Printer Distributor Generates Savings and Improves Client Service by Using Mobility to Simplify Warehouse and Logistics Processes

Following a fast implementation of AX Anywhere, Mimaki Europe achieved its goals for greater productivity and accuracy in picking, shipping, and logistics. Running fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX and easy to maintain and use, the solution helps Mimaki Europe meet its client commitments with great efficiency.

Founded in 1975 and based in Japan, Mimaki Engineering manufactures and distributes a comprehensive range of devices, supplies, and software to enable wide-format inkjet printing and cutting for customers in the textile, apparel, graphics, and industrial markets. The company formed Mimaki Europe, with headquarters outside of Amsterdam, in 2004. While Mimaki operations in Japan and Taiwan perform the manufacturing of printing devices, Mimaki Europe is responsible for the logistics and distribution that take printers, parts, inks, and other supplies to the company’s dealers and distributors across the entire Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.

Mimaki

  • Company: Mimaki
  • Number of Employees: 1500
  • Web sitewww.mimakieurope.com
  • Country or Region: Japan
  • Industry: Manufacturing – Discrete manufacturing
    Implementation partner: Dalosy

Software and Services

  • To-Increase AX Anywhere
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX

Customer Profile

Mimaki Europe handles the distribution of Mimaki
printers, parts, and supplies to resellers and
distributors throughout Europe, the Middle East,
and Africa.

Business Situation

In preparing a move to a much larger facility,
Mimaki Europe managers wanted to take
advantage of the relocation to increase the
efficiencies and productivity of warehouse
processes.

Solution

Mimaki Europe deployed To-Increase AX
Anywhere in integration with its ERP system,
Microsoft Dynamics AX.

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downloads_list_iconThe To-Increase solutions helps Mimaki resolve issues and reach their goals

“The problem has been solved. Every package is barcoded and staff scan the package when it is collected. If there are other packages waiting for the same client the hand-held scanner indicates this. The transport company can then collect everything in one go. Which is efficient and saves costs.”
Bart Heuvel, ICT Manager at Mimaki Europe

Relocation to larger facilities prompts pursuit of more effective warehouse and logistics

Following years of strong growth, in 2008 Mimaki Europe relocated to a new business location that included a very large warehouse. Even before completing the move, managers wanted to take the opportunity to introduce greater efficiency and accuracy into the company’s operations. They looked for ways to create substantial increases in the productivity of logistics processes and minimize the risk of errors. That meant scrutinizing certain processes, such as order picking, for opportunities to make them better. Managers also felt that mobility offered many advantages in new vast, new warehouse. Any new technology Mimaki Europe acquired would need to interoperate flawlessly with Microsoft Dynamics AX, the ERP system.

Rapid deployment of a powerful mobile solution

It did not take Mimaki long to find a capable technology partner in Dalosy, a leading devices and software specialist and innovator in the areas of mobility and barcode scanning. Dalosy offered a solution called AX Anywhere, an easy-to-use, mobile software tool that runs fully embedded within Microsoft Dynamics AX.
The AX Anywhere solution portfolio supports a number of important tasks and processes in logistics, retail, sales, and production control. In logistics, the solution facilitates mobile picking, inventory management, pallet management, goods receipts, item transfers, barcode and RFID scanning, and other activities.
Bart Heuvel, ICT Manager at Mimaki Europe, says, “We moved to our new premises in August 2008 and wanted to immediately start using a barcode system. Our wish was granted thanks to Dalosy’s tight schedule and meticulous project management.” For Mimaki Europe, Dalosy performed a rapid implementation of AX Anywhere, followed by thorough testing, and completed the project in time for employees to use the new tool starting with the first day in the new warehouse.

Error-free picking, faster task completion, and better client services

The warehouse workers access AX Anywhere on their Motorola MC9090 handheld scanners. Following prompts in AX Anywhere based on order picking requirements in Microsoft Dynamics AX, they simply scan the product and location codes. AX Anywhere transfers the scanned data with the picking updates into the ERP system. “As far as I know, no other barcode system is as simple to use as this one,” says Heuvel. “The staff are guided through the order picking process step-by-step and screen-by-screen.”

Following the deployment of AX Anywhere, Mimaki Europe almost entirely eliminated errors in picking and other warehouse tasks. As Heuvel describes, “This is a major benefit for us. AX Anywhere has ensured that our logistics problems have almost all been solved. The stock differences are as good as gone. In the past we sometimes lost entire pallets. That can get really expensive. Our products have to be shipped all the way from Asia and we would prefer not to make clients wait. At the moment we are largely error-free. Another major advantage is the increase in productivity. The speed with which our order pickers get products from the warehouse and pack them is much higher.”

Cost savings resulting from better logistics efficiencies

Mimaki Europe also reduced costs and improved the performance of shipping services by operating more efficiently and making scanned data available. “We can also use the barcode system to reduce transport costs,” notes Heuvel. “In the past, the transport company regularly collected a single package even though there were other packages waiting at the warehouse for the same client. They then had to come back the following day for the other boxes. That problem has now been solved. Every package is barcoded, and staff scan the package when it is collected. If there other packages waiting for the same client, the handheld scanner indicates this. The transport company can then collect everything in one go.”

Insightful technology partner and solid, evolving technology

Heuvel and his team were also very impressed with Dalosy’s expertise and collaboration. “Cooperating with people who help you think things through is very pleasant,” says Heuvel. “Dalosy’s project leader who has experience in the logistics sector provided excellent input.” Shortly after the Mimaki Europe project, Dalosy formed a new entity, Dynamics Anywhere, dedicated to further advancing the AX Anywhere and NAV Anywhere mobile solutions. In October 2014, To-Increase acquired Dynamics Anywhere and continues to evolve the technology. Mimaki Europe’s workers carry on using AX Anywhere, with uninterrupted support and solution updates.

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