 2024

Bleckmann, experts in supply chain management for fashion and lifestyle brands, has announced the next stage of its partnership with Yazzoom, the Belgium-based provider of AI and ML-based solutions for the industry. Yazzoom’s custom-built AI optimiser has enabled Bleckmann to achieve significant efficiency gains in its warehouse operations. As the partnership expands to include more functionalities and more areas of the fulfilment process, the operational benefits are expected to become even more significant.

Maximising fulfilment efficiency

Originally developed to help sportswear brand Gymshark streamline fulfilment during the Black Friday period, Yazzoom’s optimiser solution has been improving process efficiency since 2021. Working alongside the existing warehouse management system (WMS), the software enables Bleckmann to quickly target process-specific bottlenecks with data-driven recommendations. This provides multiple benefits to Bleckmann’s warehouse managers and operators, resulting in more productive and cost-effective operations.

Targeted solutions, tangible results

Initially, the partnership focused on improving the efficiency of the fulfilment process through the introduction of an AI-powered order consolidation algorithm. This is designed to increase the number of full boxes that can be taken from the stock area directly to a sorting system – bypassing the picking area. To achieve this, Yazzoom’s optimiser solution suggests intelligent order groupings (or ‘waves’) to warehouse managers in real time. These are translated into picking lists and sent to pickers on the warehouse floor. This results in more streamlined warehouse operations, with less time spent in the picking area and a more consistent flow of goods to the sorting system.

“We like to think of the optimiser as a kind of ‘digital traffic cop’ for order waving, helping to make warehouse operations smoother and more productive,” explained David Verstraeten, Technical Director at Yazzoom. “In an ideal world, there would be no need to open the boxes as they move the picking area to the sorter. Our optimiser solution ensures that Bleckmann’s warehouse managers can get as close to this situation as possible – improving the cost-effectiveness of logistics for their clients.”

Of course, Bleckmann’s priority is delivering on clients’ promises to their customers. By providing a range of different wave options, the algorithm helps operators strike the ideal balance between delivery time and cost efficiency. “When you’re dealing with millions of orders during peak periods, small inefficiencies can add up to large delays,” said Stijn Vandeperre, Innovation Engineer at Bleckmann. “That’s why it’s essential to make every picking trip count. Combining orders intelligently is the best way to do this. The algorithm also learns which waving configurations work for specific clients and situations, promising even greater benefits.”

A collaborative technology partnership

The scope of the optimiser solution has evolved as the partnership between Bleckmann and Yazzoom has developed. Based on in-depth research into Bleckmann’s processes and extensive testing on a wide range of operational data sets, Yazzoom has recently introduced a number of new functionalities that target key operational pain points. These include Smart Allocation, an optimisation solution that quickly calculates the maximum number of orders that can be picked from the picking area without waiting for replenishment from the stock area. Meanwhile, Smart Replenishment identifies the best time to move items from the stock area to the picking area and which boxes will enable the maximum number of orders to be picked. These three solutions work together to enable a continuous fulfilment flow, even during the busiest periods.

“We’re delighted with the level of dedicated and collaborative support we’ve received from Yazzoom in the development of these solutions,” continued Stijn. “Yazzoom took the time to get to know our systems and processes from the ground up, taking a holistic view of the operational challenges we face. This ensures that the solution is ideally suited to Bleckmann’s needs – allowing us to solve complex problems so that we can provide an even more seamless service to our clients. We look forward to going live with the next phase of the optimiser solution and bringing more clients on board in the coming months.”

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Dorota Tankink
Dorota Tankink

Marketing & Communication Manager

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