Successful implementation of automated e-commerce warehouse system in the Slovenian company Seal-Mart

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In today’s business environment, digitalization has shown to be almost necessary for success. Digitalization happens when a company begins to use digital technology to transform its business model and create new value-generating opportunities. It brings several benefits to businesses, including increased efficiency of all activities, less human error, safer data storage, and faster data analysis. As the need for digitalization increases each day, several funding opportunities are opening for SMEs – such as DIH-World digitalization experiments.

One of such digitalization experiments worth 92.900,00 EUR was won by the consortium of Slovenian company SEAL-MART d.o.o. and Croatian BlueDIH for development and implementation of e-commerce warehouse system. SEAL-MART d.o.o. is a manufacturing SME that has grown into a global company that sells a variety of sealing solutions, gaskets, and designed plastic and rubber components for a variety of sectors, including marine, wood, food, and construction. The main aim of the project was digital transformation of the company warehouse system and its connection to the global e-commerce platform. The project was an important step towards digitalising their most pressing challenge – digitalisation of the warehouse through QR code storage and innovative automated storage and retrieval system – both connected to the tailor-made warehouse system and a newly set up global e-commerce platform. This successful six-month project laid the groundwork for the company’s long-term goal of entering global markets and having effective day-to-day operational capabilities.

After the successful launch of the Digital Warehouse project, the implementation stage had successfully started. A deep analysis of the companies’ current capabilities and needs was conducted to identify the requirements/features of each system solution. Along with it, a feasibility study and architecture of the tailor-made solution with information on the features of each system to fully integrate into the company’s existing processes was created. After both required pre-steps were done, BlueDIH conducted a partner search of the required technologies with specific architectural solutions. They searched for an innovative and compatible global e-commerce platform, automated storage and retrieval system, warehouse management system software, and barcode inventory control (QR code) solutions in the EU market with the help of Enterprise Europe Network. Along with the above-mentioned activities, the experiment was successfully presented in the Digital showroom in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

After finding an adequate solution, the company adopted the new Kardex automatic storage system which provides precise stock control and warehouse administration. Along with integration of the mentioned system, the company completed the first demonstrations and training sessions for the software solution. These training sessions ensured proper and effective usage of the system, as well as understanding of basic tasks such as using the warehouse management system and entering new data, and specialised tasks such as decision-making.

BlueDIH supported SEAL-MART company during the project implementation period by helping and engaging an external expert for needs analysis and feasibility study to provide main features and architectual solution that will be implemented during the project lifespan. BlueDIH was also in charge of managing dissemination activities and assisting the company in entering new markets, particularly the marine industry in the Balkans. Together, both sides’ hard effort and cooperation assured the project’s success and paved the way for future partnerships and opportunities.

The main goal of DIH-World open calls is to support digitalization experiments involving Digital Innovation Hubs and SMEs in the production sector in the 27 EU countries. In the first open call for experiments 28 different projects were selected, involving 56 partners (28 SMEs and 28 DIHs). The innovative experiments received up to 95,000 EUR to support the integration of digital technologies into the processes, products or services of an SME.