Bleckmann partners with Optioryx to streamline warehouse operations

02 May 2024

As part of its strategy to drive innovation in logistics, Bleckmann, experts in supply chain management for fashion and lifestyle brands, has partnered with Belgian software provider Optioryx to improve the efficiency of its warehouse operations. Initiated in November 2022, the partnership has already delivered impressive results – helping Bleckmann to achieve a more streamlined and cost-effective fulfilment process, enabling its clients to deliver on their promises to customers.

Optioryx’s custom-built Smart Sequencing solution works by calculating optimised walking routes for order pickers on the warehouse floor. Using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, the solution calculates the optimal sequence in which order pickers should collect items in the picking area. In many cases, this allows pickers to significantly reduce their walking distance which is especially helpful in managing the high order volumes that are common during peak periods such as Black Friday.

“Smart Sequencing works alongside Bleckmann’s existing warehouse management system (WMS) to automatically generate a customised route that’s specific to each pick list as soon as the order picker is ready to start walking,” explained Bart Gadeyne, Founder and CEO of Optioryx. “This enables Bleckmann to reduce walking distances on the warehouse floor by an average of 15 to 20% compared to non-optimised routes.”

Digitally optimised order picking

A key differentiator of the Optioryx solution is the way it takes into account both the physical layout of the picking area and the specifics of the picking process. For example, each warehouse is digitally mapped before being entered into the Smart Sequencing system – including any obstacles in the aisles – to ensure that the shortest overall route is calculated every time. The Optioryx team also made several site visits to Bleckmann’s locations to ensure that the system would be intuitive for those using it on a daily basis.

“We were very impressed with the way Optioryx took the time to get to know our organization and our processes inside and out,” said Stijn Vandeperre, Innovation Engineer at Bleckmann. “By spending time in the warehouse with our order pickers and warehouse managers, they gained a deep understanding of our operational pain points in order to develop a truly tailored optimization solution. Thanks to this detailed and collaborative process, Smart Sequencing will be key to our future optimization strategy.”

Optimization potential ahead

Smart Sequencing has already been deployed with one of Bleckmann’s clients in the UK, a major sportswear brand. It has enabled significant efficiency improvements, helping the brand to continue delivering its exceptional customer experience at scale. Building on this success, plans are underway to extend Smart Sequencing to other client fulfilment operations in Belgium. A major footwear brand in Belgium is also using the solution. And implementation teams are working currently on further roll-out of the solution. However, Smart Sequencing is just the beginning.

“The process with Optioryx has been very collaborative,” concluded Kevin Paindeville, Warehouse Solutions and Innovation Director at Bleckmann. “Together, we’ve exchanged ideas and tested concepts through detailed simulations before fine-tuning them into a viable product. Bart and his team carefully considered our feedback and ideas of improvement at every stage of the process. Thanks to their responsiveness and collaborative approach, we were always able to test an updated version within a few hours. Their ability to adapt and collaborate so well was a game-changer and truly made a difference. Based on the results so far, we see great potential for future collaboration. There are many areas of our warehouse operations where their intelligent and customised solutions could help us improve efficiency – from inventory management to warehouse layout – and we’re looking forward to exploring these opportunities together.”

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Dorota Tankink
Dorota Tankink

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