The SavoirsPlus Group, which has specialised in distance and online sales of school supplies, books and educational materials for more than 60 years, ensures optimised logistical organisation by implementing Savoye solutions.
SavoirsPlus is now comprised of three co-operatives in the social and solidarity economy – Sadel, LIRA and NLU – combined into a single group, which has distinguished itself as an emblematic distributor of school supplies, educational materials, and school and children’s books.
Spread across three warehouses with separate activities, the group’s logistics operations currently cover three million lines and 250,000 orders a year. A first 14,000m² site in Brissac-Quincé (Maine-et-Loire) handles the stationery and book ranges, a second 10,000m² one in Moneteau (Yvonne) is focused on craft hobbies and stationery, and the remaining 6,000m² in Loriol-sur-Drôme (Drôme) are set aside for the early childhood range, educational materials, and oversized goods. SavoirsPlus serves its clients, local authorities and educational institutions via its different channels: mail-order sales and five bricks-and-mortar stores.
Boosting logistical efficiency
It was back in 2010 that the group launched an initial review of its main site, then located in Saint-Barthélemy d’Anjou (Maine-et-Loire). At the time, the company had a 10% error rate, still prepared its orders manually, and its warehouse was saturated. “More than 75% of our turnover is generated in the three months building up to the start of new school year, so we wanted to find a way of efficiently preparing orders using an inventory management system that would meet our expectations. During peak periods, we ramp up from around fifteen to 80 staff, so we needed a process that can be easily and reliably learned”, says Alex Charron, head of logistics at SavoirsPlus.
The business moved its logistics operations and invested in a 14,000m2 site in Brissac-Quincé. In 2012, after an initial invitation to tender, it chose to work with the comprehensive logistics solution designer and integrator Savoye. Together, they implemented the LOGYS WMS on the site and set up a Savoye preparation line including a carton forming press, automatic carrier-format shipping labelling, five dual-sided retail order prepping stations, a Pick to Belt conveyor, weight checking, and waybill and packing list issuing, as well as eight shipping sorting stations.
Managing the logistical transformation of an up-and-coming group
In 2018, after working in conjunction with its partners NLU and LIRA for many years, the company became a producers' co-operative, combining all three businesses. It decided to deploy the LOGYS WMS on all three group sites as well as an order prep line for early childhood goods on the Loriol site: “We needed a shared system to coordinate all our warehouses. Advantages included reducing our error rate to below 1%, guaranteeing reliable inventory, and increasing our productivity in the same working time”, underlines Alex Charron.
To see this project through successfully, Savoye shares its technical expertise while the teams in Brissac help to train staff in Loriol and Monteau. “As our collaboration with Savoye continues, we form a win-win partnership, each learning from the other’s work. Currently, we’re thinking about increasing the automation of our processes and optimising the empty space in our packages”, concludes Alex Charron.