With 34 stores and 2 to 3 new shops per year, FUN Belgium is one of the fastest growing retail companies in the country. Particularly concentrated in the Flemish part of Belgium, FUN stores offer customers a wide range of products with approximately 800 shops with up to 2800 sqm floor space. The company sells toys (40% of sales), multimedia products, mobile phones, baby products, children's clothing, books, gifts and more.
It is therefore not surprising that the central distribution center in Oostkamp keeps 30,000 items on stock, although this varies from season to season. There is also a substantial flow of goods from different suppliers delivered directly to the stores. IT director Bart De Beuker indicates that at least 30,000 items are coming in and going out of the central distribution center and various stores annually, and, in 2010, 8 million products found their way to the customer. "It is clear that our inventory management and stock administration processes are complex and continuous. We put much concentration on trying to establish a high degree of efficiency. Partners who contribute ideas and solutions that meet our requirements are of great value. In 2007 we contacted our hardware supplier, Hegro Belgium, during our search for hand-held terminals for our distribution centers and shops. Hegro suggested Datalogic Mobile devices for our logistics system."
The most important reason why FUN Belgium started looking into other handheld devices was the unreliability of the equipment that they worked with so far. De Beuker stated "almost every day we experienced errors on handheld terminals with an estimate of at least 15 devices ‘out of order'. A lot of time and money was lost and there was much frustration among the staff. We needed a reliable solution that we could use for different tasks: identifying the supply chain, inventory management, receipt and return goods handling and pricing on the shop floor. Handling goods receipt, picking and order-placement, and management in the distribution center were also necessary. Hegro Belgium, a Datalogic Mobile distributor, indicated the Skorpio Gun™ as the right product for the job. It turned out to be the right device for us."
The Skorpio Gun ™ is known for its robustness, high performance and reliability. It is made for intense scanning use, has a quick process memory, long battery life and good data storage. De Beuker is pleased with the Skorpio Gun's™ performance, "the distribution center and all the shops have been working with the Skorpio Gun ™ for over 2 years now and to everyone's satisfaction. We hardly have any failures and although we are now at the end of our three year contract, it is clear that we can still rely on these handheld terminals for another year or two. It is certainly durable equipment."
A major benefit of the Skorpio Gun ™ in practice is its speed and efficiency, according to De Beuker. "Since we have been working with the Skorpio Gun ™, we have reduced the incredible amount of time required for inventory management in our stores. Previously, we had to close our shops for an entire day. Now, this time has been reduced by half thanks to the combination of the Skorpio Gun™ and a count made previously. Customer service has increased and the loss of revenue is significantly reduced."
At the moment FUN still uses cradles to read data from the Skorpio Gun™. However, the Skorpio Gun™ supports all major wireless technologies and De Beuker expects that the company will be able to use this technology by the end of the year. This will also add to time savings in logistic processes.
The Skorpio Gun ™ provides another significant advantage thanks to integration with Wavelink ® Avalanche™, the remote software usually used with the Skorpio Gun™. "Wavelink ® Avalanche™ allows us to manage the handheld terminals remotely from our headquarters. Upgrades and new features can be added to all terminals with one simple push of the button. And when a failure occurs, it is no longer necessary to sent the handheld terminal to headquarters. This, of course, also saves much time and money," De Beuker added.
Customer: FUN Belgium
Datalogic Mobile Solution: Retail In-Store & Warehousing
Datalogic Mobile Product: Skorpio Gun™
Datalogic Mobile Partner: Hegro Belgium