Kobout, international supplier of fasteners

The company Kobout

Kobout has been an importer of fasteners since 1979. Kobout’s sales are focused on the European market. However, 80% of its purchases come from the Far East. In order to keep supply and transit routes flexible, Kobout is located in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, centrally located with a view to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The company has 10,000 m2 of warehouse space with 25,000 different SKUs. The inventory counts millions of items and is extremely diverse.

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The challenge

Continuing to meet increasingly higher requirements

Joost Kunst, Managing Director at Kobout, on the change in demand: “We are noticing more and more that our customers are making higher demands. Were in the past customers used to be satisfied with delivery in boxes, we are now receiving more and more requests at item level. This has given piece picking a more prominent role. The demand for value-added services has also grown strongly. Putting together kits or repackaging into private labels have become the rule rather than the exception.”
Kobout previously worked with a WMS module from the ERP system, but that was at its limit in terms of possibilities. With an eye on increasingly higher requirements and traceability, scanning and linking to existing systems, a full WMS was necessary.

The solution

WMS determines storage location

On a weekly basis, approximately 280,000 kilos of goods arrive. These were previously scanned manually, a time-consuming task. Now the WMS automatically determines where the articles can be stored. This saves a lot of time in normal weeks, especially when the quantities grow to some 400,000 kilos in peak periods!

Full tracebility

With the new WMS there is a complete traceability, which gives more insight into the expected workload in the warehouse.

Controlling platform lifts

The picking process works with 44 storage elevators from Hänel. Controlling these elevators is done in cooperation with the warehouse management system. The Arrow WMS of Costo has specific modules for controlling these platform elevators.


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The result

Improvement in efficiency and speed through automation

The WMS improves the efficiency and speed in various processes, both in storage and in the picking process. The automatic instead of manual allocation of incoming goods results in an enormous improvement in efficiency.

Because of the tracebility is able to switch faster if the available resources are not sufficient. Stocks can be replenished in time and orders will be shipped out on time.

In addition, the error rate will be reduced even further. 

The WMS reinforces Kobout’s traditional strength. Now, Kobout can always deliver their rock-solid stock well and fast.


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