May 2024

Fogliani Spa, b2b electrical supplies

Simplify the process to increase sales

A performing sales service through a new stock management technique and the reduction of picking times.

A performing sales service through a new stock management technique and the reduction of picking times.

Fogliani Spa in Busto Arsizio, Varese, is specialized in B2B distribution of electrical equipment, lighting engineering, industrial automation, security systems and special systems. Seven locations and a sales network in continuous growth, widespread throughout the territory.

The objective of the pilot project, implemented in a first wholesale store and then extended to the other locations, was to support the productivity of the sales force with new tools and techniques.

Improving sales performance and the customer’s buying experience has first of all meant simplifying the sales process, reducing picking times by the operator and the movements of the warehousemen.

The first step was to carry out a process of analysis of the entire sales process, from the customer’s request for material – which takes place directly at the shop counter – to the closing of the sale, to monitor the handling of goods and movements of operators inside the warehouse.

The implementation of a correct strategy of stock allocation in the warehouse, based on their rotation index, has proved to be the fundamental element to increase the efficiency of the operator, reducing movements and picking times.

Through an ABC analysis, the items were classified and organized according to their rotation in:

  • high rotation class A articles, therefore placed in the areas most accessible to operators and, in particular, close to the sales positions;
  • class B articles, with a slightly slower turnover, placed in intermediate areas;
  • class C low turnover items, placed in the less accessible areas or further away from the picking area.

To further maximize warehouse storage capacity by reducing the space occupied in the picking area, a handling kanban was implemented for inventory management. Today, these are only moved from the central warehouse to the picking area if they are actually “pulled” by downstream requests. At the same time, a standardization of picking methods by radio frequency has been carried out, to be implemented in all other points of sale.

Last but not least, the desire to reduce to zero the hidden costs of return processes to suppliers, responsible for an excessive number of movements of materials to the head office and managed using paper media that are often a cause of errors, also led to an analysis of the return process using the Makigami tool.

Lean manufacturing techniques in support of the sales force have proved to be a valid tool capable of raising the bar of the sales force’s performance, thereby also improving the customers’ purchasing experience.