Established in 1966, Lago Cold Stores (Lago) is an innovative, family-owned and operated business.
Lago specialise in temperature control and lot, batch and date management of more than 1500 SKUs, and distributes across metropolitan Brisbane and regional Queensland.
Lago needed a new WMS to support growth. The company’s previous system presented multiple single points of failure, and day-to-day critical functional support was becoming increasingly difficult.
Moreover, the smooth functioning of the previous system was dependant on several Lago staff who possessed non-transferable expert knowledge. This operational risk was preventing Lago from securing new business.
In 2013, to address these risks and position the business for growth, Lago implemented Microlistics WMS. In making its decision, Lago evaluated a range of solutions but settled on Microlistics due to its flexibility and capacity for rapid deployment.
The solution now facilitates the end-to-end management of inventory for more than 25 customers, and up to 900 pallets in/out per day, based on temperature, date, lot, and expiry from inbound, storage, replenishment and incubation through blast freeze to value-added services.
Lago also utilises Microlistics WMS inbuilt labour monitoring capability to ensure accurate billing across its customer base. The system tracks traditional direct processes such as receiving, put-away, picking and dispatch as well as value-added services, kitting, light manufacturing and more.
These capabilities have enabled Lago to offer new services to customers and ‘stay in front’ of emerging functional requirements.
Microlistics WMS allows Lago to control what is happening at the warehouse at all locations across all the inventory in real-time. The system enables Lago to simplify management from receiving to dispatch with a full audit trail in between.
An added benefit has been the collective ownership of the solution across the Lago team. Before the implementation, staff anxiety regarding new technology was a genuine risk to the success of the project and to achieving the broader goals of the business.
The Microlistics implementation team partnered closely with a cross-functional group from within Lago for the duration of the implementation and hand-over. This joint project team was significant in providing a seamless transition, up-skilling new employees and positively impacting the workforce, from the administrator to the supervisor.
“It was a great opportunity to give the younger ones in our business ownership of the system, and we’re really starting to see the benefits of this now,” said Steve Johnstone, General Manager, Lago Cold Stores. “We didn’t have any lost days.”
“The [Microlistics] support staff I had were excellent…” said Ambrose Killian, Transport Manager, Lago Cold Stores.
Implementation of Microlistics WMS resulted in the streamlining of a range of legacy processes, reducing manual tasks and administration. The outcome was a boost to employee morale, particularly given that it empowered the team to provide better service to customers.
Interactions with employees and customers were also simplified, and the improved flexibility and scalability positioned Lago to grow its capacity by another 10,000 to 15,000 pallets.
Even with substantial growth in volumes, Lago has been able to leverage the total visibility of tasking and effort to optimise labour utilisation, reducing total hours and consolidating shifts to provide hard time and cost savings.
“The system has put us in a great position to grow our business. There were a range of benefits that have helped us out. The speed to be able to act quickly gives us the ability to stay in front of our competitors with the flow of information,” said Johnstone.
“It’s a very cost-effective solution, and that was one of the big drivers. Here at Lago we are very mindful of our costs. We need to scrutinise everything to ensure we’re supplying attractive services and cost models to our customers.”